I’m sitting here on the street curb at the side of the market in San Vincente, El Salvador
There is evident economic tension within the country. I see dilapidated old Nissan pickup trucks rattle their way past. Later, a fancy BMW sports coupe whisshes by. We are at even greater tension given where we come from and the resources at our disposal. There at the corner of the market, worlds collide – maybe just in my thoughts.
How do we deal with that economic divide? How do these guys eek out an existence? I see a peddler hawking his wares up & down the street. He carries his entire inventory of steering wheel covers slung over his arm. How many of those few, does he have to sell each day to put a regular meal on his family table? Do I dare make eye-contact with the approaching man trying to sell me a hammock? Do I engage the beggar who just sat beside us? Cam did – he dug out an granola bar from his back pack and gave it to the man. I had not been prepared to do that. I would have simply looked away. Was I too arrogant to be concerned for him? Did I simply feel powerless to deal with his need or unable to converse with him. Do I need to be in control of the situation? Can I even properly help him? Does giving him a handout – a few coins as he requested – really help him? Is that just a way of brushing him aside – appeasing my own conscience?