Souvenirs from El Salvador 2011

It’s that time again! Suegra has been back for quite awhile now but I’m just now getting a chance to blog about all the things she brought. Besides my super chévere typewriter, queso, frijoles and T-shirts, we received many other gifts – and this isn’t even all of them. She has a fully packed suitcase back in El Salvador which she wasn’t able to bring. A visiting Tía will hopefully deliver it to us soon.

Not pictured below is a special chile spice and achiote which I asked her to buy. Apparently TACA confiscated those from her carry-on luggage. Suegra put up a fight, but it was useless – they wouldn’t allow it, (maybe it looks like powdered explosives?) … I pouted about this and the suitcase full of stuff she left behind and Carlos rightfully chastised me. “Look at all this stuff you got! And what did I get?” he asked, looking around.

I held up a plastic baggy with a little bundle of crusty old gauze inside it, “this?” I said, holding up the bag that contained his umbilical cord which Suegra had brought back with her from El Salvador.

“That’s right,” Carlos said, snatching the baggy. “You got a typewriter and I got my old belly button.”

Here are some more of our souvenirs, (no umbilical cord photos included because that’s icky.)

Carlos can’t complain either. He got a Jesus towel. I’m glad this wasn’t gifted to me. I think I’d feel uncomfortable actually using it.

Carlos also got an image of San Antonio, who was his father’s favorite saint.

…And he got his school I.D. from when he was in middle school. Is it wrong that I find him incredibly guapo despite the Menudo hair and the fact that he’s about 13 years old in that photo?


Our younger son got this little bag which is called a “morralito.” Carlos says fútbol players use them to carry their bottled water to the field.

Cajeta lollipops from our little primos.

More candies from the cousins.
Enough Penicilina to stock our own pharmacy.
Some sort of instant coffee. She used to drink a different kind. I have no idea why she brought this.
A Tía made this for me.
A pan made from clay. I still haven’t tried it yet. Suegra promises it won’t catch fire or explode but I don’t know if I trust her.
Pandillero hat? Why Suegra brought this for my older son, I have no idea. I guess it’s okay as long as he doesn’t get a tattoo on his face.

Want to see more souvenirs?

From El Salvador With Love
From El Salvador With Love (Part 2)


  1. This is hilarious Traaaaysi!!! Jajaja!!! Those are the most random gifts I´ve ever seen, jajaja!
    Let´s start with the toalla de Jesus – why oh why would anyone want a towel with Jesus on it?!
    The umbilical cord – almost spat my coffee!!! (thank you for not posting a picture of it, LOL!)
    The San Antonio – did you know that in Mexico it is the most adored saint by single women? You put him de cabeza and tell him he´ll stay that way until they get a boyfriend. Jaja!
    Your kid – awe! Again, so precious and so proud of his morralito! And your oldest kid, why give him a pasamontañas?!!! Jajaja!
    And the rest of the goodies, yum!
    Now the penicilina, why? why?
    Ay no, this was just too funny. Thank you for helping me start my day with a good belly laugh amiga!

    • Sue, glad you enjoyed. I can’t wait for the other suitcase either! The randomness of the gifts is always very amusing.

      I knew this about San Antonio. I really love the idea of saints and the different traditions/beliefs about each. I grew up Protestant and we didn’t have saints so I’m still fascinated with the idea of all these different people who are like department managers for different problems/causes.

      As for the Jesus towel – I haven’t seen Carlos use it yet. I think he’s uncomfortable about it too. LOL. It’s washed and folded in the closet.

      The Penicilina – I must admit, we use this stuff like crazy. It seems to work miracles compared to American over-the-counter antibiotic ointments. My kids don’t even know what “Neosporin” is, (which is what most Americans use, and what I used growing up.) — When someone gets a cut they ask for Penicilina. LOL.

  2. Oh, I love all of the presents! I too get the most random things when my familia comes back from the motherland. Except for the time mi Tia tried to bring a suitcase full of cuajada back. There wasn’t enough black plastic bags, aluminum foil, and plastic wrap to prevent that disaster. What was she thinking? :)

  3. Me sorprende que a doña suegra la hayan dejado salir de El Salvador, pero más me sorprende que la hayan dejado entrar aquí en los USA!!!
    Vamos por pasos:
    1-La Santa Toalla: yo creo que solo las manos me podría secar. Jamás me imaginaría secarme mis gemelitas, pompis, pies (NADA) con una toalla con la imagen de Jesus!
    2- San Antonio – Imagen que NO BEDE DE FALTAR en un hogar donde hayan solteros! Yo tuve el mio de cabeza un par de años y here I am, happily married!
    3- Penicilina de Laboratorios Lopez – Opino igual que tú. Ese unguento hace maravillas. Yo tengo pero no los compro por el ciento!
    4- Porque doña suegra trae a los USA café instantáneo? Pues la marca lo dice, es RIKO (jajaja)
    5- El gorro Pasamontañas – Perdón pero cada vez que veo a alguien con pasamontañas se me vienen a la mente guerrilleros o ladrones!
    6- La cacerola de barro – primera vez en la vida que veo algo así. De barro sólo he visto cántaros y comales. Asaber como sabrá la comida hecha en una de ellas, luego nos cuentas!
    7- El ombligo disecado – de sólo imaginármelo se me revuleve el almuerzo! Pero si… típico de las mamás guardar eso! Frame it! jajajajaja
    Por más cómico que parezca o pensemos que todo es medio raro, debemos pensar que cada cosita que ella les trajo la seleccionó pensando en ustedes y en lo mucho que los quiere!
    Que lo disfrutes y ve a ver que trae en la maleta misteriosa! A lo mejor ahi viene una de las hijas de la Mari…. te dije !!!

  4. i can vouch for your suegra, we have a clay cazuela from mexico and it cooks fine – on a flame stove. on electric the clay blackened, although the food came out fine.

  5. Tracy…I seriously LOVE your blog! Que alegre!

    The coffee she must have drank before is cafe Listo (probably the only instant coffee I will consume), the pepitas and the clay pan…. I want.

    And the penicillin!!! The nurse side of me keeps scolding all my relatives not to take it or give it to their kids for any little cold “you don’t need antibiotics for viruses”…but no one listens to me ( : They eventually get better and tell me it’s because of the antibiotics!

    • omg we love paletones in my house lol!!! and i think thats cute u think carlos is super bien guapo despite he is 13… my bf has an old passport foto from when he was 18… and i am so in love with that guy in the picture jajaja

    • Ask around at your local Latin food markets – especially the ones that have what appears to be a “mini-pharmacy” at the front counter. Even if it isn’t on display, they may have some they’ll sell you.

  6. I was reading this blog and realized that I still have my baby girl ombligo somewhere in my closet.
    We are often told by our abuelitas, that ombligos are supposed to be buried at the place you were born, that is why they claim that your home is “donde tenes el ombligo enterrado”.
    Once my daughter settles down and starts her own family I will give it to her; meanwhile, her hogar, is till with me.

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