Salvadoran culture, this is what I would change right away!

January 16th, 2020

I am proud to be called Salvadoran; nevertheless, as a society, I feel that there are a few things that we need to remove from our culture. This is my opinion about what we, as a society, need to change or remove from the Salvadoran culture.

These conclusions might make me seem bad and that I a being judgemental of others. But, I feel that if we change or remove the following, the country and society as a whole will benefit!

This list was created by taking input from Salvadorans who live in the country, Salvadorans who live abroad, foreigners who visit the country, and from what I have personally seen. If I had the power, I would change or remove the following three things from the Salvadoran culture.

1-Remove drunks from the streets.

This is something that needs to be addressed or change for two reasons, firstly, it makes the whole society look bad, and secondly, it will discourage the new generations from taking that path.

I am not suggesting for them to be put in jail, but the society, the families, or the government should find a way for these individuals to get help.

2- Not properly developing or preparing kids.

Before I begin, let me make it clear that I am not saying that I know the best way of raising kids. Raising a kid is done by each individual family with its own set of values.

The issue that I have is with some individuals in Salvadoran culture that have the means and the time to prepare their kids but don’t do it. These are two cases that I found out are common in El Salvador.

  • Parents thinking that it’s the responsibility of the school system to teach their kids everything.

    The other day, while translating for a foreign non-profit organization, I ran into this couple who was complaining about the Salvadoran educational system.

    They were not happy that their seven-year-old kid couldn’t read a simple book, they wanted all the teachers fired for not doing their job.

    The lady, for whom I was translating, asked the following questions:

    • Do both of you work? No, the wife is a stay home mom.
    • How much time do you spend helping your kid learn how to read? None, isn’t the teacher’s job to teach him how to read?

    Needless to say, I was surprised by the second answer and wanted to say something to the parents; but, I was there only as a translator.

    The non-profit lady calmly suggested that they should consider spending some time helping their kid get better at reading; they didn’t seem happy with the suggestion and left.

    Afterward, I opened my big mouth and suggested to the non-profit lady that maybe she should be more straightforward with the couple and tell them that it was also their responsibility to teach their kid as well.

    She told me that she has seen a lot of Salvadorans with the same belief and that she didn’t want to drive them away by being direct. Go figure!

  • School is not necessary.

    Working with the same non-profit organization, but in a different part of the country, I ran into this single mom.

    The single mom was asking for some financial help for her and her 9-year-old kid. To be considered for some assistance, the mom needed to fill a simple questionnaire about her and her kid.

    After reviewing the application, the person in charge of making the decision noticed that the 9-year-old kid was not attending school, and the last grade completed was 2nd grade.

    Not wanting to make assumptions, the person in charge wanted to know why the kid was not attending school. He understood that in some areas and due to gangs, a lot of parents choose not to send their kids to school.

    I told the mom that the person in charge wanted to know more about why the kid was not in school. She told me that the area where she lived was safe, and the school was about less than a kilometer away.

    So, I asked her, why isn’t he in school, and what does he do all day? I couldn’t believe her answers, she told me “Well, I don’t think school is that important, he doesn’t like it anyways, and he spends the day helping me and watching TV.

    Now, let’s be honest, what kind of future is this kid going to have with a mom who thinks like that?

3- Remove the Macho or sexist mentality from the Salvadoran culture.

In El Salvador, there is a lot of people who feel that Machismo or being sexiest is the normal thing to do.

As a society, we see way too many cases of violence that involve the Machismo mentality.

To sum up, I am not sure if I am doing the right thing by writing about these issues. However, I do feel that if we remove drunk people from the streets, spend the time teaching our kids, and become a less sexist society, the country as a whole will be better.

If you want to give me your opinion about this, you can email me at [email protected], and I will try to respond as soon as possible.

By Yanira Gomez

My point of view.