El Salvador
Departamento de Ahuachapán

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23 travelers at this place

  • Day135

    Ruta de las Flores

    January 20, 2020 in El Salvador ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    Today, we left Santa Ana to get to the Ruta de las Flores, a nice mountain road with several cute colonial villages. In order to get there, we headed West again. On the way, we detoured some 5km on a dirt road in order to swim in Salto Malacatiupan, hot spring waterfall, we had heard about. And what a great place! Apart from 2 friendly dogs, 4 goats and the family living there, no other people. The water was very warm and we went for a bath. Very relaxing, although with almost 30 degrees outside, a cold waterfall would have been ok as well 😉
    We then continued to Ataco, the first village on the Ruta de las Flores. Just after Ahuachapan, we saw a bad accident which had just happened. 2 guys on a motorcycle crashed into a car that came out of a smaller road. The guys didn't look good, but they were alive. As several people were already busy calling the ambulance and taking care of securing the scene, we quickly passed by and let them do their job.
    We then had to climb for about 900m in the middle of the day, so we sweat a lot. Ataco is a little touristy, but has colourful murals and colonial style houses. It's quite pretty and we stayed a while, mainly to sort out our local SIM card (we had found out that they had sold us one without credit before...) and buy food for dinner.
    Then we went on and climbed a little more until we got to a small hotel we had found on AirBnB. The place is owned by Dave (US) and Sonia (originally from El Salvador), who welcomed us warmly. We wanted to get something a little cheaper, but the 20$ we paid in the end were well worth it: a perfectly neat and clean room, a washing machine we could use for free, regional coffee in the room, a roof terrace, a kitchen we were alllowed to use and a great discussion on the Salvadorian culture.
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  • Day40

    Routa de las Flores: der Weg zum Kaffee

    March 17, 2019 in El Salvador ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    Nach Antigua ging es nach El Salvador direkt über die Routa de las Flores. Diese Buslinie führt durch eine Handvoll kleiner Dörfer, bei denen sich alles um Kaffee dreht. Aber die Dörfer haben auch tolle Märkte und schöne Gebäude. Auch die Busfahrt ist eine Augenweide, so viele Blüten und grüne Landschaften...Read more

  • Day203

    Malacatiupan Wasserfall

    April 30, 2019 in El Salvador ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Zum Abschluss unserer Reise durch El Salvator besuchen wir noch den Malacatiupan Wasserfall. Das besondere an diesem Wasserfall ist das warme Thermalwasser. Da wir am Parkplatz des Wasserfalls übernachtet haben, sind wir früh morgens ganz allein am Wasserfall. Vorsichtig tasten wir uns vom einem natürlichen Becken zum nächsten, bis wir schließlich aus 4 Metern Höhe in die große warme „Badewanne“ springen.

    Hier ein kurzes Video: https://youtu.be/taDokcYUESI
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    Maria Klaus

    Oh Manno! Wie mutig! Ich bekomme ja schon Bauchschmerzen beim Zuschauen!!

    Regina und Jens

    Ja, war auch aufredend. Aber wir haben die Tiefe vorher getestet. ☺️

  • Day202

    Ruta de las Flores

    April 29, 2019 in El Salvador ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    Die Ruta de Las Flores ist eine Straße, die an hübschen, bunten Kolonialdörfern, Kunsthandwerkerstätten, Wochenmärkten, und Kaffeeplantagen vorbei an Vulkanen führt. Auf der Höhe von 1.500 Meter herrscht hier ein mildes Klima. Wir schauen uns die idyllischen Dörfer mit ihren Kopfsteinpflasterstraßen und den bunten Wandgemälden an und genießen das Treiben bei einem leckeren, regional angebautem Kaffee. Die Ruta de las Flores ist ein echtes Schmuckstück des winzigen Landes, von dem man eigentlich nicht viel Gutes hört.Read more

  • Day1

    Arrival in Ahuachapán (11/8/2018)

    November 8, 2018 in El Salvador ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Leslie Oakes drove Rich, Tim, Terry and me to the airport.  We left the church at 6 am.  The check-in line for those who had done online check-in wasn't very long.  What was amazing was that the line for TSA-Pre security  was considerably longer than the regular security line.  The flight was fine. The flight was almost over before I figured out which earphone jack got you sound (thank you Rich).  But by that time it was a bit late to start a movie.  But I had stuff to read so I was fine.  The Immigrations line was slow and we saw John Ellis, whose flight got in 45 minutes after ours, in line not that far behind us.  For those who tender it, the airport has done away with the Red/Green light - no more drama.

