Prior to the string of natural disasters which began with the eruption of the volcano Ilamatepec, I had planned on writing this post about surfing in El Salvador. Government authorities in El Salvador are regularly talking about increasing tourism to the country as a way to bring jobs and economic growth. For the most part, little progress has been made. One area which is growing, however, is surfing. El Salvador has the beaches and types of waves which surfers love.
This article from the BBC tells the story:
Sitting on their boards, they wait in a small pack a few hundred metres off shore, watching the Pacific waves roll in. One by one, they catch one of the perfect right hand breaks, and ride them all the way in to the shore. Then, they paddle back out for more.
From a beach-front cafe, travellers watch this early-morning display. One swings gently in a hammock. Others are tempted by the smells coming from the kitchen, and tuck in to a typical local breakfast of eggs, fried plantain, beans, and freshly squeezed orange-juice.
A few metres away, a fisherman and his son stand in the shallows, casting their net.
This tranquil haven is the newly-emerging face of El Salvador. A decade after the end of its violent civil war, this small central American state is starting to be discovered. The unlikely pioneers of this revival are surfers.
Keen wave hunters have known for years that El Salvador is perfect surfing territory. Now, their secret has been let out.
La Prensa Grafica has a video news report which, even if you can't understand Spanish, shows the surf scene in El Salvador. You can also check out a great photo gallery at the National Geographic Adventure web site.
In researching this post, I also came across this blogger describing his 1977 trip to surf in El Salvador, and an article on the Surfing Magazine web site.