Posted by: missopinion | April 22, 2010

Celebrating Chalatenango!

 The next in our series of Chivo El Salvador– Chalatenango is situated approximately 1-2 hours from the capital San Salvador.  Located here are some of El Salvador’s best eco-tourist spots that are ideal for campers, relaxation spa addicts and mountain walkers and climbers.

Chalatenango was heavily impacted by the civil war and many people from the area fled to other departamentos or over the border into Honduras. After the peace accords were signed in 1991-92 people began to migrate back to their homelands.

One of the most popular places to visit Chalatenango is La Palma. La Palma has historical importance in El Salvador’s bloody civil war story. This was the place where many battles took place between the military and the guerillas. This was also the place where many negotiations took place that eventually led to the Peace Accords of ’92.

Chalatenango is known for its mountainess beautiful, cool climate and friendly people. Located in the hill forests at an altitude of 2400 meters, is the Miramundo Forest. Here you will encourage the average temperature to be approximately 12 degrees celcius. Another notable place is Las Pilas where the average temperature is even colder than Miramundo. In Las Pilas the main agricultural products are blackberries, strawberries, peaches, lettuce and cabbage which are mainly destined for the kitchens of well established restaurants and for the export market.

One of my favourite destinations is El Pital, at 2730 meters in altitude it is by far the highest point of the Salvadoran landscape. People often travel here for camping, spa retreats and mountain walks/climbing.

Chalatenango, like all other departments of El Salvador, has a lively atmosphere especially around special occassions like Independence Day on the 15th of September as well as a miriad of patron saint festivals and celebrations.

Chalatenango is not only a place of beauty but also it has its dark side. Chalatenango is home to one of the most notorious prisons of El Salvador where many 18th Street gang members are incarcerated. It would not be recommended that a lone traveller or those without a local guide travel to the areas of Chalatenango surrounding the prison or its neighbourhoods where it is known that both 18th street and MS 13 gang members reside as this could be extremely dangerous. Always check with your local authorities.

For those of you who are fluent in spanish you may be interested in the war history of Chalatenango which ive linked below. My apologies for those who do not speak Spanish, the entire documentary/video is in spanish.

Para todos los Chalatecos y habla hispanos que este interesados en conocer mas sobre el efecto de la guerra en Chalatenango abajo encuentren enlazados los videos de su historia.

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