    Jhenny meet us after we retrieved our bags, took us to where Frank and  Nina (pronounced Nine-na)  were sitting and went back for John.  Then Fernando took most of us to find the toilets before we started the 2 hour drive to Hotel Atillo (our home away from home for the next 8 days).

    Today I spent time getting to know Nina, John and Terry (Tim would call it "talking their ears off").  They are all very interesting people and I am looking forward to getting to know them better during the week.

    It was great to see Meme and Marilyn again.  Brian dropped by to introduce himself.  It was good to see him again, too.  We won't be working on the school we were scheduled to work on because the permits still haven't come through.  There will be roofing and dry walling to do at the project we will be working on.  Tomorrow we will be working with the team that is already here (it will be their last day).  I am looking to see what God has planned for us. 

    After a delicious Chicken soup/stew everyone but Nina tried down to the Supermercado for ice cream, Gatorade, snacks and whatever else took our fancy.  I bought a coffee mug so I don't use styrofoam (that makes John Ellis and the environment happy).

    I am going to try to get to bed earlier than I normally do because Jhenny and I are going walking at the very track tomorrow morning.  Going to Central Time is like going through the time change again  (falling back one more time).  Can't wait to start working tomorrow.
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    Karen King

    Glad you all arrived safely and did not have trouble finding each other, I will continue to pray for all of you and will make sure that the START team who leaves Sunday for Fayetteville, NC will pray for you daily as we begin our daily devotions. Please pray for us, too., Sounds like we may be doing similar repair work -- just miles apart. May you continue to be a blessing to the people of El Salvador as you have in the past. Enjoy your time renewing old friendships and make new ones. IHS, Karen King

    Holly Banner

    Sending prayers!

  • Day2

    First Work Day in Ahuachapán (11/9/2018)

    November 9, 2018 in El Salvador ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    ‍Jhenny and I walked before breakfast this morning.  I did the first devotion this morning and Tim agreed to do the evening devotion.  Brian arrived at 8 and we left for the work site.  Shortly after we arrived the team from Georgia arrived.  The first job was to move the dry wall into the church to be installed.  Although it was heavy I was able to help pick it up and carry it with the help of 2 or 3 others.  Tim and Rich worked with the Salvadoran workers to measure the drywall segments that needed to be to cut to install on the wall.  Frank, Nina and I smoothed out and leveled the dirt where the cement would be poured to complete the sidewalk around the church.

    When we finish that, we were asked to select 3 or 4 people to go with the Georgia team to distribute the food.  I volunteered and Nina agreed to go, too.  I spoke with Tim and he suggested I ask Terry.  Terry agreed and we went to give out food.  I was in the group with the two women from the Georgia team and Nina and Terry were in the other group.  I always learn new things when I deliver the food.  One family had a son in the Navy and I learned a lot about being in the military.

    When we finished up we returned to the work site and Nina and I helped with the group clearing the cut down plants.  I borrowed the wheelbarrow to move the stuff to the pile of cuttings and trash.  Soon it was time to go to the Missioner's residence for lunch.  After lunch we returned to the work site.   As we were heading back Brian told me we would be going to the school for dinner and the marching band would be performing.  We would leave the hotel at 4 pm and need to be at the school by 5 pm.

    We didn't finish up until well after 4 and it was much later by the time we got back to the hotel.  We rushed to change and then headed to the school.  The marching band, majorettes and a rhythm dance group performed.  They were very good.  There was also a girl there that retrieved batons, wiped sweat from the dancers' faces and when helped with hair problems. - all white the other girls continued to perform.  A lot of the music played was Christian Praise music.  After the performance we had pupusas for dinner and a sugar cookie for dessert.  After eating, I went upstairs to see the upper level addition to the school - very impressive. Then we returned to the hotel and everyone decided to take showers and head to bed. 

    It has been an interesting first day.  It was definitely a day to work on being flexible.  But the day was filled with many pleasant surprises and I once again learned a bit more about El Salvador and life here.
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  • Day3

    2nd Work Day in Ahuachapán (11/10/2018)

    November 10, 2018 in El Salvador ⋅ 🌙 20 °C

    ‍Jhenny and I went walking again this morning.  At breakfast I asked for volunteers to go in the morning and afternoon to deliver food.  This is better than "springing” it on them a few minutes before they are to leave to distribute the food.  I don't know why it took me so long to come up with this approach.

