We followed the scent of corn tortillas crisping on the griddle. It was our first day in El Salvador and we’d been dreaming of pupusas–the country’s signature dish. The outdoor grill was run by three women, one shaping the dough into palm-sized circles, another folding in filling like cheese, veggies, and beans, and the third cooking them with frequent flips of a spatula. Being my normal inquisitive and brazen self, I asked in Spanish, “What’s the secret to the perfect pupusa?” They looked at each other and smiles crept across their faces. The woman in her late 30s, Silvia, handed me a ball of dough. “Follow me,” she said. Normal production at their road-side restaurant was going on hold—this was important.
 
Juayua El SalvadorEl Salvador, marred by its reputation as the founder of the international MS-13 gang and known to be “the murder capital of the world,” is a country that doesn’t get many tourists. Though no matter how many “bad guys” live here, there are millions of people who just want the chance to share their kindness. Silvia said, “Press the dough from the middle outwards to spread the ingredients, then pat it flat.” Her demo pupusa was quickly turning into a silky circle and mine, a lumpy Frisbee. She was trying not to laugh, though when I giggled—it was contagious. With her magic wand of a finger, she smoothed mine out and put it on the grill for a true taste of El Salvador.
 
El Salvador Volcano HikeWe shared this pupusa experience on Instagram Stories, followed by glowing posts of El Salvador’s dramatic volcanoes, charming colonial villages, Mayan ruins, and some of the coolest surf beaches we’d ever encountered. Then we got a direct message from Juan, saying “I’m Salvadoran and you make me proud of where I’m from. Thank you.”

#ITravelBecause we love giving places with a bad wrap, a good name.

Note: The HoneyTrek #ITravelBecause series is inspired and sponsored by Allianz Travel. Get yourself some travel insurance and get out there!

14 thoughts on “#ITravelBecause: Fear Can’t Win

  • May 14, 2019 at 1:44 pm
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    What a great experience! I think people the world over want to show us what makes their home country so interesting. Loved this cute Pupusa making lesson you had, makes me want to visit El Salvador now!

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    • May 14, 2019 at 2:11 pm
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      Awwww. Thanks so much Annick! Even a little moment like this can be so impactful and special, ya know? It’s not always about these magical instagram photos or gigantic journeys….magic can happen right at the Pupusa stand!

      Reply
  • May 15, 2019 at 2:27 am
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    Love this video! I’ve never tasted a pupusa, actually I haven’t even heard of a pupusa. Totally agree about the fear of travel you mention, even with El Salvador being infamously known, it’s nice to explore the country and get to know the other side of it.

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    • May 17, 2019 at 1:10 am
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      Thanks for the support Shreya, we couldn’t agree more. And we never let the bad news of a place keep us from exploring!

      Reply
  • May 15, 2019 at 12:59 pm
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    This is a great idea for a series. We cannot let fear and hate win. El Salvador looks like a very lovely place…I would love to visit some day.

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    • May 17, 2019 at 1:16 am
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      Agree Sinjana, we can NOT let fear and hate win, we need to stand against them both at every turn. You totally should visit El Salvador someday, truly a beautiful country!

      Reply
  • May 16, 2019 at 9:22 pm
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    Those pupusas look delish. And looking at the ingredients it seems vegetarian, right? This is what immersive travel is all about.

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    • May 17, 2019 at 1:18 am
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      Yeah, those versions were vegetarian…I think some of them might have chicken of beef…but given that we are vegan/vegeterian you won’t find us sampling those versions 😉

      Reply
  • May 17, 2019 at 8:13 am
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    Love the video! I need to do more of this on my travels! I tried my first Pupusa in El Tunco, I’m not sure if you managed to visit? It’s a beach town that’s popular with backpackers and surfers traveling to El Salvador. Keep up the good work guys!!!

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    • May 20, 2019 at 12:49 am
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      Thanks for the video love Daniel!! Pupusas are great eh? And oh so cheap! We wanted to get to El Tunco (heard that’s a great spot)….but we opted for the slightly quieter El Zonte…I guess we will just have to go back now!

      Reply
  • May 19, 2019 at 2:13 am
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    Oh wow, looks like you had a great time learning how to make the perfect Pupusa! This is the best thing about travelling, you get to know so much about people, culture and food! I had once tried to make momos in a Sikkim homestay! It was quite an experience. The pupusas look delectable and El Salvador looks like an amazing place.

    Reply
    • May 20, 2019 at 12:48 am
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      Thanks SO much Amrita & Agni!!!! Do you have a blog (or FB photo) of you making the Momos? We’d love to see it, hahahah.

      Reply
  • July 21, 2019 at 5:31 pm
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    I love the title of your video “I travel because fear can’t win”. Fear is the enemy! I travel alone with my dog & I too travel because fear can’t win!
    Love following your blog!

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    • August 31, 2019 at 10:06 pm
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      Way to be brave and get out there! Life is too short to let fear hold you back. Keep on rocking and thanks for following HoneyTrek! Happy to follow you back on Instagram 🙂

      Reply

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