A teenage perspective on ocean trash in El Salvador

A teenage perspective on ocean trash in El Salvador

 

I asked my 13 year old son to blog about our time in El Salvador.  I told him it was completely up to him about what to write about.  The amount of trash seen on the beaches and in the ocean was apparently what stuck out most for him.  Here’s his blog:

El Salvador is a country in Central America; it’s south of Guatemala and north of Honduras. We were recently there for five months waiting out hurricane season. El Salvador is a very beautiful country except for one thing… the trash.

Sailing down the coast we saw more and more trash the closer we got to El Salvador and less trash as we sailed further south. The beaches are covered in bottles, bags, and surprisingly a lot of flip flops?! In some places on the beach you can’t even see sand!

Most people in El Salvador just don’t understand that it’s not good to throw their trash everywhere. While we were at the marina, my parents saw someone dump two whole garbage bags full of trash into the ocean. There was so much trash in the estuary that when we get in the dingy to go somewhere we have to swerve around trash so we don’t get any stuck in our propeller.

In roman mythology, Neptune is the god of not only the sea but of earthquakes. El Salvador is also known as the earthquake country. My mom and I were talking one day about how Neptune might be mad at El Salvador for dumping trash everywhere.

When we were in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua it was so clean, the streets were spotless, and the beaches were clear. While in a taxi, we were telling the taxi driver how clean it was there compared to El Salvador. He said that thirty years ago San Juan Del Sur was trashed and that they were able to clean it up to the beautiful place it is today.

One of the saddest parts is that all of the animals in El Salvador are living in the trash. All of the street dogs have to eat from it and all the cows, goats, and pigs too. 

I think that if the country of El Salvador really tries to clean up like Nicargua did, then they could be the great country I know it can be. A way they could fix this is to start teaching the kids how to recycle and that it’s bad to litter. Besides the trash, El Salvador is amazing. There are many volcanos that you can hike up and view the entire city of San Salvador.


Another thing that’s cool about El Salvador is that the homeless don’t sit on the road holding a sign begging for money like they do in the US. They are out there trying their best to sell small things and earn a living. Even if it’s just selling water bottles, or cleaning windshields of cars as they are at a stoplight. Everyone is so kind and nice, they are always trying to help us with the little English they know, and everyone always asks, “How do you like my country?” If the beaches were clean, they would be beautiful. There is white sand, blue water, and the sea temperature is perfect. Maybe you’ll be able to see that in thirty years.

 

The Ups and Downs of being a Boat Kid

The Ups and Downs of being a Boat Kid

Up: You get to go to all sorts of places. And when you’re down south its warm!

Down: On the way to all the places there can be big waves and you get seasick. And being seasick isn’t fun.

 

Up: You can find other boat kids everywhere. Almost everywhere we have been there has been at least one boat kid.

Down: There are not a lot my age. Most are below the age of 11 and that kind of sucks.

 

Up: The ones that are my age are awesome friends.

Down: Most of them are somewhere else right now and we might not see each other again.

 

Up: I can talk to all my old friends online and even play video games with them.

Down: We don’t have Wi-Fi that often and I can’t talk to anyone without it.

 

Up: When you are “boat-schooled” you have lots of free time to swim, play at the beach, and hang out with friends.

Down: You have lots of free time and when you’re stuck on the boat some days, you can’t go anywhere and it can get boring.

 

Up: You meet amazing famlies that are so much fun.

Down: You almost always have to say goodbye.

 

         Right now we are in La Cruz and probably going south to El Salvador and have to say goodbye to friends again.  We hope to see them again someday, and we will probably meet new friends. Being a boat kid comes with a lot of ups and downs but it usually ends up being okay.

Our Trailer to Sailboat Journey

Our Trailer to Sailboat Journey

So we have a boat now . . . I thought I would catch you up because my parents have been busy with boat projects.

After my mom’s last post in Lake Sawyer we went to a campground in Bellevue. It was one of my favorite campgrounds because it had a pool! One day when we were sitting in our trailer, my parents just said, “We’re going to San Fransisco to look at a boat.” So we packed up some clothes and we got in the truck and stared driving (without our trailer.) We stayed at a hotel for a few days and saw the boat. Long story short, the boat sucked for reasons I didn’t understand. Next, we were going to check out a boat in Ventura, which was about six hours from San Franscisco. The boat was amazing. Everyone was really happy about it. My parents put in an offer on it.

The next day, we drove home back to Seattle and started getting ready to drive to Ventura again with our trailer. We packed up all the things in our storage unit and went back to our friend’s driveway for a week to spend as much time as possible with them before we left. During that week, we had a going-away party, which was fun but sad. A few days later we had a very emotional goodbye to our friends that we called “ the commune”. I was really sad that I wouldn’t see some of my best friends in person for a really long time. We drove away and started driving back to Ventura. (23 hour drive all together, that sucked.)

Our truck and trailer on our way to Ventura

We stayed a month at Ventura Beach RV Resort. It was my favorite campground we ever went to. It had a pool, hot tub, so many places to ride bikes, a beach, and it even had a store that had ice cream! Every weekend it got really busy and there were kids riding bikes at night with lights around their bikes, and everyone had a fire going and it was awesome. I felt like it was really alive and it made me really happy to be there. It made me forget that we were living in a 26’ trailer and Ventura felt like a friendly home to us.

My sister in the pool in Ventura

When it came time for the boat survey, my mom and dad got a babysitter for Evie and I for the day because they said that the survey was really boring. A few days later we got the survey results and found out the boat was not good and needed too much work. I was really disappointed. What if we weren’t meant to do this? It took two tries to get our house sold, and then when we find the perfect boat, we don’t get it because it isn’t perfect. What if we were going to live in our trailer forever?

Really disappointed, we waited for another boat to pop up and there were a few boats in San Diego. Two of them sucked, but there was one left to see, and I was sure that this boat would be the one. When we got on the boat, and looked inside, it was amazing! It was really spacious, it had four cabins and three heads, and my cabin had its own head! We put in an offer and waited. I was really worried that the offer wouldn’t be accepted and I really wanted this boat. I wanted to get out of our trailer. Finally after two days we heard that it was accepted. I was so excited. I’m going to get out of this trailer and have my own cabin with a door! Evie and I were sent to my aunt’s house in Phoenix during the survey to hang out with our cousins.

Then my parents said we probably wont get it because it needed a lot of work and the price was a little too high. I was so disappointed and I really thought that living on a boat wasn’t meant to be. We didn’t even know where we were going to drive next. But the next day, my dad woke up and decided that he wanted to get the boat and asked for my mom’s support. Long story short, we got it. The boat was not taken care of for about 5 years and it took about 4 days to clean out all of the junk and move in. And a couple more days to clean our our trailer and sell it. Yaaaaaaay!

Us the day we became liveaboards (me with a fat lip!)

It took my parents 3 months to fix her up while living in San Diego. We named her Litha. For my next blog post, I will tell you all about our time in San Diego.

Evie and I jumping off of SV Litha (SV stands for Sailing Vessel)

 
To read other articles about families transitioning aboard click here.