I was supposed to be going to Cuba, but I ended up here. In the capital San Salvador, I was welcomed with barbed wire and street patrols with machine guns. The countryside was more relaxed. I even got an opportunity to cook with indigenous women, after we ground cooked beans and corn at the local cooperative mill. You won’t find any mixers in local kitchens. I peeked into volcanic lakes, visited mountain coffee plantations and cheerful roadside cemeteries, and checked out the fish market on a pier by the sea in La Libertad. And I tried for the first time surfing!