Monday, November 19, 2007

Too many vendors, too little space, too little order

San Salvador's historic center has many important building from its history including the National Palace and the Metropolitan Cathedral. And this time of the year, it becomes a location of conflict as the number of informal vendors on the streets swells by thousands in the Christmas shopping season. San Salvador authorities try to place some rules on where vendors can sell their wares, and violence can break out when the police try to dislodge the informal stores from a street or sidewalk. This weekend violence broke out as the police tried to enforce rules against the informal stalls being set up on the grounds of the National Palace.

Every year it's the same. Human desperation to earn money in the informal economy clashes with the need of any city government to preserve a semblance of order and to make streets passable for traffic and pedestrians.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

WHAT CAN I SAY, IT IS SAD BECAUSE IF THIS HAPPENED EVERY YEAR, LIKE YOU SAID FOR THE DESPERATION OF EARNING A LITTLE BIT OF MONEY, MY IMPRESSION IS: THAT THE BIG CORPORATIONS WANTS TO KEEP GETTING BIGGER THE RICH RICHER THE POOR POOREST BUT IN THE END THEY ARE GOING TO SUFFER BECAUSE THAT JUST GOING TO TAKE THE COUNTRY TO A LEVEL OF POVERTY SO BAD..., I THINK THAT THEN THEY SHOULD CREATE A GROUP IN CHARGE OF GIVE NEW IDEAS WHERE TO PUT THIS VENDORS THAT THEY PAY A TAX THAT ALSO HELP TO KEEP THAT PLACE IN GOOD SHAPE AND ALSO FOR THE COUNTRY IT SELF , SO THE VENDORS CAN SELL THE PEOPLE CAN BUY ( AND BE EL SALVADOR) AND THE COUNTRY GAIN, THAT IS HOW I SEE IT.

inner-self said...

great post tim, this is a very important national issue, and u put it so eloquently well. the fact that there are so many vendors may be a positive sign that there actually is a lot of trade going on in el salvador, which is good for everyone. but it is bad for the government, the vendors and everybody in el salvador to have these violent outbreaks and confrontations due to the vendors virtually engulfing entire land areas to set up shop. i do strongly believe they need a permanent location, a la los angeles swapmeets, areas designated for outdoor vending posts. it does not even have to be expensive, everybody just has to agree as to where and how it would be run, and everybody abide to compromise with all parties involved. the key thing is, keeping the costs low, i mean, just designate a particular street for example, or something.

Anonymous said...

These officials can't even organized a street vending area, how do we entrust a governing body to run a nation.