Sunset on Mount Sterling

These are some of the last photos I took on my backpacking trip this past weekend. I climbed to the top of Mount Sterling in the Smoky Mountains with friends Jess and Lauren. It was difficult, strenuous and exhausting. But, there's no doubt in my mind I would do it again. It was beautiful. The climb, the descent, all of it. 

Hiking in The Narrows

This was by far my favorite hike in Zion. We hiked up the Virgin River about 3 miles until we got to The Narrows. We then walked another mile upstream as the river got narrower and narrower. I kind of felt like I wasn't in Utah.

Drive-thru Safari Park

This drive-thru park in Port Clinton, Ohio was enter at your own risk. You could buy carrots and grain feed to give to the animals all while driving your car slowly through. There were alpacas, fallow deer, bison, elk, zebra, girafffes, and a camels. It was really exciting and sometimes frightening and didn't take away from the fact that these are wild animals. 

Arches National Park

During a trip to move my good friend Erika to San Diego, we detoured to Arches National Park. This park was so many beautiful shades of red. I really wish I could have stayed all day and explored more. This park is definitely on my must go back list. I'm sure it's absolutely gorgeous at sundown. 

Iglesia El Rosario & Metropolitan Cathedral of the Holy Savior

The Iglesia El Rosario from the outside is dingy and gray but once I stepped through the creaky doors, I was amazed at the colors. There's a rainbow of stained glass windows from ceiling to floor. The reflection of those windows was a bit mesmerizing. You can see more images of Iglesia El Rosario on google in which the sun-rays place a prism on the walls. Pretty amazing.
The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Holy Savior was also really beautiful. There were dozens of locals praying, giving offerings and lighting candles. This church has a lot of significance. Óscar Romero who was assassinated is buried underneath. Oscar was the fourth archbishop of San Salvador and the most famous. He spoke out against poverty, social injustice, assassinations and torture.

Pupusas at Lucy's

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This Pupuseria is a favorite of my sister's and I can see why. It's on a hillside and pretty discrete. Pupusas are thick corn tortillas filled with whatever you'd like. I usually ordered a bean, cheese, and jalapeño one. The prices vary at each Pupuseria but they seemed to be about 75 cents each. Two pupusas are plenty for dinner. The pickled cabbage and tomato sauce is all you can eat and placed in a huge jar on each table.
This little stray kitty was pretty friendly and photogenic. I don't know what it is but couldn't keep away from snapping shots all of the stray animals and attempting to make friends.

El Boquerón

These are pictures near the El Boquerón (also known as the San Salvador Volcano) lookout. We went late morning one day and walked along the many trails which gave you different views of the crater. A small stray cat followed us most for most of our short trip around the lookout points.  El Boquerón has a cool temperate climate year round, which was a nice relief from the humidity. There were also a few little berry stands that were selling these huge bowls for a dollar each. I absolutely got one. They were so delicious.

El Tunco

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This surfer beach town is right on the Pacific Ocean. I was able to spend a night here at a hostel. I loved how quaint it was. There were many little restaurants, cafes, and shops. 

The Community, San Salvador

This community is tucked in between two highways. You can actually see the mall from where we parked. We walked down and through sheet metal and cement wall homes, over kittens and scrawny chickens until we reached the cement structure where the children gather every Saturday morning. Love & Hope visits and brings teams to this community to do scripture lessons with the children, play games, and distribute lunch to the residents. I mostly just sat and observed while the team put on a puppet show and gave a scripture lesson. After the lesson was finished, lunch was distributed and games were played. We then walked around to the different doors and passed out dried rice and beans. Each resident seemed very grateful and humbled by the food and fellowship and honestly, so was I.
(Also, you'll notice that the children are dressed quite well and fashionably. This is thanks to living so close to the mall and other local clothing businesses. They receive clothing donations often.)

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La Libertad Fish Market

This fish market was really exciting and lively. There was so much going on and so many different kinds of fresh fish, crabs, and squids. I was able to watch fish scaling and filleting up close. It really is an art and I was amazed at how fast they work with their knives. The stray dogs in this area seemed more well fed as opposed to others I saw in El Salvador. I assume they get fish scraps from the market.