Árbol de Chanclas

Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. Scroll down for English translation!

Recientemente mis padres fueron en un viaje a las Islas Gran Caimán. Estoy empezando a pensar que mi madre es mucho como yo, (o mejor dicho que yo soy mucho como ella, porque llegó ella primero.)

Primero, descubrimos que las dos nos encanta tomar fotos de los perros callejeros.

Ahora mi madre me mostró fotos que sacó ella de un árbol cubierto de chanclas.

Bueno, no tengo una foto semejante en mi colección, pero sin duda yo hubiera tomado fotos si encontraba un árbol así en mis viajes.

(Gracias a mi madre por permitirme compartir sus fotos aquí! Si quieres saber la historia del árbol, visita UnCommonCaribbean.com.)


Recently my parents went on a trip to the Grand Cayman Islands. I’m beginning to think my mother is a lot like me, (or actually, that I’m much like her, since she came first.)

First, we discovered that we both love taking photos of street dogs.

Now my mother has showed me photos she took of a tree covered with flip-flops.

Well, I don’t have a similar photo in my collection, but certainly I would have taken photos if I had encountered a tree like that in my travels.

(Thanks to my mother for letting me share her photos here! If you want know the history of the tree, visit UnCommonCaribbean.com.)

I know a word in Spanish!

Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. Scroll down for English translation!

Image source: Robert Francis

Parados en la linea por reentrar a los Estados Unidos después de nuestra visita a El Salvador, una pareja gringa empezó a placticar con nosotros. Era una día largo y sentí rendida. Sólo quería recoger mi equipaje, ir por la casa, y dormirme pero esa pareja gringa estaban super felices, super despiertos, y super habladores. Por unos minutos nos contaron sobre su visita a Ecuador, y luego, empezaron a preguntarnos sobre nuestro viaje.

“¿Y son tus hijos?” me preguntó la mujer en inglés, indicando los niños.

“Sí, son nuestros hijos,” respondí.

“¿Y hablan español?” preguntó la mujer.

“Sí, son bilingües,” dije.

“¡Qué bien!” dijo ella, “Yo hablo un poco de español. Conozco las palabras más importantes, como ‘cerveza’,” me dijo, riendo.

“¡Yo conozco una palabra en español!” dijo mi hijo menor. “¡Borracho!”

La mujer me miraba con expectación pero no lo traduje.

Agradecidamente, eso fue el final de nuestra conversación.


Standing in line to reenter the U.S. after our visit to El Salvador, a gringa couple started chatting with us. It was a long day and I felt exhausted. I just wanted to retrieve my luggage, go home, and go to sleep but that gringa couple was super happy, super awake and super talkative. For a few minutes they told us about their visit to Ecuador, and then they began to ask about our trip.

“Are those your children?” the woman asked me in English, indicating the boys.

“Yes, these are our kids,” I answered.

“Do they speak Spanish?” she asked.

“Yes, they’re bilingual,” I said.

“That’s great!” she said, “I speak a little Spanish. I know the most important words, like cerveza, [beer],” she said, laughing.

“I know a word in Spanish!” said my youngest son. “Borracho!” [drunk!]

The woman looked at me expectantly but I didn’t translate.

Thankfully, that was the end of our conversation.

Resolutions + Perspective

I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions, but this year it became a time of self-examination and a clear starting point to make some changes. The changes I’ve made have been a long time coming – some once, (or many times), attempted and abandoned, others have been bouncing around in my head waiting for me to give them importance – still others have only come to me recently, as if they knew now was the moment I would welcome them.

I don’t like to call them “goals” or “resolutions” because I prefer to think I spend every day of my life stepping toward the self-actualized version of myself – Admittedly it’s a two steps adelante and one step atrás sort of thing.

Like many others, one of my “resolutions” (for want of a better word), is to take my health more seriously. I’m starting to feel my age and that – even more than wanting to look like a bikini chica in a Pitbull video, may be enough to scare me straight. My back hurts when I wake up. My knees ache when it rains. It’s too early to consider retiring to Miami so maybe, just maybe, I need to put down the Bubu Lubus.

When my dedication to working towards these “resolutions” wavers, (as it always does), I need to try to remember that my “problem” – my “struggle” – is only difficult from my perspective.

Think about this with me. Think about the ridiculousness of the challenges we face. Some common complaints:

• Food is too accessible and abundant. I can’t get away from the temptations.
• It’s too cold out so I can’t [leave the warmth of my house to] get some exercise.
• I’ve become bored with my workout. I don’t feel motivated.
• Food blogs tempt me with delicious photos of flan and burritos.

(Okay, that last complaint is mine.)

These are what you call “first world problems.” If you just shift your perspective, you may start to laugh at the once mountainous obstacles that seemed insurmountable.

This should shift your perspective. I took this photo in El Salvador – but what does it have to do with anything I’m talking about here? Let me explain.

