Back home on a photographic mission
The pandemic that impacted the whole world from the beginning of 2020, added to the responsibilities of adult life made it inconvenient for me to travel abroad for nearly three years. That included a most needed, and long overdue, trip back to El Salvador, to visit my family. Finally, that time came in the summer of 2022, with hopes to have some time to “rest and reset”.
Since my last visit in 2018, many things have changed in El Salvador. My experience as a photographer (I hope) has also increased. I am privileged to have a family that understands my “instinct” of grabbing the camera bag and I go out to explore. Even at home, I remain on standby in case of any interesting occurrence, which indeed got me some very interesting results, as you will appreciate below. Because of this, I had a fair assortment of occasions (family trips) that I also used for traditional and aerial photography in El Salvador.
I did my best in two months to balance the much needed quality time with family and some photographic exploration from different places in El Salvador. Here below is my curation of images within San Salvador city.
San Salvador Cityscapes
San Salvador is by far, the most populated city in El Salvador. The capital city is home to more than a million people and it is considered by most people as the financial and commercial heart of the country. The terrain of the capital is complicated, with changes in elevation anywhere. After all, it sits on the slopes of the Quezaltepeque Volcano, the dormant neighbor of the city and its most distinguishable icon.
With plenty of establishments located in high grounds, it is possible to capture different angles of the cityscape, mostly dominated by the imposing silhouette of volcanoes and hills.
San Salvador Historical City Center
Visiting San Salvador’s “downtown” is a whole experience in itself, even for many local folks. Starting from the commute. The closer one gets to the city center, the older the buildings, reminiscing the glories of past decades before the civil war of the 80’s. Also, it is more likely to see the common Salvadoran folks going about their day, walking from one block crammed with street stalls to the next.
For many decades, the Historical City Center of San Salvador was a synonym of insecurity and theft. Never in any list of cultural places of interest as most people know it. If there was a zone of the city to be avoided, it was this. In recent years, however, the local government has put efforts to remove the street stalls of some key streets, renew the plazas and restore the facades of public buildings. This, along with a pretty noticeable deployment of public security guards watching from every corner.
Due to this hard won sense of order and safety, there has been a newly found interest among younger generations to spend time here and reconnect with the country’s golden days of business bonanza and the flourishing of arts.
Unmanned flights over San Salvador
Luckily for drone pilots, it might take a few more years (I hope) for regulations of UAVs to take place in El Salvador. For me, it meant that, as long as I stick with the standard precautions, I could freely move in the air to capture familiar sights of my hometown from different perspectives.
Thus, I tried to take every opportunity I had within the city to find a good take-off and landing ground, including my backyard at different hours of the day. I might be biased, but besides the top-down views and other popular landmarks, I found it hard to stop framing the silhouette of the San Salvador (Quezaltepeque) Volcano in pretty much every flight I took.
Additionally, here is a two-part blog I made of that time I traveled back from Taiwan to El Salvador:
For more travel stories, drone movies and other short clips, click here.