    After breakfast and devotions, Carlos picked us up and (surprise) took us to the Missioners' Residence to pack the bags for the Feeding Program.  Once we finished being the food we headed to the work site.  When Fernando got the he told us that we would only be distributing food in the morning.  Rich, Nina and John went to distribute food.

    Tim is the team foreman and figures out what the jobs are for the day and which jobs each of us can do.  My first job today was to help Tim cut the dry wall and hand the sections up to Terry and Jhenny. I also added as gopher for supplies they needed.  It was a good job for me since I don't have the construction skill set for the more involved jobs.  Frank continued working on making and spreading the cement for the sidewalk.  That work work took us almost through lunch.  The three food distributers got back a little before we went to lunch.  John and Nina cut the paper strips that will be needed for the drywall mudding.  Rich helped  install the rest of the lower level drywall. After lunch John showed Nina, Rich and me how to do the initial drywall mudding.  It took a while to get the hang of it.  Both John and Tim had to remind us a couple of times that we need to smooth the mud to reduce excessive sanding when it dries.  John was a good and patient teacher.

    When we finished, Aroche did a worship service for us.  I missed the singing part because I was cleaning up the mudding tools.  Jhenny acted as translator.  The sermon was on gratitude.  It was very good.  I was surprised at how much of what Aroche said I understood without having to wait for Jhenny to translate.

    Then it was back to the hotel for dinner and devotion and a time to talk about our impressions.  Then the nightly walk to the grocery store for Ice cream.

    The drive, in the back of a pickup truck, to and from the work site has been very interesting each day.  The road is bumpy and narrow in spots.  Each day we have seen a man on a motor cycle with a baby sitting on his lap wearing a pink helmet when we head for the work site and when we head back to the hotel in the afternoon. There is a man on a house driving his cattle one direction on the when we head for the work site and in the other direction when we head back to the hotel.  The are always fearless dogs on the roads as well as approaching buses and trucks on the basis road.  As Rich pointed out, it is amazing any cars have side view mirrors.  And most cars we pass have their side view mirrors.  It is a sign of the web and flow of the population. 

    Tomorrow we will go to Ataco.  There the team can do some shopping and I can enjoy a cappuccino or two.

    This was a very good work day.  I think everyone felt they had contributed and enjoyed the jobs they were involved with.  And most were tired in a good way when we returned.  We are gelling as a team.
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  • Day4

    Third Day in Ahuachapán (11/11/2018)

    November 11, 2018 in El Salvador ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    ‍For breakfast we had eggs, "drunken beans" which are red beans with green peppers and onions and sausage. We also had El Salvadoran quesadillas.  They are more like sweet cornbread made with yellow cornmeal and cheese - very good. 

    After breakfast we had devotions and then got ready for the drive to Ataco for souvenir shopping.  John and I went into the Textile shop.  John got coffee and I got a cappuccino.  Brian was also there.  The rest of the group hiked up to the cross and then did a bit of shopping and then returned to the Textile shop.   I made veryone show me what they had purchased in Ataco. While we were all together, we decided on our free day activity for Wednesday - we are going to the Volcano National Park and the Tazumal Mayan ruins.

    Then we got back in the van and headed for Entre Nubis for lunch.  After we ordered our lunch we took a short tour of the coffee plantation at Entre Nubis and then enjoyed lunch. I got chicken enchiladas.  El Salvadoran enchiladas are more of a sandwich made of two small tortillas with chicken and cheese with a dab of refried black beans on top. I also got a 1/2 cup of chicken soup. After lunch there was a little bit of time for those who wished to buy coffee and jewelry. 

    Then we headed back to the hotel to get ready for church.  Today we attended La Gloria.  This was a special treat for Tim, Rich, Jhenny and me.  We had worked on the right hand side wall of the church in 2016.  The sermon was about the seeds in the good soil that produce fruit.  The minister related all the acts of service/mission and caring and kindness to the good fruit. Fruit from churches all over the world. Fruit that spreads love and the gospel.  After the service we got a tour of the church.  It was wonderful to see the finished product.

    Then it was back to the hotel for a short rest and then dinner.  Jhenny had bought us some of the local fruit from the area.  So we ended the meal with the fruit.  Everyone enjoyed their favorite.

    After dinner we had devotions and a time of reflection and then some of us headed to the store for ice cream.  I am probably the driving force behind the treks to the store for ice cream.  I hope some of the team will continue to humor me by going every night.

