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For us...it was a matter of blocks

But I've learned that blocks here can make a difference. Here's an update to my crime report. The woman we are renting from is a nice elderly lady that looks about 40, but she's nearly 70. She was recently walking in downtown San Salvador and was robbed for the first time in her life. She has told us never to wear jewelry at any hour...which I already knew. Costume jewelry is your best bet there anywhere, unless you are attending a function with high security and will not be in public.

In El Salavador, they grab the children as young as 11. These are prime candidates becausse the prisoners who run the maras know that these kids can get away with much more because of their youth, even when caught. The gang members can age out of gangs, but they will always be held on call if needed. What this means is that a gang member who is aging out of the life...say at 30 or so, will not be asked to attend meetings for the most part, will not be asked to participate in crimes, and they will not be murdered for being absent from such things. On the other hand, they may be victimized because they are considered old news to the younger kids. The kids doing the killings are in their teens mostly.

The decision to choose is mostly based upon your economic situation. Many of the maras are kids from fatherless families, the kids whose fathers may even be considered "decent" even when they bounce from woman to woman, cheating on all of them. That is the hypocrisy to my husband and I. We wonder how such men function as "decent" men when in this day and age, they run from their responsibilities of raising their seed. So you may see an upstanding citizen...male...living in a place like San Miguel, or in Santa Elena, or even Colonia Escalon with a good family, but he has fathered offspring in one of the colonias, left them to fend for themselves, and done so with a woman too young to make rationale judgements. She is left with child and raises the child in abject poverty. The sons may join gangs because they realize they are shunned by their father, and knowing their step brothers are living a life of private schools and soccer practice. To me, that must be a tough thing to deal with in the mind of a child. So you create the monsters that later murder people without any guilt. They simply no longer care about society, because their community hasn't cared about them when they were good kids. That's how you nurture gang membership, and I find that both disgusting, wasteful and sad, because it is directly related to the laziness and selfishness of the sperm donor.

My husband's father was a man such as this. He now tries to demand respect from us and we have no respect for him. He was a miserable soul who flitted from woman to woman and is now lonely. He is angry that his son wants no part of him, because his son seeks decency in his life. We have nothing to do with this man, and yes...he is very wealthy. He was shocked to learn we were doing very well without him and beyond him, unlike his other children. And the hilarious thing is that of all the kids, my husband is the spitting image of him. But his is a cancer that runs through Central America.

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