7.14.2016

Letter, May 22, 1976

Hi folks,

It seems like quite a while since you all have written me so I’m unsheathing the pen to ask: “What’s going on?” I imagine with corn planting, school finishing up & haying season just around the corner you’re plenty busy. I hope the weird weather up there has finally decided to cooperate with the farmers!

Here we are entering “invierno” {winter}, the rainy season, and things are just starting to green up. Some farmers have corn a few inches tall, but the majority are just planting. Early this month it rained 2 days in a row and some farmers planted, hoping invierno was here to stay, but then it stopped raining for 2 weeks and many lost their seed. This time it appears the rains will stay.

I am starting a new job, working in sociology again. This time I will be working for the Department of Natural Resources. They want to do a big reforestation project and need to study the present socio-economic situation in the region, and come up with an incentive program to get landowners to reforest their lands. The project is crucial for preventing the silting in of 2 hydroelectric dam reservoirs, and for long-range water supplies for the country as a whole. The problem is that their acute population problem causes people to try to plant corn & beans even on land with over a 50% slope, and only 3-4 inches of soil! Land pressure is as acute here as anywhere in the world! This country could serve as the textbook example of the problems engendered by uncontrolled population growth!

I am living in Santa Tecla now, which is a suburb of San Salvador and the major city of highest elevation in El Salvador. It is cool at night – great for sleeping. I’ve picked up a slight cough though, having been used to the blistering heat of the coast!

What is Bruce doing now? Is he working or still in school? What’s Donna going to do after her in-service training? Really, it seems like a while since anyone from home has written & I would like to hear what everyone is up to. Sometimes you may wish it weren’t so, but I’m part of the family so you can’t forget me!!

Just kidding!

Dean

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