Monday, November 23, 2015

Juayua, El Salvador: Food for Thought

Juayua, El Salvador is on La Ruta de las Flores. Its known for it's food festival that is held every, single weekend. Seeing as our priorities and Juayua's are pretty much insync, food being constantly at the forefront of both our minds, we knew before we even settled in that we were going to love Juayua. Throw in an amazing hostel, a 6 week old kitten, and some hiking and we were ready to make a commitment. Well, the kitten didn't do much for Jonathan- and despite the fact that I was the one chasing Lucky(the kitten) around trying to give him all my love, Lucky constantly chose to cuddle up with him every night. Anyways, I'm pretty sure I was Lucky's second favourite out of the two of us, at least.

Unfortunately, bad timing made it so we weren't even in Juayua over a weekend food extravaganza. And yet, still food was one of the main highlights of the four nights we spent there. Pupusas being the star of our personal food tour. Esmeralda's Pupuseria made a plate sized pupusa called "Pupusa Loco" which had pretty much every ingredient that  goes into pupusas. Well, it had beans, cheese, squash, la rocca, spinach, pork AND chicken.

Juayua is a charming, walkable town with bright all murals and super friendly people. In fact, I don't
think we've ever encountered such a welcoming town. Walking past people on the street we were always greeted with a smile and a hello. Without fail. Sometimes even the tip of a hat! People seemed genuinely happy to have tourists in their town. We met a El Salvador native who fled to the USA during the war at a pupusaria one night who shed some light on the situation for us. 1 The people were just super friendly in general, but 2. El Salvador gets a really bad rap, particularly in the US media and it scares most foreigners off. While everyone we met (who spoke English) are quick to say, that yes, of course if you were wandering around the outskirts of San Salvador (the Capital) looking for trouble, you'd be pretty quick to find it, but otherwise El Salvador is no more dangerous than it's Central American neighbours. The townspeople are happy that maybe, just maybe, the image of their beloved country is beginning to improve and tourists are starting to come back and visit. Salvadoreans are a proud people and would, it seems, love to share their country's beauty (and amazing food) with the world, if we'll only let them. I know we'll be back!

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