While we were in El Salvador we went to visit family in Chalatenango. It was a long drive from San Salvador in an unairconditioned microbus. On the way back to the city, the traffic became thick. We shoved at the already open windows to let more air into the vehicle which now moved at a crawl. We fanned ourselves, watched beads of sweat roll down the sides of each others’ faces.

At some point, we came to a stop in front of a public well just off the highway. There I watched women and children washing laundry and scooping water over their heads – bathing fully-clothed with no privacy. I tried not to stare, didn’t want them to feel self-conscious, but Salvadorans are famous starers and I was probably the only one on the highway trying to watch without being obvious about it.

The laundry now heavy and wet, was put back into large plastic tubs, balanced on sturdy heads, and walked home, who knows how far, to be hung to dry.

…Something to remember next time taking a walk around my quiet suburban neighborhood seems too difficult.


Hola! Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments! For English Translation, scroll down!

Estabamos andando en el carro de nuestro amigo Lalo, por una calle de San Salvador.

“En esta area tienen que tener cuidado con los pedreros,” dijó Lalo desde el asiento del conductór.

“Son muy peligrosos,” agregó, levantando un dedo en advertencía.

“¿Pedreros?” dijé yo, desde el asiento tracero.

“Sí,” dijó Lalo, mirandome por el espejo retrovisor.

‘Pedreros’ era una palabra nueva para mí, entonces toqué el brazo de Carlos, que se encontraba en el asiento del pasajero en frente de mí.

“Qué es un pedrero?” pregunté en inglés.

“Pues, no sé,” dijó Carlos.

“Tal vez significa una persona que tira piedras,” supusé.

“Lalo,” Carlos preguntó, “¿Qué es exactamente un pedrero? Tiran piedras a los carros?”

Una pequeña sonrisa salío de su rostro y de una forma amable trató de no reír.

“Nooo,” dijó Lalo, “Los pedreros usan pipas por fumar roca de cocaína.”

De repente, entendí.

“Ahhhh!” dijé yo, “Pedreros son crackheads!”


We were riding around in our friend Lalo’s car on the streets of San Salvador.

“In this area you have to be careful with the pedreros,” said Lalo from the driver’s seat.

“They’re really dangerous,” he added, lifting a finger in warning.

“Pedredros?” I said from the backseat.

“Yes,” Lalo said, looking at me in the rear view mirror.

‘Pedreros’ was a new word for me, so I touched Carlos’s arm, as he sat in the passenger seat in front of me.

“What is a pedrero?” I asked in English.

“Um, I’m not sure,” Carlos said.

“Maybe it means someone who throws rocks,” I guessed.

“Lalo,” Carlos asked, “What exactly is a pedrero? Do they throw rocks at cars?”

A small smile appeared on Lalo’s face and he politely held back laughter.

“Nooo,” Lalo said, “Pedreros smoke cocaine rocks in pipes.”

Suddenly, I understood.

“Ahhh!” I said, “Pedreros are crackheads!”

El Salvador – The much awaited souvenirs

[Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. Apologies that there is no English translation this week. If you have a question about something, ask me in comments and I’ll try to answer you. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments!]


Fuimos a El Salvador en agosto, y claro que trajimos recuerdos!

Si no has visto los blog posts sobre recuerdos de otros años, chéquealos. Hay un montón de cosas chistosas que ya compartí anteriormente:

From El Salvador with Love
From El Salvador with Love (Part 2)
Souvenirs from El Salvador 2011

Okay! Los recuerdos de este viaje!

Un capirucho y un trompo

Un libro sobre tradiciones de El Salvador

Tic Tack (alcohol)

Un librito para enseñar a los niños cómo escribir en el estilo salvadoreño. (Pero creo que ya es muy tarde para ellos. Sus escrituras no son tan bonitas – es típica cómo la mayoría de varones en los Estados Unidos.)


juego de futbolito

Huaraches que no me quedan. Una mujer me obligó a comprarlos en el mercado. Me siento mal que los compré y que están en mi closet sin usarlos, cuando hay gente en El Salvador sin zapatos.


Pulsera de los santos. Compré dos de unas mujeres fuera de las ruinas de San Andres. Días después, tuve ganas de comprar más pero no las encontré. En una tienda en Metro Centro, pensé que encontré las mismas pulseras, pero al chequearlas más cerca, descubrí que no eran fotitos de los santos pegados a las cuentas – eran fotitos de Justin Bieber.

Me compré esto para colgar las llaves, pero al día siguiente, me encontré una que me gustó más.

Esta la tenemos en la pared cerca de la puerta principal de nuestra casa. Afortunadamente mi madre y vecinos que nos visitan no hablan español.

Este es un huevo de barro y tiene algo muy especial adentro.

Hollywood… El Salvador?

[Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. For the English translation, please scroll down. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments!]

Caminando en las calles de El Salvador, encontramos muchas cosas inesperadas. Por un lado, había hoyos tan grandes que pudieron comer totalmente a mi niño menor, (¡Ojo en una esquina cerca de Parque Libertad! Había un hoyo que se parecía a un pequeño Boquerón.)

Un hoyo suficiente profundo por meter la mitad de tu pierna. San Salvador.

Después de casi dar un paso en cosas asquerosas o peligrosas, formé el hábito de mirar por dónde caminaba. Un día cuándo fuimos caminando por el museo Tín Marín, yo estaba sorprendida por encontrarme a mis pies, unas estrellas como las que están en Hollywood.

Había sólo tres estrellas que estaban un poco descuidadas y sólo son para los atletas salvadoreños. Estaban en la acera en frente del Estadio de Mágico González.

Desde que regresamos a los Estados Unidos, han arreglado el estadio adentro. Ojalá que arreglan las estrellas, (aunque tienen cosas mil veces más importantes en que pueden usar el dinero ahorita.) También espero que un día deberian añadir estrellas para La Selecta de Playa.



Walking the streets of El Salvador, we came upon a lot of unexpected things. For one thing, there were holes big enough to completely eat up my little boy, (Look out on a corner near the Parque Libertad! There was a hole there that looked like a little version of the Boquerón.)

[The “Boquerón” is the nickname of San Salvador’s volcano crater.]

After almost stepping in disgusting and dangerous things, I formed the habit of watching where I walked. One day when we were walking to the Tín Marín museum, I was surprised to find my feet standing on stars like the ones that are in Hollywood.

There were only three stars that were a little uncared for, and they’re only for Salvadoran athletes. They were on the sidewalk outside Estadio Mágico González.

Since we’ve returned to the United States, they fixed up the stadium inside. Hopefully they’ll fix the stars, (although they have things that are a thousand times more important that they could use the money for right now.) I also hope that some day they add stars for the football players of La Selecta de Playa.

Muchas Gracias to my Blogalicious Sponsors!

This weekend I will be reporting from Blogalicious – a conference “aimed at celebrating the diversity of women of all ethnicities in social media.”

The conference is being held about 20 minutes from Washington, D.C. this year, so I knew I had to go. Despite its proximity, there are still expenses associated with going to a conference, so I’m thankful to the sponsors who stepped up to support Latinaish.com in attending Blogalicious 2011.

It’s especially awesome when those that offer to sponsor you are brands you’re proud to represent. Here’s a little bit about each of them.

Chí Chí & Flaco – is “a modern t-shirt line savoring the flavor of Latino and Hispanic culture in the United States.” (If you have Cuban roots, you’ll especially want to check them out.)

New Latina – is an online magazine, (which I’m very proud to contribute to), that celebrates and redefines Latina women while providing a supportive community.

Kellogg’s – Ya sabes! You probably have a box of their cereal in the cabinet right now. I do, except it’s empty. (Why do the kids do that?)

And look what I discovered while grocery shopping this week – Bilingual cereal boxes!

This is the Spanish side of the cereal box. "New Choco Zucaritas" ... the other side is in English and they're called "Frosted Flakes Chocolate."

When I saw the bilingual cereal boxes I was even happier that I agreed to the Kellogg’s sponsorship, but the truth is, Kellogg’s has had a long history with the Latino community.

I still remember when Carlos and I first married and he wanted me to buy “Cornfleis” at the grocery store. I had no clue what he was talking about until he put a box of “Corn Flakes” in our cart. I love that Carlos loves Corn Flakes because that used to be my grandfather’s favorite cereal. Seeing the classic box with the rooster on it in our cabinet gives me some good memories.

Of course, Carlos doesn’t eat it like my grandfather did. He heats up the milk in the bowl and eats it warm. (Is that a Latin American thing?)

Anyway, I’ll have more to share from Kellogg’s especially for la comunidad Latina later via Twitter and right here on Latinaish – so stay tuned! My last sponsor is:

Latina Bloggers Connect – LBC connects brands with Latina bloggers and is another website I’m super proud to contribute to. At Blogalicious I will be part of the #SprintConnects LBC team. Along with Ana Flores, Dariela Cruz, Chantilly Patiño and Rachel Matos, I’ll be sharing photos, updates and tweets from the conference all weekend on Twitter, Facebook and Latina Bloggers Connect. There will be a contest and prizes for those attending Blogalicious – so be sure to check that out!

Excited to reconnect with mis hermanas blogueras and meet new amigas as well. Ojalá we’ll learn and have fun all at the same time. See you there!

Disclosure: All companies mentioned above have sponsored my attendance at the 2011 Blogalicious Conference. This is not a sponsored post or paid advertisement. This blog post conforms to WordPress.com Terms of Service. All opinions are my own.