Safety Tips in El Salvador

  • Crowds in the downtown area
    Crowds in the downtown area
    by mikey_e
  • Shoppers and the vendors
    Shoppers and the vendors
    by mikey_e
  • More vendors, blocking the main thoroughfare
    More vendors, blocking the main...
    by mikey_e

Most Viewed Warnings and Dangers in El Salvador

  • murder

    by rosemary23 Written Jan 11, 2014

    On 1/09/2014 my step father was murdered in front of my mother shot in the head for his gold chain. Please becareful he did not deserve this. I am of salvadorean decent . The crime is real you might get lucky but you never know. My parents would go to el salvador 2x a year.. becareful

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  • El Salvador,

    by furanko Updated Sep 19, 2013

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    El Salvador is a dangerous country. It also depends of the places you visit. You have to take some extra considerations on your security, like not brag about your stuff and avoid showing off your jewlery.
    Some other comments posted here are totally out of place. Like the girl that says she got sick because of "El Salvador ruined water" and went straight to the doctor when she got back to the states. Obviously if you drink water from the sink you will be sick. If you have money to pay for an airplain ticket you must at least have money to buy bottled water, so don´t blame El Salvador for your stomach issues if you are used to go around drinking just any water on the street.

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  • theft on the beach

    by treblehook46 Written Jan 24, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    watch out my friends. . . me and my friends were on the beach in oasis de tasajera
    enjoying the sun and the water. we left our stuff a few meters away from the water.
    when we came back to dry ourselves my little black bag was gone. gone was my
    nikon camera, my cellphone and ipod. luckily, they left my passport and wallet.
    all cash were gone too but credit cards were untouch. we reported the matter
    to the police and an investigation was conducted on the spot rightaway. three
    young suspects were identified through eyewitnesses but the stolen items were
    never recovered. i have come to this place (oasis de tasajera) several times and
    i think i will never come back again.

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    • Fishing
    • Family Travel

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    Unfortunately there are young...

    by jepclg98 Updated Oct 28, 2009

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    Unfortunately there are young men who belong to gangs and they are sometimes dangerous so it is not a good idea to wear jewelry when you come to visit my country, you can recognise them because the are tattooed with the number 13 or 18, I also recommend not to have much cash you´d better not forget your diner or visa card.

    I sometimes buy something to eat on the street but I am careful about the products because I have to check if the one who is handling the food has clean hands and if the product it´s cover because there are a lot of flies that contaminate and transmit sicknesses.

    Do not bring expensive gifts to give out to beggars or street children... This sets up false expectations for other families and travelers when they come to visit in the area. Many of the people you visit will be extremely poor, but the best thing to do is not to give them money, ESPECIALLY STREET CHILDREN WHO ARE WAITING IN TRAFFIC LIGHTS if you wish to donate, arrange to do so quietly with your native guide. village leader, aid worker or priest. Please do not offer anyone false promises of visas or work in the United States, etc... Always respect local culture and customs, never become argumentative nor critical and always have your native guide smooth out any disputes that arise.. keep a low profile and use Common Sense in El Salvador.

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    Avoid the war and behave as normal

    by wardski12 Written Mar 31, 2008

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    Fear not El Salvador is not as bad as people make out it to be. Sure San Salvador can be dangerous as can any Latin American city. but during my time there I found the people to be extremely friendly and welcoming. Don't mention politics; the history of US sponsored repression (el mozote etc) is still quite fresh in people's minds and had brutal consequences. (some 25,000 died between 1980-1982). The public buses I found to be fine and the food amazing. Its quite well developed compared to neighbouring Honduras although poverty is a big issue. You'll need a better command of Spanish than other Central American countries but the friendliness of the people means that they'll go to many lengths to help you. When I was there this guy insisted on driving me to Morazan, even though I told him I was getting a bus. I wouldn't worry any more than you would for any other resort.

