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Governor says surfing can connect California and El Salvador

April 9, 2019

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom sees surfing as a way to help El Salvador provide more economic opportunities for its people.

Newsom is in the Central American country and heard Tuesday from surfing business owners and investors. He also met with President-elect Nayib Bukele, who says he wants to join forces with California to promote the sport.

Newsom said California could provide expertise in marketing and branding to help El Salvador attract more tourists to surf areas. The U.S. government warns Americans against traveling to El Salvador but Newsom said tourist areas generally are safe for visitors.

Newsom returns to California on Wednesday after a four-day trip to learn more about what’s driving thousands of migrants to flee El Salvador for the United States. The country’s poverty and gang violence are the primary drivers.