This week has been a stark reminder of how volatile life can be on this planet earth. The devastation in Haiti is staggering. So quickly life can literally be turned upside down. On Monday, we had a minor scare here as a 6.0 earthquake hit off the coast of Guatemala right on the border with El Salvador. Our house had some minor shaking and we had some Salvadorans here at the time and they told us we had better get outside! It’s been the second 6.0 earthquake we’ve experienced since we got here and I can say that I hate the feeling! The earthquakes here are quite frequent but there hasn’t been a bad one since 2001 and I’m hoping not to be dealing with one anytime soon! The geography of El Salvador’s location on the Pacific Ring of Fire contributes to the earthquakes. The country has many volcanoes as well. They may be volatile at times, but they are beautiful! As I am writing this post I am sitting in my house on Volcan San Salvador. Each morning I see the sun rising outside of my window over the beautiful Illopango Volcano. I am blessed to live in such a beautiful corner of the world.
The San Salvador area was nicknamed “Valley of the Hammocks” by the Pipil Indians who are native to this area. It is called that because it is nestled in between multiple volcanoes. The volcanoes also create many earthquakes causing a “swaying” motion…like a hammock. We recently took an afternoon to hike up to the crater on the San Salvador volcano…that’s the one we call home. It hasn’t erupted in over 80 years. Check out the pictures below.
Life here in the “Valley of the Hammocks” has been difficult for many Salvadorans. As we are living here and getting to know many people we realize how much suffering has been endured in this country. El Salvador suffered a civil war in the 80s which took 75,000 lives including those of inspirational religious and political leaders. Many natural disasters have plagued the nation including hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, mudslides, and volcanic eruptions. Many of these disasters have come one after the other. High crime from gang activity and economic hardship have most recently affected this country and all of these leave many people worried, fearful, or unsure of what will happen next.
The beauty of the country and the people exists side by side with the suffering and pain. All of this has caused me to question why I am here and what I can really do. How can our family even begin to make a difference here? But really for me it comes down to obedience. Because I am honestly not here because I can do something great. I am here because I want to follow Christ and He wants me here. So as we make our life here in the Land of Volcanoes, I am left wondering what road we are on and where it’s leading. I don’t know the answer to these questions but I am grateful for the chance to walk this path.
Exploring Volcan San Salvador!
The cinder cone of San Salvador volcano is visible deep within the crater.
This gives an idea of how massive this volcanic crater is.
What a beautiful place...so glad we went!
On the way down the volcano we took this beautiful picture of yet another volcano, Volcan Illogpango with Lake Illopango visible in front of it. We can see the top of this volcano with the sun rising behind it each morning...it's beautiful.
We stopped to eat at a restaurant on our way back into the city...we had this view of the surrounding mountains.