SUCHITOTO, El Salvador- I cannot say that I have ever wondered about where my family’s old cars went after junking them in the USA. More than likely, they remained as junk and were picked clean of parts like a corpse before a gang of vultures. Though there is a reasonable chance that the cars you think are near death in the USA actually end up on the streets of another country — fixed up, moving, reborn. The motorways of El Salvador are full of vehicles that were driven to ruin in the USA, peddled away for a penance, and then shipped south to be restored and resold.
The resale value for old automobiles in El Salvador is significantly higher than in the USA, so many old junkers are shipped here and sold for a profit. The evidence for this is plentiful: this country is full of cars and trucks that look like they should be in a junk yard, but they are flying at you in the streets at 60 MPH.
Standing on the highway in El Salvador is like watching a mob of zombies descend upon a village — the cars are so old and beat up that they look as if they should not be running anymore, let alone being driven on a road. El Salvador is where automobiles come for a shot at a new life — when they die an honest death in the USA they are sometimes resurrected here.
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