Five things we learned about the Maya in Central America

Who doesn’t know the game in which one person says a word and the other one completes with the first thing that pops into your head? I have no idea about the purpose of the game, except to prove that you have a dirty mind. Until a year ago, if you’d asked me to play and threw the word ‘Maya’ at me, I’d probably have replied ‘the bee’.

What about you? Be honest. Unless you’ve visited Central America or have a degree in history, you likely don’t know much about the Maya. Continue Reading →

Ruta de las Flores, El Salvador: an explosion of colours

If we ask you what you know about El Salvador, what do you answer?

If you’ve never visited the smallest country in Central America, you’ll plausibly talk about bloody turf wars between gangs. Tattooed street thugs who first slice a machete between their brother’s ribs and then go pray for forgiveness in the nearest church. Drug deals in chicken restaurants and drive-by shootings in the broad daylight.

But if you’ve actually been to El Salvador, you’ll talk differently. You probably can’t shut up about the cosy villages with cobblestones, cute little churches and fountains on squares, foodie festivals, delicious coffee and flowers, flowers, flowers. Continue Reading →

Alegría, El Salvador: The road to happiness leads through hell

I know that most travel blogs are just a glorification of all things travel. And I understand. Travel is magical, most of the time. Besides, no one really cares about the time you spent on a bus to get to that picture-perfect waterfall. Yes, it’s annoying when the bus is four hours late and when you’re squeezed between a box of chickens and a man with a body odour that’s considered a biological weapon by the United Nations. But just don’t go on about it. You’re not in the office sweating over some report that has to be filed by noon. You’re not hungry. You’re a privileged fucker on his way to a picture-perfect waterfall. So just accept it and shut up about it – the bus, the chickens, the body odour. If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. Continue Reading →

San Salvador: How to survive a Central-American capital?

After seeing the worn-down houses, grey ugliness and herds of homeless guys on empty streets in Belize City, we didn’t look forward to getting close to any other capitals in Central-America.

Fast forward four months. I sat on the bus and read in our guidebook that San Salvador, the capital city of El Salvador, is actually a pleasant place, even handsome. The guidebook talked about leafy suburbs, galleries and museums. That was enough. I slapped the book close and we decided to go there. Continue Reading →