I have yet to mention the pilot and co-pilots on this trip: my Grandfather and Dad. They are truly something else. They are also part plumber, part electrician, and part mechanic and I’m convinced there isn’t a car or house problem they won’t try to fix. So when they are navigating, you just sit in the backseat and enjoy the ride because they will always look for the route that is the shortcut to the shortcut.
Playa Tunco, La Libertad
My folks read about El Salvador’s first microbrewery established in La Libertad and we had to check it out. La Libertad is a popular surfer destination. It is affordable and friendly with good food and drink and direct access to the waves. This is where Brew Revolution is. The owner is from San Francisco and gives back to the community by hiring single mothers from the town to conduct the brewing and run the place. There are currently four of them on staff. Did I mention that my dad was part brewer too?
So the “brewery” part of microbrewery is a bit of a stretch. Or maybe it’s exactly the definition. We drove up with my American definition of brewery but as we do, it ends up being literally a bar stand on the street. The beer was different, I think some of my beer buddies back home would appreciate the flavors that are used to make the beer unique to El Salvador like a pineapple finish to the IPA and the coffee flavor to the Porter. I liked it and it was a nice atmosphere and it was great to support a budding brewery with Chica brew masters!
More of La Libertad at a family members restaurant:
My grandparents hometown is Usulutan, a very hot little pueblo, surrounded by volcanoes in the southern part of the country. My dad and grandpa and I took a long drive there this week to look around and see where my grandparents grew up. My great grandmother has a house there and we visited some other family including my cousin Ivanna again (yea!). On the way, just off the road is a little lunch place where we had some brunch, Salvadoran style.
Yesterday, we went to a little pueblo that showcases how El Salvador used to be, Suchitoto. It was quaint and quiet. We had lunch there and had an amazing view:
This last picture is a close up of a little sign painted outside of most houses in this town. It’s really beautiful and speaks to the spirit of this little town.
And what is a trip to El Salvador without talking about Pupusas? This small little food item is basically a tortilla stuffed with cheese that you eat with salsa and cabbage. It’s delicious and worth 50cents a pop. Would you believe my final night, (last night) was when I finally had a chance to eat Pupusas?!
I had to take one of my grandpas grease removing pills after that one, (did I mention that my grandfather is part doctor too?). I went there with my new friends from this trip Sara and Melanie. Sara’s family is family friends with my grandparents. They are the sweetest people ever! Sara wanted to take me out como “chicas solteras” so we went to a salsa studio for dancing lessons which was super fun and then to Antigua Cuscatlan to eat pupusas! These ladies are the sweetest and we promised to stay in touch hasta la proxima…
And now I’m packing to leave for the airport, leaving almost as soon as I came. It ended being a lot shorter than I thought it was going to feel, but even you can see that it was filled with fun, sun, and family time. There is no way it will be another 11 years before returning, it reminded how important it is to return to family roots to re-establish your foundation and clear your head. If you haven’t done so, check in on where your family is from, make a trip, take time out of the hectic American life and just leave if only for a bit. Maybe you’ll find that you are part explorer, like me.