    It was a restful day where we enjoyed each other's company and enjoyed sharing laughter and kidding with each other and becoming friends.  Becoming friends may not always be mentioned when people talk about their mission experiences, but for me becoming friends is one of the things I treasure most about the mission.
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  • Day5

    Fourth Day in Ahuachapán (11/12/2018)

    November 12, 2018 in El Salvador ⋅ 🌙 19 °C

    ‍‍Today Jhenny, Frankie and Tim delivered food.  Before they left, we discussed what the tasks are that needed to be done and who best to do them. There were two tasks. One was to put up the remaining drywall in the upper area. The other was to sand the mudding done yesterday on the lower level and tape over the seams and remud the seam and surrounding area. Terry worked with one of the workers to put up the last of the drywall and then started helping the guys working on the roof.  Rich, Nina and I did the sanding, taping and mudding. John showed us what to do; checked our work and did a little mudding and and taping.  A little before we were supposed to head over for lunch Tim, Jhenny and Frank returned.  Tim checked out of mudding efforts and Jhenny and Frank joined with Terry helping the workers on the roof.

    After lunch we returned and Tim and Rich began taping and mudding the upper level with John acting as gopher for them.  Nina and I began sanding the tape and doing any required remudding on the lower level.  Once we had gotten as far as we could on that, Nina and I moved on to other jobs.  I helped as a gopher with Jhenny for the guys on the roof  (Frank did most of the heavy lifting for that job). 

    As the work was winding down, a man brought over corn from his garden that he had boiled for us using our bottled water.  The corn was still in the husks and hot off the oven and it was delicious.

    On the way back to the hotel we again passed the cows being herded down the road.
    Once we returned to the hotel we showered and had dinner and or evening devotion.  Terry have the devotion.  He said he had learned that a school friend had a stroke and he had been asked to pay for her.  He had felt inadequate not knowing what to pray for.  He said in the end he had prayed "Lord please take care of her.".  I thought that was the best prayer because God will always take care of us although not always the way we want.  But with that simple prayer you have basically asked that God's will be done.

    After the devotion, Tim, Terry and I went on the nightly walk to the grocery store for ice cream and a few other is and ends.  It was a wonderful day and we are making progress on the church.
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  • Day6

    Last Work Day in Ahuachapán (11/13/2018)

    November 13, 2018 in El Salvador ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    ‍This was our last work day.  There were lots of jobs for us to work on today (helping with roof work; putting dry wall up on the front wall of the church; mudding and sanding the other ways of the church.   Three of us, Nina, Rich and I, delivered food.  We spent a long time taking with one or two members of each of the families we visited, except one woman who was ill.  Everyone else was talkative and had lots stories to tell.

    When we returned to the work site, it was almost time to head for lunch, so we began the clean up.  Then it was off to the Missioners' Residence for lunch. After lunch we returned to the work site.  At first we were considering delivering more food, but it would have entailed 30+ minutes of walking and the "foreman" preferred we spend our time working on the church.  I did sanding and some gofering.  Most of my gofering jobs were searching for nails/screws/tools and handing people water to add to the mud or helping lift drywall up to someone on the scaffolding.  I decided not to try working on the scaffolding.  I did not want to pull down the drywall if I lost my balance.  I also do had to give hand sanitizer to Aroche to wash out the cut on his foot.  Because it the hand sanitizer has alcohol in it, it evidently stings.  Next Carlos came over in need of a band-aid and we had to improvise with a Kleenex and masking tape.  He was hesitant for us to wash his cut out with the hand sanitizer, but I told him to quit whining.  So, I cleaned the cut, wrapped it with the Kleenex and tape it with the masking tape and he was good to continue working.

    All to soon it was time to clean up and say our goodbyes.  It is so sad to leave.  We have worked as a team these last few days and become friends despite the language barrier.  It has been a week of laughter and learning new skills and how best to leverage each person's strengths. 

    Dinner tonight was chicken tamales. For dessert we had apple parties mad by Marilu's daughter who is a pastry chef. They were excellent. Then Jhenny have us a piece of a cake that is filled with a layer of pineapple.  I have ordered a box of the cake to take back to the States.  There was no need for an ice cream run tonight.

    Tomorrow is our free day.  We will go to the Volcano National Park and then on to Tazumal with lunch at the beach.   And then we will prepare to head back to the States.  It will be hard to say goodbye to everyone.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Departamento de Ahuachapán, Departamento de Ahuachapan, Ahuachapán