the ingredients of SalviSoul


During the 1980s the United States witnessed a large diaspora of Salvadoran immigrants; many of the thousands left and transplanted to the U.S. in search of survival, hope and a new start. Before that time, the Salvadoran population was no larger than 10,000 people.

Due to the political turmoil, the violence and the danger caused in part by the civil war (1980-1992), those who fled and made it safely to the United States stayed and made many U.S. cities like Washington D.C., Chicago, Houston their home. The largest enclave of Salvadoran people (second only to El Salvador) resides in Los Angeles, Ca.

Through the decades of Salvadoran immigrants, the population has not only increased to more than 2 million but the Salvadoran community has become one of the largest Hispanic groups in the country.   



Though the Salvadoran community makes up a large part of the Latino community in the United States and though there are millions of people who tie their roots to el Pulgarcito, little can be found in the mass market of the culture's culinary contributions.

Many know and love the pupusa due to the popularization of the Salvi staple however there is more to it than that. Since food is the vessel by which identity is formed, to document these food ways guarantees access to the culture and cuisine for many years.


LOVE & FAMILY (note from the author)


SalviSoul is the manifestation of all the stories, all the culture and all the love that was passed down to me as an immigrant kid trying to figure out identity, place and story. 

Growing up, there was hardly ever a time when eating family dinner didn't involve a story about my family's life in El Salvador. Passing the tortillas along with a side of story was what I came to expect and sometimes even dread. I realize now how crucial those moments were in my formation. As the food nourished by physical form, the stories were nourishing the hungry part of my soul that wanted to understand the land I left as an infant. 

All my memories of when I felt "salvi" was when I was surrounded by my family and food! In those moments, I felt so rich. Eating delicious food and hearing stories of my parents talking about fincasarboles de mango, and their many adventures in bachillerato. All these things made up my love for my family and food.

SalviSoul is now a way to include more people in the conversation and to continue the tradition of food, family and storytelling around the table.

Thank you. 


SalviSoul creator/author, Karla Vasquez interviewing Bartola, a SalviSoul participant.

SalviSoul creator/author, Karla Vasquez interviewing Bartola, a SalviSoul participant.