Posted by: missopinion | May 13, 2010

Celebrating Cuscatlan!

Cuscatlan is one of the smallest departments of El Salvador and our next stop in the series Chivo El Salvador. Its capital city is Cojutepeque. A place where many classic Cumbia songs have focused on and folkloric dances were dedicated towards. Cuscatlan lies in the centre of El Salvador and its name means “place of precious jewels”.

One the recommended places to visit is the city of Suchitoto. This bright, clean colonial town still maintains many cobble stone streets and retains much of the original spanish architecture of many

Church of Suchitoto

buildings. This is a very popular weekend family getaway place for its offerings of activities at the cultural centre, art centre and handcrafts. Families enjoy a swim at the Suchitlan Lake and bring a picnic or enjoy a lunch from street vendors or “comedores”, cafes and other local restaurants. Suchitoto is a quaint little town/city its a nice little family getaway.

Cojutepeque is the capital city of Cuscatlan. One word of warning this place is extremely hilly, steep hills everywhere it does wonders for your cardio fitness! Do not wear heels if you plan on travelling on public transport and getting around on foot. Cojutepeque is famously known for its chorizos. There are plenty of stalls that sell chorizos and advertise them as Cojutepeque chorizo but you should be careful and selective of whom to buy them off for hygiene and taste purposes. One of my favourite and trusted locations to buy these chorizos is a small family run business located across from the 2nd central park. My favourite type of chorizo to snack on are the butifarras I could eat them all day!

In Cojutepeque there is a famous hill top family outing destination called Cerro de Las Pavas. Here you will find a giant statue and pilgramage dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima. During the weekends it is normal for you to find large groups of people holding public vigils and prayer services to their patron saint. You will find the footpaths lined with street vendors selling everything from crosses to framed pictures of your favourite saint, souveniers and food. Upon reaching the top of the hill you will also find a small zoo, a restaurant and the best views of the the surrounding country side you can find this side of San Salvador. Views of Lake Ilopango and on clear days you can even see the valley of Jiboa.

The people of Cuscatlan like most people of El Salvador are humble, hard working people just tryign to make a living. Often, when travelling on public transport, you can count on snack vendors boarding your bus to sell you water, cut up fresh fruit and other foods you can snack on while on your (guaranteed) long trip. I often looked forward to this stop off while travelling in El Salvador as I could buy a drink and something to eat to hold me till I got home.

view from the top of Cerro de Las Pavas

this is short Youtube clip by Mauricio Callejas who wrote and dedicated the following song to his town Cojutepeque. it is from 2001 but trust me the places has not changed so significantly that you cant recognise it. Its pretty much the same.

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