NanoPoblano, day 3

Day three…and every time I think the words “Nanopoblano” I want to do the cha-cha.  Haven’t a clue why either. It’s just a sort of South American salsa sort of word.Speaking of which….Salsa, not NanoPoblano….I learned how to make a Guatemalan salsa when George and I were there on our “mission” trip. I know they are Central American and not South American so the sentence about salsa that began this wierd thought pattern doesn’t actually fit…except it does. Sort of.

In any event, while we were in Guatemala building homes, building schools and giving out shots……….all while trying NOT to fall inside active volcanoes

Pacaya volano

……..the cooks at our ‘compound” thought I was a hoot and laughed at me constantly.  I kept trying to learn how to speak Spanish, and I always felt like a fifth wheel while they did all the cooking, so I attempted to learn how to cook their way each day to their everlasting amusement.

I did learn how to make tortillas….and I even got to chop veg for them after the second day of my begging to help.

By day three, the head cook, a lady of undetermined years that everyone called Mamacita took pity upon me and had me make the salsa.

She stood next to me, pushing certain veg towards me when I had chopped enough of whatever I started with…eventually throwing a handful of cilantro and other herbs at me to chop.   It actually tasted darned good when it was done! I think I amazed her in that I came back the next morning to help again.

As we were leaving on day ten or eleven (days blended so well there it is hard to remember exactly) the cooks all came out to meet the small bus that was taking us to the airport in Guatemala city, and the head cook gave me an apron. …and a hug and kisses on both cheeks.

The head of missions with Casas por Christos said in her “twenty years of mission work there, the cooks had never said goodbye to anyone”.   I have to say, I miss those cooks.

Here’s the Salsa recipe for those with a mind to try it.

Chirmol Salsa (Chirmol is Mayan for “running nose,” and this tomato-based salsa is a classic Guatemalan condiment. )

This recipe makes four cups…the recipe I have makes 20 cups and so I cut it down!


3 cups tomatoes, charred
1/3 cup red onion
1 tablespoon cilantro
2 teaspoons mint
1 teaspoon lime juice



1. Char tomatoes over an open flame.

2. ​Roughly chop the onions, cilantro and mint.

3. In a bowl, combine tomatoes, cilantro, mint and onions.

4. Add lime juice and stir until combined.


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