The first impression: green, low grey heavy sky (that's the flow over from the hurricane on the other coast of Central America), and, at the airport, a surprising scarcity of tourists as measured against folks headed to their homeland from US work and relocation. As my colleague, friend and sister traveler Julia said, "The Salvadoran experience really starts when you get on the plane to San Salvador." Full of families going home, workers returning, loaded with gifts, full of stories, children and elders. Once in the city, the landscape is mountainous, with the city and its suburbs wrapped around and climbing up the steep green peaks wreathed in whisps of clouds. And, surprising my parochial expectations, FULL of American companies -- every fast food imaginable, glass blocks of Citi-Bank, an expansive sprawl of Legorreto designed mall, well, you get the picture.
We're here (and in Guatemala) for three weeks of working, talking, sharing, finding ways to support the maestros and directores from those who've returned from their year of education in San Antonio at Alamo Colleges. For the past 11 years of so, I've spent anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months (as it is this year) working with the maestros as a special instructor/designer, mostly teaching technical and material and design skills matched to creative curriculum development.
This is my first trip to Central America, and I'll be blogging here, and also, with more work-related posts on the posterous blog I've set up to use with the teachers and in the schools that have internet connections. If you want more than the artist's impressions and inspirations that I'll post here, surf over to those little posts and pictures to see more of what's going on in the schools we visit.