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    Caution Salvadorean water

    by weeddies Written Jan 2, 2008

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    Dont drink their water!!!!!!! You will get so sick, that you wont be able to stop the diahrrea, vomiting, chills, fever and constant farting no matter what you do. As soon as I did when I got to the states is went straight to the doctors. Well actually take a shower and then went to the doctors.
    Yes, its that bad!

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    Stray Dogs in Rural Villages

    by gdilieto Updated Aug 23, 2007

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    In my visit to El Salvador's villages and rural communities I came across many stray dogs wandering the streets. None of them was aggressive or bothered me indeed, but many of them looked quite unhealthy. Be careful.

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    Don’t Come Looking for Nature

    by thelukey Written Aug 22, 2007

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    This mural warns that “when the last fish has been fished; when the last river has been sucked dry; when the last tree has been cut; then you will understand.” It is very unfortunate that this mural no longer exists, itself a victim of “progress” and the construction of a larger house, because El Salvador desperately needs to heed its message. The country’s environmental devastation is so complete that even spotting a squirrel is a rare event. As such, nature lovers should expect to be disappointed, if not outright depressed, by a visit to El Salvador. The country has much to offer, but flora and fauna are down at the bottom of the list of attractions.

    When the Last Fish....
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    The Famous “Suicide Shower”

    by thelukey Written Aug 22, 2007

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    If the contraption pictured above doesn’t look familiar, then you certainly haven’t spent much (if any) time traveling through Latin America on the cheap. This tip is for you. With a few exceptions (like the top of the line hotels in the capital), “hot water” does not mean the same thing in El Salvador as it does in the “developed” world. If you want to take a hot shower, chances are you’ll have to figure out how to work the electric shower without electrocuting yourself. Actually, it’s not as dangerous as it looks. Then again, nothing could be as dangerous as the electric shower looks. If you’re brave enough to give it a try, and if (like me) you’re much taller than the average Salvadoran, be careful not to bump your noggin into the shower head while you lather, rinse, and repeat. Believe me, it’s not a pleasant way to begin your day.

    Running Water and Exposed Electrical Wires, Oh My!
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    Caution: Flying Cups of Urine (Part 2)

    by thelukey Updated Aug 22, 2007

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    “After that initial humiliation, we sat down in the rain and DARK. Yes dark, because the stadium's lighting was not fully functioning. Just minutes before the Canadian referee assigned to the match was going to abandon it for darkness, God (or at least some electrician) said, "let there be light," and all was well. All except for the cold rain that continued to pour on the roughly 14,000 spectators who'd gathered to cheer for ‘la selecta.’ The match kicked off around 8:15.

    “El Salvador set up to defend and counter-attack, despite the fact that they were playing at home against a country that doesn't even particularly like soccer. Their cowardice was rewarded in the 7th minute, when one of their defenders managed to get his head onto the end of a free kick and put the ball past the Panamanian keeper to give El Salvador a 1-0 lead. After much relatively ineffective attacking, Panama pulled even around 35'. A pair of minutes later, El Salvador went down to 10 men when one of their midfielders picked up his second yellow card. Nonetheless, El Salvador went ahead 2-1 from the penalty spot on the stroke of half time.

    “It was a bit before half time, however, when Liam and I began to understand the consequences of the combination of three distinct facts: (1) beer is sold in soccer stadiums by the plastic cup, (2) there are no time-outs or other artificial stoppages in soccer, and (3) Salvadoran men do not hesitate to urinate in public. Yes, it was a sad moment when we both noticed that the cold cups of beer that had earlier been pouring down upon us were being replaced by warm cups of p*ss. For some odd reason, a fellow who was sitting one row in front of us, and a tad to the right, seemed to be a principal target for seemingly the entire stadium. We suffered from Salvadorans' collective bad aim. You haven't been to a WC qualifier in Central America until you've been doused by p*ss for over an hour!”

