Welcome world

ByLuis Gregorio Trejo

Welcome world

It’s my first article

ByLuis Gregorio Trejo

Hello world!

This is my first website.

Bywebmaster

El Salvador

El Salvador

A little country with a big impression!

My first traveling  experience in El Salvador was in October of 2015 when I attended the El Salvador Travel Mart in San Salvador. As a  travel specialist in Latin America, I am quite familiar with Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala so I felt this trip was a  great opportunity to broaden my knowledge of Latin America by visiting and connecting with tourism partners in El Salvador.

To be truthful, I had very little knowledge of what El Salvador was all about. All I had ever known was that it was a country that was victimized by a long standing civil war in the 1980’s as well as it’s reputation for having significant omnipresent gang violence. That being said, knowing it’s location between Nicaragua and Honduras, I knew that the geography of the country had to be beautiful because everywhere I’ve been in Central America has impressed me. What I needed to experience for myself was the “vibe” that El Salvador put off to me. I needed to meet its people, walk it’s streets, eat it’s food and sleep in its hotels for me to feel secure enough to send clients to this country that has had such a tarnished reputation over the years.

During my stay in El Salvador the first time, I was fortunate to travel throughout the country and visit some of it’s highlighted tourist routes and towns. We traveled to some quaint colonial towns such as Ataco, Suchitoto, Apaneca as well as the iconic beach town of El Tunco experiencing what tourists ( as we were) would experience on their future trips to El Salvador.

What struck me most of my travels through El Salvador was this:

  1. It’s people. Never in my life have I met people so gracious and excited to not only meet me but to engage with me. Granted I speak Spanish so it was a bit easier to communicate, but from truck loads of people going to church to a passersby on the street, every single person looked me in the eye and greeted me with a warm smile. There was never a feeling of “us” versus “them” ~ it was more of a communal and welcoming connectedness.
  2. The scenery. 7 volcanoes make El Salvador it’s home as well as many mountain ranges creating an incredibly impressive backdrop to rolling countrysides, it’s metropolis of San Salvador and all of the towns around El Salvador. There is no where you go in El Salvador that doesn’t offer you a breathtaking and inspiring view. I can’t talk about the scenery without talking about it’s coastline. El Salvador is a surfer’s paradise with it’s multiple hot spots for surfing, including Punta Roca in La Libertad, El Tunco, El Sunzal as well as Las Flores. The beaches in El Salvador range from  black volcanic sand beaches to rocky cove like beaches to long stretches of what seem like untouched territory. Warm ocean waters, beautiful sunsets and diverse beach settings left me wanting to stay for much longer than I was able to!
  3. The food. Pupusas specifically. I became aware of Pupusas here in United States as a client of mine from El Salvador would make them for me when I would visit her. Upon getting pregnant with my second son, Pupusa’s were a mainstay in my pregnancy diet. Pupusas are like cornmeal pancakes stuffed with cheese, pork, beans and a variety of other tasty things and then fried and served with “curtido” which is a cabbage slaw soaked in vinegar. Pupusas in El Salvador are VERY affordable, three for a $1.00 in most places. I was in heaven. Also to mention,  El Salvador sits on the coast so seafood is plentiful and delicious anywhere you go.
  4. It’s culture. When I speak of culture, I am referring to the general cultural of its people, their way of being and doing life, not specifying its Mayan heritage or other religious backgrounds, which is equally as important,  but it’s general cultural vibe as a country .Given the fact that El Salvador and it’s people had to weather the storm of a horrific civil war in the 1980’s, a myriad of earthquakes, and a number of other political and social issues that could have easily swallowed up the country, the people of El Salvador are as strong and as steadfast as ever. The sentiment among most people in El Salvador is that they will persevere, no matter what and that they love their country, their neighbors, their family and anyone else who is interested in knowing their their little slice of heaven.

El Salvador impressed me with it’s every corner of it’s being. The quaint colonial towns with cobblestone streets, lined with brightly painted murals and smelling of fresh baked bread and coffee entices anyone and everyone who visits to sit down, have a cup of coffee and just breath it all in enjoying the quiet simpleness that is colonial El Salvador.

I knew upon leaving El Salvador the first time that it would not be my first nor my last visit and that I would return to this little country that stole my heart and inspired my very own being. So, this past November, I returned back to El Salvador. This time, I set my sights on relaxing at the beach for a couple of days and trying  my hand at surfing again. I planted myself at the AST hotel in La Libertad where I spent three days staring into waves crashing against the rocky shore line, surfing, and meandering the streets with fellow hotel guests who were new to El Salvador. I spent a great deal of time just existing in El Salvador and embracing the vibe of everyday life.

