Up Ilamatepec

Volcán Ilamatepec, October 1, 2005.
Photo by José Roberto Lopez (Coatepeque Watershed Authority).

In El Salvador, this will really happen: Seeping earth. Bitter rainwater. A yellow-green pool turns coffee brown. Incandescent rocks as big as cars hurtle through the air. I had come to El Salvador to understand the world, and I had climbed Ilamatepec to understand El Salvador. But even standing so close to the steaming marrow of the earth, it is hard to know what one is seeing.