Month #6: ¿Dónde están todas las pupusas?


Ahhhhh, pupusas.  They’re one of the many reasons I’ve wanted to visit El Salvador.  My first taste of this delectable Salvadorean delight was in Panajachel in Guatemala and my second was at an El Salvadorean restaurant in Washington, DC with Ellen and Adam when the clowns were visiting.  That was a long time ago.  Like 5 or 6 years.  I’ve been lazily looking for them around NYC, I mean not as hard as I could, I’m sure I can find them somewhere, but I figured why not just go get some in El Salvador?

Not really sure what these things were, but they had chorizo and crema and aguacate and they were called “Montaditos” on the menu. Yum.

So here I am, on a week-long pupusa quest.  I had no luck my first day in San Salvador.  I walked around for about an hour in Zona Rosa, looking for a pupuseria or just someone selling them on the street, but nada, so I settled for some montaditos and a delicious traditional seafood soup at Acahutla instead. Yum.

Since I’m working most of the week here, I wanted to get out of San Salvador for a day to see some other little towns.  On my way in from the airport I saw a sign on the road pointing the way to “La Ruta de las Flores“, the Flower Route, and asked my super friendly cab driver what that was and could I just go on it myself. It is official…I speak my very best Spanish with cab drivers, hands down.  He immediately told me no, it’s too far, too dangerous to go by yourself, don’t take the bus, don’t go out at night by yourself, don’t don’t don’t don’t…

This was a delicious soup with lobster, crab, fish chunks and shrimp in a creamy broth.

 

Well, he was half right, it was far and I wouldn’t get much ground covered by bus in a day so I looked to see if I could find a tour so I didn’t have to think about buses on a Sunday.  But I feel super safe and comfortable here, and would have loved to bus it around those those towns, even though my cab driver was genuinely worried.   Everyone is just so friendly and helpful and plain old sweet, I wish I had more time to really explore.

Anyway, I found a super cool tour operator called EC Tours El Salvador, that did a very last minute Ruta de las Flores.  The route goes through colonial coffee towns in western El Salvador and seemed really interesting.  We started WhatsApp-ing late Saturday afternoon and in between my pupusa hunting his father’s day fiesta we managed to organize a plan. Run by owner Edwin Carrillo, a native Salvadorean who started this business three years ago by giving free walking tours to his Airbnb guests, the company is growing quickly in El Salvador and he has already expanded to Nicaragua.  He’s such a great ambassador for El Salvador, is so warm and friendly and really truly enjoys sharing the beauty of his country with visitors.  I love his hashtag, #DontSkipElSalvador and he’s right, don’t skip El Salvador!

Edwin picked me up at the hotel early Sunday and off we went.  It’s mighty rainy here right now and even though Saturday was mostly dry, Sunday was another story altogether, but that didn’t stop us from having an interesting, fun, eventful, educational day.

La Ruta de las Flores en fotos con cuentas pequeñas…

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