Santa Tecla, El Salvador
A dream, a myth, or an adventure? Traveling the historic ROUTE 66 in the United States from the East Coast to the West Coast, means a trip back in time, a wonderful way to get to know the country, its way of life and its nature. The Main Street of America was built in November 1926 and originally ran from Chicago (Illinois), through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California to culminate in the city from Los Angeles with a total route of 3 thousand nine hundred thirty-nine kilometers.
Santa Tecla, a city of the municipality and head of the department of La Libertad in El Salvador is home to its own Route 66, a restaurant that most Tecleños know and enjoy visiting. Santa Tecla is the seventh most populated municipality in the country. With a territorial expansion of 112 km² and a population of 121,908 inhabitants, according to the official census of 2007, the quaint municipality belongs to the metropolitan area of San Salvador.
Although we do not specifically have a route as historical as Route 66 of the United States, El Salvador, has the famous Pan-American highway, CA-4, which connects the east and west of El Salvador. This same street takes us to different countries in Central America.
Route 66 in Santa Tecla is a restaurant that sells pupusas of all flavors, natural smoothies, bread with chicken, nachos and a variety of Salvadoran snacks that customers enjoy when they arrive at the place. It is located two blocks from Paseo El Carmen and is distinguished by its sign on the outskirts leading visitors to the site, which is attended by friendly employees.
Before enjoying the pupusas de loroco, chicken, shrimp and jalapeño pepper chicharrón, visitors walk through a museum-type interior decorated by themes that recall Route 66, including American iconography, automotive memorabilia and vibrant decorative items. The owners of the pupuseria have turned the space into a sanctuary of classic cars; place to go back in time and please the palate.
Pupuseria Route 66 was designed to recreate the historical U.S. Route 66. From the moment you enter the place you are transported to another time and place reminiscent of American memorabilia. The collection is packed with many objects, signs, telephones, old vehicles, old license plates and cars from the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s. Many antiques on display are dedicated to the famous Americana road.
Route 66 in El Paseo El Carmen opened in 2015, and was given this name so that Tecleños would enjoy a delicious meal while learning a little about North American history, said Ricardo Alvares manger of Pupuseria Route 66. Alvares says that the decorations attract local visitors and foreigners, especially visitors who enjoy classic cars, said the manager.
“If you come here to Ruta 66 El Salvador in Santa Tecla, you will travel in time to a nostalgic era while enjoying traditional Salvadoran food,” said Alvares, who has lived in the United States. This two-story restaurant displays vintage vehicles from the 1960s as well as their parts, front or rear parts have been converted into sofas for customers to take photos to remember the visit and the unique place.
There is also a Jeep that was built entirely out of wood, which was in circulation for a while and today is part of the display of the place admired by many because it contains the iconic figure of Pinocchio. This is a restaurant that you must know and visit.
A Historic Route
U.S .Route 66 was the main route for emigrants going west, especially during the dust storms of the 1930s, and helped sustain the economy of the areas that the highway crossed. The people who thrived during the growing popularity of the highway were the same people who years later struggled to keep it alive when the new US Interstate Highway Network construction launched.
The U.S. 66 (Route 66) was discontinued (that is, officially withdrawn from the United States Highway Network) on June 27, 1985 after it was decided that the highway was no longer relevant and was displaced by the United States Interstate Highway Network. Parts of the highway that run through Illinois, New Mexico, and Arizona have been marked with “Historic Route 66” signs and have reappeared on highway maps in this way.
Mauricio Cáceres is a renowned Photojournalist and Documentarian from El Salvador. His work showcases the power of human stories. Among his specializations, Cáceres has reported on The Migrant Route along the Guatemalan border, Mexico and the United States. He accompanied migrants along the migrant route to the US on four occasions. Cáceres has a degree in Migration from the Universidad de Centro América, UCA. Cáceres has served as an Editor of the newspaper Más, EDH and elsalvador.com. He has extensive experience in national and international news coverage, studied journalism has won several photography awards throughout Latin America, including second place on a photographic contest centered on the migrant woman, and earning the Santa Clara de Asís prize for his report on the migrant route.