Lucha Libre and Traffic in El Centro

Ready to Rumble

Lucha Libre in El Salvador!

I am a huge fan of craziness so as you might expect I could not stay away from Salvadoran Lucha Libre forever. The sheer madness of it, the theatricality, the outlandish characters, make it something that everyone should attend at least once.

Not in Las Vegas.  But in a downtown parking garage in front of two burned out cars. This arena is what my sons would describe as “legit”.

Arena Gladiadores is located in El Centro, across from Parque San Jose. This is near 1A Calle Oriente and 8a Avenida Norte. We took Juan Pablo 2, made a right on 8a Ave, and a right on 1a Calle. This puts you in front of the park, where you can see the centro commerical San Jose on the right across from the park.

More claustrphobic careful people would not feel comfortable in the traffic in the Centro, but we did. Traffic is challenging, and parking as difficult. I recommend a taxi if you have the money, or going a little early to find a place to park. That said we will go again, and we will probably drive, and everything will be fine.

Know that for the numbered streets, they count down the odd numbers, and then up the even numbers. If you turn where you think 8th is based on where 9th is, you will end up driving through the market stands at the pace of the grandma walking in front of you. Wait until you actually see 8a.

Another helpful hint is that the signage for the garage is not very visible by gringo standards. In retrospect I should have seen it by my 6th pass by. Once you find the park, you will see a well lit commercial center with loud music and lots of food establishments. This is the building under which the fight will take place.

You sir, are shorter than I!

Once you are in, you will be glad you went through the aggrivation of getting there. If you have one living cell in your enthusiasm column you will enjoy this. By the time we left I wanted to BE a Luchadora.

The fact that you are in a parking garage makes it better. The imperfections in the costumes and in physiques of some of the players only make it a truer metaphor for the life you wont admit you wish you lived.

Lucha Libre

No joke, I had an absolute blast, and so did my daughter. I was a little worried at first. The first group up was not as full blown awesome hilarious as I require for the amount of trouble parking. But it turned out they were just getting warmed up. My pictures and video do not give these guys justice. Sure, some of them are sporting a spare tire, but they are a whole lot more athletic than they look at first, and I was impressed seeing these guys jump up and grab their opponet by the neck….with their feet.

These guys fly through the air, smash into the ground and attack each other in the audience without checking to see if you thought to move out of the way. Its awesome! My daughter got hit twice….and loved every minute!


The shows are $2.00 per ticket, and they start at 5:30, almost every Sunday. Check the Schedule with Arena Gladiadores. This coming week the 9th they will be rocking their usual Arena, but the 16th they will out of town, invading Quetzaltepeque. On the 23rd, and 25th they will spreading the Christmas Fear!!! What better way to let Santa know you are nice. At least nicer then these guys! If you have kids between 5 and 12 they will LOVE it. There are even some kids that are starting to sport moves of their own.

So come on down the Centro and smell what Bondy, El Vagabond, El Recyclador and Olympico are cooking. It´s salty, and you will like it more than you want to admit. Seriously.


posing with luchador

I got a pic with Bondy. Apparently he is a Rudo…that means he is evil. I love how Lucha breaks it down like that. LIfe should be this easy




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About Nanelle

Nanelle is a 43 year old former Ballet Dancer and Police Officer. Join her on their move to El Salvador, Living life in El Salvador as an American expat woman and loving it.

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9 Responses to “Lucha Libre and Traffic in El Centro”

  1. Kelli Says:

    Smiles! I love those guys! :)

  2. Mike Says:

    Always enjoy your postings, Nanelle. You should try the cockfights sometime unless you're sensitive about killing chickens.

    • Andy Newbom Says:

      Yes, you got me, I dont mind kililng a chicken to eat, and can do that pretty easily, but I cannot watch cockfights or dogfights. I LOVE MMA even when it gets rough, and Lucha Libre which is not intentionally harmful, so its not a violence issue. Its a choice issue. Humans do it by choice and enjoy it, and get paid (well….some of them do!). But the USC fighting gamecocks are a great football team!!

