Sweet Marias

Trip Start Aug 03, 2010
Trip End Feb 01, 2012

Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
Where I stayed
Maria's palapa

Flag of El Salvador  , Usulután,
Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Our new friends from El Zonte told us how beautiful the beaches in El Espino are, so we thought we'd check it out. Once there, we drove to the end of the road and found a palapa in a coconut grove with a sign painted on an old tractor tire that read "cabaņa for rent". We pulled in to look, we were the only ones around for a while before 12-year-old Maria came from across the street and asked if we wanted to stay for $5/night. Most definitely.

Later, Maria came over with her cousins, Gabriel and Isai, we got the impression they came to see the gringos. There was a language barrier, but Maria was very sweet about using simple words we might understand. I was able to ask if they wanted to make a house of sand, they got excited and said “castillo.” We built sand castles and then playing soccer on the beach which ultimately destroyed the castles… all part of the fun. My legs were sore for days from all the running around.

Around sunset we heard a coconut fall from a tree, went to see if we could find it… Maria and her mother (also Maria) came out to look for it too. We learned that they sell coconuts in town. We’d seen plenty of coconut vendors in Mexico and Guatemala, but never tried it, so she brought us our first coconuts, with the tops cut off and straws to drink the yummy water inside. A friend of theirs climbed the trees to cut down more coconuts for them, he made it look easy, but I tried climbing one and believe me, it’s not easy.

They showed us the crabs that hunker down in the rocks when the tide goes out. One variety is apparently tastey to eat because they were collecting them in a bag. In the morning, Mama Maria brought crab soup for breakfast (from the crabs we helped catch the night before). When we returned the bowl, we brought coffee and drank it in their front yard, surrounded by adorable little peeping chicks scratching in the dirt, which they raise and sell.

On winter solstice, we played in the ocean for hours (the water was unbelievably warm). Gabriel and Isai brought their tablas (translates to surfboards, but these were actual fence boards they used to ride the waves). We were sitting around afterwards when a 5.6 earthquake hit, Rover rocked (causing Isai to jump off the hood in surprise), the tall coconut trees swayed. It was comforting to know that there was no need to get away from windows (there were none), no need take cover under something sturdy because there were no buildings to collapse on us, or coconuts to fall on us, we were safe.

Maria Senior brought more coconuts, this time they were mature ones, the water inside tasted slightly fermented, it meant that the coconut meat inside was edible, once we finished the water, she removed the meat for us, such a treat! I am awed by how generous and sweet they are, we think of them often.

Slideshow Report as Spam
  • Your comment has been posted. Click here or reload this page to see it below.

  • Please enter a comment.
  • Please provide your name.
  • Please avoid using symbols in your name.
  • This name is a bit long. Please shorten it, or avoid special characters.
  • Please enter your email address to receive notification
  • Please enter a valid email address


Kaycee Cook on

This sure looks like a special place. I have a feeling you'll be back there again.

Victor Hinojosa on

I am planning to travel with my family all over. We can't wait but we need $ at least to start. Give us some support and ideas so we can begin to travel as soon as possible.

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: