It was almost looking impossible to get to Juayúa (spoiler alert, I am here) because there was absolutely no public transportation going to the area. But by pure luck I spoke with a foreigner yesterday who said I could join her and a friend in their arranged ride to Santa Ana (a private car owner who, like many Salvadorans in this time of transportation need, want the extra money). It took almost two hours to arrive, but it only cost me 15$. My hotel owner called a friend in Santa Ana yesterday and determined that the buses are running like normal (they are mostly affected in the region of San Salvador because that is there most of the gang issues are).
The next bus to Juayúa wasn't for two hours and so I asked a hotel to watch my bags and I did a quick walking tour of the city,
The above church is Iglesia Carmen (fue cerrada).
Then I walked to Catedral de Santa Ana (the largest and most ostentatious church in Santa Ana). The original church was built in this location in 1576 but was partially burned when it was struck my lightening in the 1800s. It has obviously been rebuilt since then.
Then I went to Iglesia Calvario. It was constructed in 1885 but collapsed in 2001 due to an earthquake, and has obviously been rebuilt as well.
The outside and inside of Calvario is simpler, and much more fitting of the area.
When I was walking to the bus station I happened upon this building. Luckily there were some policia nacional civil (following me) around so I could find out what it was. Thirty years ago it used to be a university (it looks more abandoned than that but who am I to argue with armed police).
The entrance was closed but this is what my camera captured.
I was happy to explore Santa Ana, but I was even more happy to leave. Santa Ana was not for me. It is hot and dirty and wasn't "full of beautiful crumbling buildings, tree-lined streets, and low multicolored house fronts that open up into exquisite Old World homes and flourishing gardens" as my guidebook described. If I were to edit the book I would replace that with "full of homes in need of repair, littered streets, and low income houses, with infrequent exquisite highlights".
Just a little over an hour, and 80 (ochenta) centavos later I was looking at Iglesia Santa Lucia in Juayúa. The church was built in 1956, but the black Christ statue on the altar is more than 450 years old. It was brought by Dominican priests trying to escape a malaria outbreak in Guatemala. It was used to convert the indigenous Pipiles to Christianity.
El parque central in front of the church is one of the prettiest I have seen.
Pedí un café. Juayúa is known for its coffee and coffee knowledge. Until this moment I have never been asked if I wanted a French press or an Italian press.
I like Juayúa; unlike Santa Ana this city is definitely full of beautiful crumbling buildings, and tree-lined streets...
My day ended with pupusas in the most popular pupuseria in town, at Pupuseria Dona Cony. I got ayote (squash), frijol y queso.
It is so hard to buy anything else for dinner when you can get amazing pupusas and a beer for less than 2.50$.