El Salvador – Random Fotos

Things have been hectic at casa López. The niños are back to school and both have music lessons twice a week. Carlos, besides his full time work, is also back to school in the evenings. As for me, you may have noticed, I haven’t been blogging as much – and believe me, it isn’t because I don’t want to. I have been so busy with various freelance projects that I haven’t had time. I just want you all to know that even though I haven’t responded in comments or gotten to visit all your Spanish Friday posts yet – that I love that you continue to come here and read and talk to me. Your support and friendship means more than I can say.

Okay, before this gets more mushy than necessary, I will share some random photos from El Salvador to make up for the drastic decrease in posts. Listos? … Here we go.

This is the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador. It looks kind of like a really nice residential building. Where is the American flag? How would I find this place in an emergency?

I saw these weird trees at Metrocentro in the plaza outside Mister Donut. Anyone know what they are?

The trees have these long strands that hang down in bunches and they drop purple-ish berries of some sort. I asked the teenage son of Carlos’ friend what they are, thinking that as a native he would know. “I don’t know,” he said in Spanish, “but they stain your shoes.” … And so, until someone tells me otherwise, those are Manchazapatos trees.

This is probably the only Mexican restaurant I saw in El Salvador. I never did get to eat at this place, but the sign made me smile.

My younger son stopped short on a pasarela and pointed. “Take a picture! Look! That’s our name!” It’s no use explaining that “López” is the “Smith” of Latin America, so I took a photo. Then Carlos started with the lies. “That crane belongs to me. That’s my construction company,” he said, completely straight-faced.
“Nuh-uh, Daddy! Tell the truth!” our son said, with a hand on his hip.
“It’s true!” Carlos said, pretending to be indignant. “My company built this whole mall!”

Carlos always makes things like that up, so it’s no wonder the kids have turned into good liars too. A few weeks ago my younger son said a kid at school asked him if he was related to George Lopez.
“What did you say?” I asked.
He smirked. “I said, ‘yeah, he’s my uncle. Uncle George.'”

SIGH. Anyway… moving on.

There’s a pasarela right there, but these young people decided to risk their lives instead.

Want more photos of Salvadorans living dangerously? Sure.

This guy is riding his bicycle while holding onto a bus. We followed behind for quite awhile and at one point the bus went so fast that the bicycle wheels started to wobble and the guy looked like he almost lost control for a second. I’m pretty sure my heart skipped a beat when that happened. We had already seen one dead body along the side of the road, (the police were covering it up), and I really didn’t want to watch someone die to top things off.


While riding in the backseat of Carlos’s friend’s car one day, we pulled up behind these guys in the back of a truck. I wanted to take a photo but one of the guys was staring right at me. I voiced my frustration out loud and Carlos’s friend said, “Take his photo! He doesn’t care, he likes it!” … he took my camera and snapped the photo, and it looks like the guy even smiled for us. Maybe he did like it.

Lastly, up close and personal with El Salvador’s “chuchos aguacateros” – (street dogs.)

Each evening in El Salvador, I would hook my camera up to the computer and upload the photos from the day, just in case my camera got stolen. (That way I’d lose the camera, but not the photos.) Well, when that dog nose photo popped up on the screen, the boys and I laughed until we cried and until our sides hurt. Carlos was confused as to what was so funny, which made it even worse. I never thought this accidental canine close-up would be full of such happy memories.


  1. Good morning Tracy:
    It has been a pleasure reading all your posts about El Salvador and seeing all the photos. I love hearing your take on the local ways of doing things, and you are so eloquent in documenting your experiences. I just moved to the Dominican Republic, and feel like I am going through many similar adjustments, unfortunately without knowing anyone here to guide me through. So know that I am thinking of you and your stories, whether I am riding in a tiny Nissan Sentra guaguita with five people stuffed in the backseat, or I am waiting to be seen for a broken arm, but the doctors are all playing a quick game of bridge while they have their coffee. It is an adjustment but I am trying to channel your good attitude!

    • Wow, Graciela – you moved to DR! … There will definitely be adjustments, and don’t be hard on yourself on days when it’s hard to have a positive attitude.

      I think this might help you out:


      Also, Google “cultural adaptation curve” – this will tell you the different phases you can expect to go through.

      Hope your broken arm is healing? What happened?

      Can’t wait to hear more about what you’ve been up to. Drop by and chat here in comments any time, amiga :)

  2. Great pictures, Tracey. *LOL* The embassy looks like a hacienda. Not to mention there’s no freaking signage. Errr — maybe they don’t want to be found? Jijiji those palm trees have tassels hanging from them! Glad to hear your freelance business is doing well and that your husband is back to school. AWESOME. Hang in there. The blogging could drive you crazy if you let it. Un abrazo para ti y tu familia, amiga.

  3. It’s about time you posted something> I was going into latinaish blog withdrawals lol Once again thanks for sharing! =)

  4. The main entrance to the embassy is actually around the block from where you took that pick. I didn’t notice the entrance you pictured until yesterday, by pure coincidence.

    If you go around the corner, it is an impressive complex. No way you could confuse it for a residence. It is easily the size of an average sized community college in the States. Heavily fortified and with a ton of security around it.

    As for the Mex food, you are not missing much. There are a few other places around, none as good a Mex food in LA. I only recently found a place that is not too bad though. Mex food is about the only thing I miss from time to time.

    The guy on the bike reminds me of another similar story. It was about a guy without legs that had some small wooden cart contraption in which he would squat and would hitch a ride to San Salvador just like the bike guy. I think he would tag along all the way from Soyapango if not mistaken.

  5. So glad to see your post! You’re the first one I check in the morning. I’ve missed reading it. But blogging breaks are definitely needed…it has a way of taking over.

    Glad you have such happy memories from your trip this time around.


  6. These are great photos Tracy. I know what you mean about being so busy. I am blogging less often lately, and I dont’ get to visit yours too much these days either because I am studying for an exam, and the kids are back in school! Anyway, the photos you posted of the guys in the truck reminded me of the time that we took our family to Mexico and my son, who was 10 at the time, saw kids riding in a truck bed. He begged me to be able to do this when we got home. It’s so funny to think that our U.S. laws and tort litigation have made this so taboo. I remember doing it when I was a kid. Even our neighbor, “rewarded” his son by allowing him to ride in the truck bed one day, after a particularly good game of baseball. My other son was so jealous! Take care and good luck with the busy-ness of life!

  7. I have some dear friend living there as well as some that come from there. We enjoy popusas so much!! Those pictures made me feel like if I was living back in Colombia. The guy on his bike hanging on to the bus…so Colombia, too ;)

  8. ¿Y el viernes de español? ¿Que pasó? ¿No hubo? Pensé que ibas a escribir algo de la independencia de México en Español y vine a ver si tenias algo escrito diciendo mas o menos como el post del otro día: “hoy todos somos mexicanos”

    Bonitas y chuscas fotos.


  9. I am always glad to see your posts of course too. I can identify with the lying Latinos! Especially the guys. I think they’re born asi. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s annoying… when you really wanna know what happened! ;)

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