Journal, October 10, 1976 PM

Today we went to pay a visit to our maid’s house. What an odyssey! We had to go first to a San Salvador barrio called Mejicanos, the grubbiest part of that city I know of. From there we walked perhaps 5-6 kilometers to her place. She lives in some steep hills that are just being covered with bahareque {stick and clay construction} & other poor quality shacks. Ed Shiffer & Harry Brokish built her house 2 years ago. First they had to “build” the lot since the hillside is so steep. They made a terrace & put up a pole & tin shack, which is solider than many in the crowded slum, but a real oven.

God it was hot today, climbing and then descending into the hole where she lives. Our party consisted of Mike {Shank}, Steve Hays, Mari Cruz, Steve Pamperin, Ed, Silvia (a friend of Ed’s) and myself. On arrival, Toni (the maid) rewarded us with a tremendous banquet - duck soup, Russian salad, rice with vegetables, refresco de orchata {a rice-based drink} and roast duck. I never cease to be amazed at the resourcefulness of the people here! They live so poor, yet if you’re their friend, they’ll treat you like a king. I was so full I passed up supper.

Talk about rip-offs (if you care to)! Toni pays 13.5 Colones (over $5) per month for that so called lot, and will not own it ‘til she’s paid that amount for 10 years. Some S.O.B. is making a fortune from her and all the other poor folks who inhabit that “lotificación”. How utterly immoral! But that’s capitalism! And perhaps that’s why many people believe socialism is where the world is inevitably bound.

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