Since I had been to El Salvador before, I was familiar with the vibe of the country (which I loved!) but as a travel agent, I was incredibly curious to pick the brains of fellow travelers new to El Salvador. As I spoke to a group of men varying in ages from 33-57 who came to surf, I asked them what they thought of their experience thus far. Their response elicited nothing less than pure smiles and rave reviews of “how nice the people are” and how rustically simple everything is yet how it feels so “peaceful”. Time and time again, the people I met with who were traveling throughout El Salvador for the first time said the same thing, “ I love it here, I don’t want to go home.” I think those declarations speak for themselves.

As an owner of a travel agency, Viva la Vida Travel, I am always on the lookout for great new experiences and destinations that will give travelers an experience of a lifetime, one that not only offers the rewards of beautiful hotels, scenery and food but one that offers clients  the opportunity to grow emotionally and spiritually through culturally immersive experiences. El Salvador offers all of that and then some. So, to the traveler wanting more out of their next vacation, I definitely encourage them to explore El Salvador. As has been proven by myself, you can’t go to El Salvador just once in your life because it will continue to call you back long after you’ve left.

 

Viva la Vida Travel

Carmen Schaffer

Bywebmaster

Receta de Arroz con Leche

Rice Pudding
Ingredients:
• 1 cup of rice
• 2 ¼ cups milk
• ½ cup thick whipped cream
• 1 tablespoon vanilla
• 3 ½ tablespoons sugar
• 1 cup chopped sweetened fruit
• Zest of ½ diced orange

Procedure:
Cook the rice for 3 minutes in boiling water. Drain and rinse in cold water. Boil the milk, cream, vanilla and sugar. Add the rice, and reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until the milk and cream has been absorbed. Let it cool, then mix it with the fruit. If you want decorate with raisins.


Arroz con Leche
Ingredientes:
• 1 Taza de arroz
• 2 ¼ Tazas de leche
• ½ Taza de crema espesa batida
• 1 Cucharada de vainilla
• 3 ½ Cucharadas de azúcar
• 1 Taza de frutas confitadas picaditas
• Cáscara de ½ naranja picada en cuadritos
Procedimiento:
Cocine el arroz por 3 minutos en agua hirviendo. Escúrralo y enjuáguelo en agua fría. Hierva la leche, la crema, la vainilla y el azúcar. Añada el arroz, reduciendo el calor, tape y cocine por 25 minutos o hasta que la leche y la crema se hayan absorbido. Enfríelo y después mézclelo con las frutas. Si desea decórelo con pasas.

Bywebmaster

Receta de Chilate

Chilate con Nuégados de Yuca, Egg Buñuelos and Syrup
Chilate:
Ingredients (6 servings):
• 1 pound of corn
• pepper (to taste)
• Anise and ginger (to taste)
• Ash

Procedure:
• One day before preparation leave the corn with the water and the ashes. The next day cook it in a skillet, at low heat for five minutes.

• Wash the corn, add diced ginger to the mixture and grind. Make a dough by adding boiled water with anise and pepper. If necessary put more water and strain the mixture using a fine piece of cloth.
• Cook and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking.
• Aloud to boilfor a few minutes and then enjoy any type of candy of your choice.


 

Chilate
Ingredientes: (para unas 6 personas)
• 1 Libra de maíz
• Pimienta gorda (al gusto)
• Anís y jengibre (al gusto)
• Ceniza
Procedimiento:

1. Desde un día antes deje el maíz en agua con ceniza. Al día siguiente póngalo a dorar en un comal a fuego lento, por espacio de cinco minutos para evitar que se queme o quede crudo.
2. Luego lave el maíz, agregue el jengibre cortado en trocitos, para que la masa adquiera el sabor del mismo, y muélalo. A la masa obtenida agregue el agua que se ha hervido con el anís y la pimienta. Si es necesario ponga más agua y cuele la mezcla en una manta de tela delgada.
3. Póngalo al fuego y mientras se cose menee con una paleta de madera o con un cucharón para que no se pegue. Más o menos a los 15 minutos comienza a hervir, se deja unos minutos más y luego se disfruta con cualquier tipo de dulce de su predilección

