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.
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.
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.