By: Hugh C. Talley
We were ask to write a report on living in Cara Sucia and El Salvador in general for another blog site, so we wanted to share this with our followers and readers.
Cost of living in and around Cara Sucia, El Salvador
My name is Hugh Talley, my wife Elizabeth and I retired here in 2011. Elizabeth is from El Salvador but spent many years in the United States. We started visiting El Salvador in 2004, Elizabeth and I would come for 2-3 week visits a couple of times a year. We decided this is where we wanted to retire, I like the warm weather and the beach, Elizabeth’s family is here so it works for us. I spent 14 years in the U.S. Army and traveled the world, when I got out of the Army; I still managed to travel to many countries. I love to travel so it was very easy for me to relocate to El Salvador even though I still have problems with speaking Spanish, but Elizabeth and many friends help get me through that.
I stay busy with writing, I have two blog sites, our home site that I started in 2012 (lifeofagringoexpatinelsalvador.com), which we use to tell about our life, travels and adventures around El Salvador and our travel site that we just launched in January (paradisetravelelsalvador.com) that we set up to help people that are interested in visiting or relocating to El Salvador.
The procedures for a U.S. citizen to move here is not very hard if they are married to a Salvadoran but it is more complicated if they are not, like I said Elizabeth is Salvadoran, so it was not to difficult for me, I received my temporary resident card in about 4 months and I was approved and received my permanent resident card in 2012, which is good for 5 years, at that time I can renew it or apply for citizenship here. I did use a lawyer and I paid about $1200.00 for the service.
Elizabeth and I decided to live in Cara Sucia because this is where her family live. Cara Sucia is close to the beach and the mountains, it is about 2 hours from San Salvador, so it works for us. Cara Sucia is much cheaper then San Salvador to rent or build a home, you can find places to rent for $80.00 – up depending on what you want, you can build a nice American style home, appx. 3000 sq.ft. for under $80,000.00, this is all concrete and brick, no sheet rock; cost in the states would be about $600,000+. This is not counting the cost of the land. Where we live we have our own well so there is no water cost. Electric is about 0.21 KWh. If you have a large home with air condition and live American style, you will pay $150.00 to $225.00 per month. Gas for cooking is about $10.00 per tank. Gas for your car is $2.57 per gallon right now but as you know this goes with the world market and it usually cost a little more here than in the States.
The cost of food here averages out close to the cost in the states, your fresh fruits and vegetables are much cheaper here if you buy them at the open market. American food products cost about the same as in the states and you have to go to stores like Super Selectos, Wal-Mart or PriceSmart (a store like Sam’s Club) to get them. We usually go to San Salvador to Wal-Mart and PriceSmart once a month and buy the rest local, our food bill usually is around $400.00 a month.
Eating out here is about the same as in the U.S., fast food places like Wendy’s, Burger king and Pizza Hut is just about the same menu and price as the states, if you go to a really nice restaurant for a steak dinner it will cost you about $50.00 – $60.00 for two people. You can go to the local beach and have a nice fish dinner for about $8.00. There are a lot of nice eating places here from the local foods up to the fine dining.
There are many things to do and see here in El Salvador, we have some of the best beaches in the world, there is swimming, surfing, fishing and sailing to name a few. If you like history, there are museums, pyramids and many ruins to see. There is the Route of the Flowers which take you up into the mountains from Sonsonate, through villages specializing in arts and crafts. There are so many things to do and see in El Salvador that it is hard to name them all.
We love El Salvador and plan on staying here indefinitely, I miss some of our family that is in the U.S. but I do not miss the states that much.
We hope this helps people to understand El Salvador and we hope they will come for a visit and see this beautiful country and what it has to offer. Please contact us if you need assistance with tours, finding a nice hotel or any other details you may need help with for your visit, our prices are very reasonable and we want your visit to El Salvador to be a great one. We have attached some pictures of our home and our travels around El Salvador.