What else do you do for fun? They scuffed their shoes in the dirt, uncertain how to respond. So I told them what I did at their age: Played in my suburban neighborhood, or drove around town. Without your parents? Their parents only allowed them to leave the house for soccer or school. In El Salvador, a small country of some 6. In , Salvadoran minors were murdered—an average of 1.
Central America's rampant violence fuels an invisible refugee crisis
2. Raquel Cordova
El Salvador is a country brimming with such women, ones who grind away in an effort to achieve their dreams and life missions of propelling the fight for equality. In fact, you can find them on Instagram! In winter? A post shared by Lil Bat Simpson? Follow her on Instagram. A post shared by RaqC??
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The car was borrowed from a cousin. The commute was three-plus hours — and miles — each way on a Salvadoran freeway. Those five weeks last summer before Zuleika Soler was crowned Miss Universe El Salvador were an exhausting stretch of endless drives and pageant-related events. The Miss Universe pageant might seem like all glamour and tiaras, sashes and perfect smiles. But all that beauty and charm require sacrifice and dedication, especially for Soler — who actually hails from Union City. She is competing against 90 other delegates from around the world in the event, which is hosted by entertainer Steve Harvey.
I felt afraid as a woman there more than in any other country in Latin America. I realized I had entered hostile territory while chatting with the taxi driver who picked me up at the airport, the first Salvadoran man I met. He told me he had a baby, a little darling called J. Girls are indeed considered a problem in a country where women are raped and killed daily. In alone, women were killed , according to the Institute of Legal Medicine, the organization charged with identifying the dead and figuring out what killed them — one in every 5, women. But this number understates the extent of the slaughter. Only the bodies that are taken to morgues are counted, not those found dismembered in clandestine dumping grounds. Dead Salvadoran women are not considered a problem.