I am getting into my second year as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural El Salvador.
I arrived in El Salvador in January 2011 and was sworn in in March 2011. My two years of volunteering will end in earlish 2013. Until then I live in a volcano crater in Morazan (the Eastern part of the country), and every day I marvel at the beauty and poetic simplicity of indoor toilets and paved roads.
So I live in a very remote, very isolated community in Morazan, El Salvador. It is about 800 people (about 180ish housees). In order to go in or out of the community to the nearest internet, or to go to a grocery store or market I have to take an hour and a half pick up truck ride on some pretty bad roads. I am one of the most isolated Peace Corps Volunteers in El Salvador. It is a very poor site, with a small clinic that has a doctor twice a week, a primary school, and a few tiendas (little shops). The illiteracy rate is through the roof as only after the civil war which ravaged the country and region was a school finally built. Thus, anyone over the age of about 25 does not have an education and usually cannot read or write. Kids who do make it to school do not have the money or resources to continue on to high school so education usually stops there. I live with a host family, a wonderful mom and her two daughters right next to the Casa Comunal (community house where most meetings and events take place).
Most houses are bahareque meaning they are made out of mud and sticks, a few are adobe, some are cement bricks. Some do not have 4 walls, and most people do not have a latrine, electricity or access to potable water. Despite the things this place is lacking, it is beautiful and the people are incredibly hospitable and welcoming.