Lake Coatepeque – Hello There, Paradise!

September 27, 2012

Lake Coatepeque El Salvador
As an avid traveler, I often like to pride myself in knowing a lot about various countries, its major cities, cultural highlights, and its cuisine. Some, from casual reading. Other times, from people whom I met from those certain countries.

However, I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I knew virtually nothing about El Salvador.

Oh, and did I mention one of my closest friends is Salvadorean? Shame shame!

Many times prior to joining HCI on a medical mission, I always thought of El Salvador as a dangerous country filled with political unrest, its association with the violently dangerous gang MS13, and most recently, a well-renowned surfing nation whom I found out from a Californian nurse several months ago.

However, visiting the country seemed to have proven my assumptions wrong. Although I’m pretty sure civil unrest and instability is still prevalent in many parts of the country, what I saw and experienced was sheer beauty of its natural surroundings, gracious hospitality from the local hosts, and warmth and kindness from local strangers.

Hold on, did I mention amazing coffee full of flavor?

Lake Coatepeque, Santa Ana, El Salvador
Though I worked night shift during the volunteer mission and didn’t really get to go out much, we did, however end up in Lake Coatepeque in Santa Ana at the end of the week. Our local gracious hosts, Sana Mi Corazon, took time out of their busy schedules to show us this absolute beauty I only knew about once I stepped foot in El Salvador soil.

What’s even better? The waters of the lake literally turned a magnificent turquoise color days prior to our visit. The waters are usually clear and clean but rarely this gorgeous color. However, every few years or so, the algae from the bottom of the lake releases an absurd amount of toxins which causes this stunning color effect.


Toxins or not, we were in there like swimwear as we happily jumped out of the speedboat into the warm water in the middle of the lake.

It was simply the best way to end a full week of volunteering.

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5 Comments

  • Reply Raunak September 27, 2012 at 10:22

    stunning Antoinette! thanks for sharing such a beautiful sight!

  • Reply Scarlett September 27, 2012 at 13:54

    This place looks beautiful, I’d love to visit!! xx

  • Reply Browsing the Atlas September 28, 2012 at 07:03

    I have the same misconceptions as you did about El Salvador. It’s not a country I give much thought to, but now that’s changed. Thanks for enlightening us.

  • Reply John and Andrea (@InspirngTrvlrs) September 28, 2012 at 07:35

    That water looks so inviting – gorgeous!!

  • Reply Paul Cahill September 30, 2012 at 07:52

    What a beautiful place.

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