AFTERHOURS Lands at 707sv in San Salvador for Round 2

By the Numbers

Houston’s diversity cannot be discussed without acknowledging the rich cultural contribution of our Salvadoran population. Per the US Census Bureau, 23.4% of Houston’s population is foreign born. Mexico accounts for a third of our total foreign born population with 591,302 residents. In second place among Central American countries is El Salvador with 135,071 foreign born residents living in Houston. (source)

As a point of reference, the City of Sugar Land’s population sits at 109,373 as of July 1st, 2021. (source) With a Salvadoran population size greater than one of our most important suburbs and a deep cultural contribution to our vibrant immigrant landscape, it would be foolish to ignore our Salvadoran neighbors, not just in Houston, but also a short 3 hour flight away.

More than Pupusas and Gangs

To many Houstonian’s, El Salvador is the birthplace of pupusa’s and dangerous gangs. Unfortunately this skewed media driven perspective is not even a fraction of the beauty El Salvador and its people offer.

In 2022 I’ve visited El Salvador 4 times and in 3 days I will be there for my 5th; here is what I’ve learned.

Sitting on the West Coast of Central America, El Salvador has more in common weather and landscape wise with California than your typical perception of a steamy, tropical Caribbean facing country. Later night sweater weather, rolling cliff’s coupled with picturesque views of infinite coast line are jaw dropping to say the least and in complete contrast with the vulgarity painted by our 6 o’clock news.

Some of the best sunset’s I’ve seen anywhere in the world have been along El Salvador’s coast. The country is obsessed with being eco-friendly featuring a new bike lane that nearly traverses the entire country from North to South. Scenic landscapes with mountains, lakes and lush greenery are easy to take in with the new road system that rivals any in the developed world.

Growing Electronic Music Scene

For many of our followers, Houston Cigar Life is synonymous with music as much as it is cigars. Mainly because great music is an excellent accompaniment to a great stogie session. During my second trip to El Salvador I toured just about every part of the country except the North West region. In this time I listened to the local radio stations and to my pleasant surprise, they have a station solely dedicated to electronic music.

They were playing tracks on the radio in the middle of the afternoon that we’d consider underground between commercial breaks. It was in that moment I decided to dive deeper into their electronic music scene.

Houston x El Salvador Cultural Bridge

I initially met a musician named Tamalito in El Tunco who introduced me to electronic music DJ and producer Gaby Nieto. We all discussed hosting an event in El Salvador similar to what we do in Houston.

Gaby suggested I speak to Reb Bautista who is a member of Octaconcept, an event curation collective based in San Salvador. Octaconcept operates 707sv, a live music venue in El Salvador’s capital city.

While speaking with Reb, it quickly dawned on me we had a common desire to share great music with as many people as possible. Building something Reb was already working on made little sense to me, so we decided to work together.

This friendship formed the cultural bridge between Houston’s and El Salvador’s electronic music scenes.

707sv Live Music Venue x AFTERHOURS

In the early years of Houston Cigar Life around 2015, I traveled to Monte Carlo in Monaco and experienced the perfect blend of cigar and electronic music culture. From that point forward, I’ve been committed to bringing the two together in Houston when and where possible.

The winding journey of my life from that trip in 2015 to today, lead me to start an AFTERHOURS in Houston solely dedicated to electronic music. To read more about how that came about, you can check out this post. (click)

While a few people enjoy cigars at AFTERHOURS, dancing and great music reign supreme. It is no different at 707sv where Reb and Octaconcept have curated an energy very similar to Houston’s AFTERHOURS.

Round 1 – AFTERHOURS in San Salvador September 2nd

4 DJ’s from Houston (Lonny, Josh Allen and Synth Kitty) including myself traveled to San Salvador to join Gaby Nieto and Paco Galdamez on the decks for an AFTERHOURS party filled with house, tech house and techno all night. The reception was amazing, everyone danced and the energy required no translation.

Two different cultures with total language barriers united over the common language of great music. Something this beautiful shouldn’t be a on off experience. It should become part of life’s fabric because the madness of this world needs more unity to heal, not less.

Round 2 – AFTERHOURS in San Salvador September 30th

Synth Kitty and I return to 707sv on September 30th. This time we will be joined by Reb Bautista on the decks along with Gaby Nieto and Mario Aguilar.

Last time, we had to end the party at 3 am due to an event Octaconcept was hosting the following day. This time we will be able to offer the true AFTERHOURS experience by keeping the party going until the sun comes up or the last person taps out.