Bywebmaster

Receta de Jocotes en miel

Jocotes in Panela Sugar Syrup
Ingredients:
• 1 pound of jocotes (American tropical fruit)
• 1 ½ cup water
• ½ Atado de dulce de panela (this is a hardened natural, unprocessed cane-sugar candy)
• 2 cinnamon sticks

Procedure:
Poke the jocotes with a toothpick or fork if they are not ripe. Then place them in a pot with all the ingredients and simmer over low heat, moving slowly with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking in the pan.
Do this process approximately for two hours or as long as is necessary to reach the desired point consistency.
The longer its on the pan they softer and sweeter they will be. Remember: remove the cinnamon sticks after cooking so there will be no remaining bits when you serve the portions.


Jocotes en Miel
Ingredientes:
• 25 Jocotes
• 2 ½ litros de agua
• 1 dulce de atado (panela) ó 1 libra de azúcar
• Canela al gusto
• 2/3 taza de ceniza

Procedimiento:
Prepare una mezcla de agua para agregar la ceniza. Posteriormente hervirla. Cuando el agua rompa el hervor agregue los jocotes.
Una vez vea que los jocotes se han agrietado sáquelos del agua y quíteles la cáscara con la mano. Cuando los haya pelado corte en cruz sin quitar la semilla y resérvelos para próximo paso.
En otra olla ponga a hervir a fuego lento el agua con el dulce de atado y la canela. Agregue los jocotes ya pelados y déjelos cocinar durante una hora.
Revise si la miel ya está conservada. Sino déjela hasta conservar. La ceniza permite pelar mejor los jocotes, que éstos no pierdan su textura ni su tamaño.
Recomendación: Seleccionar jocotes de tipo ácido (en Semana Santa). También puede hacerse del tipo dulce de invierno (de junio hasta agosto). No se recomienda hacerlo del de corona (de agosto a septiembre).

Bywebmaster

Receta de Leche Poleada

leche poleada

Ingredients:
• 2 ½ cups milk
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 1 piece of lemon peel
• ¼ teaspoon of salt
• 3 tablespoons cornstarch
• ½ cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon of vanilla

Procedure:
Boil 2 cups of milk with cinnamon, lemon peel and salt. In the remaining milk dissolve the cornstarch and then add the hot milk and sugar. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until it thickens. Add vanilla and pour the mixture into a bowl, sprinkle with cinnamon.

Variations:
– With fruit: add half cup of fruit and raisins before serving.
– Alaska: After it has cooled, cover with meringue and place in the oven until the meringue is browned.
– “ironed”: After it has cooled sprinkle with sugar and put it in the oven “broil” until its golden.


Leche Poleada
Ingredientes (para 4 personas):
1 caja de maicena de 50 gramos
1 litro de leche
3 yemas de huevo (sin clara)
1 raja de canela o en polvo
1 taza de azúcar o al gusto
1 cucharada de esencia de vainilla
Procedimiento:
Licue la leche, azúcar, yemas y maicena. Ponga la mezcla en un recipiente hondo a fuego suave, mueva constantemente con cuchara de madera o plástica hasta que hierva y espese.
Luego retire del fuego y deje enfriar.
La canela y la vainilla se agregan durante el proceso de cocción.
Si la canela es en polvo, se espolvorea sobre la poleada al momento de servir. Momento en que puede agregarle, al gusto, todo tipo de semillas de su preferencia y algunas pasas.
Si gusta puede acompañar esta mezcla con plátanos fritos.

Bywebmaster

Receta de Nuegados de Yuca

Yucca Nuegados
Ingredients:
• 4 medium yucca
• 1/2 liter of water
• 4 eggs
• 1 dulce de panela
• Salt to taste
• Plenty of butter or oil for deep frying

Procedure:
Cook the yucca with salted water until its tender, let it cool and grind. Add salt and eggs to form dough Mix well and make small golf sized balls and deep fry.


Nuégados de yuca
Ingredientes:

• 4 yucas medianas
• 1/2 litro de agua
• 4 huevos
• 1 atado de dulce de panela
• Sal al gusto
• Suficiente manteca o aceite para fritura profunda
Procedimiento:

Cocine la yuca con agua y sal hasta que ablande, déjela enfriar y muélala. A la masa que obtenga agregue la sal y los huevos.Mezcle bien y tome pequeñas porciones en forma de bolas y las fríe en suficiente manteca o aceite.