Trudeau was in Chile, El Salvador and Costa Rica meeting with leaders of all three countries. He was met with considerable applause when he spoke to the Western Hemisphere Spring Summit and later with President Don Matthe.
He made a brief visit to Sir Edmund Hillary’s home in northern Costa Rica before heading to Santiago. There he met President Lenin Moreno and toured the Santiago train system, an “example of sustainable transportation.
“People ask me about El Salvador. When I came to El Salvador in 2014, the rains hit, and we had three days of flooding,” Trudeau said. “But now, El Salvador has the world’s lowest poverty rate, because El Salvador is really, truly embracing decentralization. And thanks to decentralization, the private sector has come on board, and the economy is growing.”
In Guatemala, he noted, the government has banned hand-held coca, but said he has encouraged greater investment in the agricultural sector.
“I’ve encouraged President Jimmy Morales, and I’ve encouraged the other regional countries,” Trudeau said. “We have much to do together, but I’ve been encouraged by what I’ve seen so far.”