    Cheering on Chalate

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    Caution: Flying Cups of Urine (Part 1)

    by thelukey Written Aug 22, 2007

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    Generally speaking, Salvadoran fútbol fans are a peaceful, fun-loving bunch who arrive at the stadium to cheer on the local team, jeer the refs, and enjoy what is for many of them the only day in the week when they don’t have to work (like this group of my La Laguna friends and neighbors who made the trip to San Salvador to watch C. D. Chalatenango defeat Aspirante 2-1 to win the second division championship in 2003). As such, I assumed that watching the Salvadoran national team take on Panama in a World Cup qualifier would be fun, so I talked my friend Liam into going to the stadium with me. The following excerpts from an email message that I sent to a friend a few days after the game best capture the experience...

    “Last Wednesday I went to the Estadio Jorge "Mágico" González in San Salvador with my pal Liam to watch El Salvador take on Panama in their first match of the semi-final stage of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying. We arrived around 6:45, about 45 minutes before the scheduled kick-off and about an hour after a decent rain storm had begun. My first mistake was not putting my El Salvador national team jersey on over the red t-shirt I was wearing BEFORE we entered the stadium. We hadn't walked 10 feet before I was showered with multiple cups of beer, many insults, and chants to take off my shirt (I hadn't even stopped to think that the Panamanian national team's away jersey might be red, as it indeed is). I did redeem myself by pulling my blue El Salvador jersey out of its plastic bag and over the offending red t-shirt. Even drew a standing applause for my performance. … [CONTINUED]

    Cheering on ���los duros del norte���

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    Theft

    by easterntrekker Written Feb 5, 2007

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    Youcan't take the warnings lightly to watch your money and cameras in crowded El Salvador streets. I couldn't believe how blatantly we were being followed by a young guy, who had his eye on our camera, in the market of Zacateculuca. We were with a guide who told him to get lost and he still turned up on every corner trying to catch us off gaurd I can only imagine if it were in San salvador and we were alone what it would have been like!

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  • easterntrekker's Profile Photo

    Buses

    by easterntrekker Written Feb 5, 2007

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    We saw the local buses that are used to get around the country and they looked pretty bad. They are so overcrowded. Basically they fill them untl they can't get anyone else on. They stop everywhere so it will take three times as long to get there, Plus they are a haven for robberies!

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  • Not as bad as you have heard

    by brina_c Written Jun 18, 2005

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    The first time I travelled to El Salvador to see family, a lady I know who is from there told me HORRIFIC stories of robbery, theft, carjackings, fake road blocks, airline problems, etc. I almost cancelled my trip I was so scared. I thought "Why the heck would anyone go to this dangerous pit of the earth?" Turns out she had not been back home in years and she was being very alarmist. Once we arrived, I found everyone to be very nice, hospitable, and welcoming. Even the armed guards and customs agents at the airport were nice. I have been back several times and it is now one of my favorite places to go. Don't get me wrong, you should NOT wear jewelery, carry a purse, etc. Practically nobody in ES wears wedding rings, so you'll stand out if you do. Plan your outings to be back in before dark, and avoid driving back roads during off-peak times, as in many countries. Use common sense and be aware of your surroundings, but most importantly relax and enjoy the beautiful country.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Family Travel

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  • a005116's Profile Photo

    Safety

    by a005116 Written Jun 3, 2003

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    I've never seen so many weaons than in El Salvador! Even a bakery is protected by a big ried gun! The civil war might be over, the're still thing hapening in El Salvador, not always that nice! Wathever you do watch out!
    Especialy if you're an American. They don't like gringos much because of their involvement in the civil war where the US suported the governement in his battle against the opossition.

    Also the immense pouverty and hunger in the country might get people to stealing. Violent armerys are comon.

    But of course I don't want to make you afraid! El Salvador is a wonderfull country and the people are the friendliest I've ever met!

    El Salvador

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El Salvador Warnings and Dangers

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