  3. adolfo hitler reyes Says:

    you should go to see the national soccer league final this weekend. san salvador’s own alianza team against metapan for the championship title at cuscatlan stadium. it promises to be a good match because they’re the best teams right now. i think that one cannot truly experience el salvador until one lives through the soccer games that take place there, if you are a national team fan you know what i’m talking about.

  4. m & b Says:

    Hola…..Can you explain what a temporary residemce permit is and how to get one? We'll be on ES next month and are interested in residency. thanx…..michael & bailey………

    • Andy Newbom Says:

      Only kind of. I can explain to you, how to NOT get one…hahaha…. (just a frustrated joke, its not that bad). there is no true temporary per se (someone just told be last week..cause I thought I had a temporary, but it is in fact probationary i guess? its all a matter of wording I suppose. The best way to succeed is to find a good immagration lawyer, since mistakes are easy to make. There are certain categaroies of people may get residency. here are some examples…rentista (retired….must show proof of income from a pension), inversionista (must provide proof of providing the equivalent of 4,000 minimum wage jobs….thats right…4,000 minimum wage jobs…or ONE realy realy good job or 2,000 kinda sucky jobs, or 1,000 decent jobs. Thats right..a very high threshold) Work contract (must provide a contract for a local job that you can PROVE you are uniquely more qualified for than a Salvadoran. Like teaching conversational english, or some other specialized field) Married to a citizen (not always a quick route….due to paperwork demands that occasionally surprise people. I know five women married to locals each of whom seperately spent more than three years trying to get it right, two of whom have children born here)

      The best advice I can give is to relax, and roll with it, stay calm and pleasant. If you think they are seriously fucking with you, know that they are,and dont worry about it, let it go, and head back to the lawyers office to correct a five page notarized document over the placement of one comma. Just do it. If your lawyer and you have both studied the law and think you are right and the clerk is wrong, dont bring it up, or ask for a supervisor. No good can come of it. Just get what he asks.

      OH…and get every paper you ever touched notarized AND apostille. get two copies if possible. For private documents which technically cannot be apostile immigracion will not accept them without the apostile, SO get them notarized and then apostile the notary stamp. Not kidding. it is required that you (more or less) lie. Examples of such documents inlude bank documents, letters of recommendation, work contracts generated outside the country, stuff like that. Some notaries will argue about the purpose of apostile. dont worry about it, they are right, but technically you can apostile a notary stamp, and immigration workers here have acknowledged the apparent idiocy and flatly told me that "Whatever bitch….I still wont take anything without apostille, and its lunchtime. see you next week."

      It becomes a game, but the nice thing is, there are no cops hunting you down, just keep going back, and try to get some form of document or letter, or signed list of things you need every time you go, and keep renewing your tourist visa to show you are totally working on it. eventually they will run out of things to ask you for and tell you to just wait while they think about it. I havebeen waiting for 7 months for my 2012 renewal. every time i go in, they tell me that I have met all their requirements and they are simpy backlogged and are awaiting approval. From whom i dont know. All I can do is hold up my end of the deal and check back regularly.I have 3 more months before the 2012 application expires, at which point the process restarts… hahaha. Im running around with my 2011 residence card, and immigration knows this, and still cannot produce a new one, though 2013 is almost upon us, and they see no problems with my application.

      So you see…. even good advice. OH…. and dont actually try to bribe people. Just dont. Many people have advised me to, and i have resisted. many people will advise you to fo this as well. Lack of this fee may be the reason my application sits on the desk (though nobody has ever asked me for a bribe) but it is certainly NOT worth getting arrested here. My application will continue to sit on the desk if a well placed bribe is the only way forward.

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  7. Bolo Says:

    I lol'd watching the vids you posted :D thanks!

    Looks like a blast…been meaning to check out some lucha libre.

    Hope they sell beer!