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El Salvadoran Culture, People and Values

Updated on May 18, 2012

There are many ways to enjoy and immerse yourself in this wonderfully diverse country in Central America. El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America and lies between Guatemala and Honduras, bordering the Pacific Ocean. There are many things that a visitor can do while exploring this country, immersing themselves in its culture, with its archaeological sites to its art, representing its diverse population and history. A trip to immerse oneself in the culture of El Salvador includes the pleasure of experiencing the traditional and modern together, getting a full rounded picture of the cultural diversity.

1. To truly immerse yourself in the El Salvadoran culture you need to experience some of its past. The best way to see and learn about El Salvador’s past is to visit historical locations that can be found. To begin with go visit the three archaeological sites in the western area of the country near San Salvador, with the Mayan culture excavated and preserved, in one case due to a volcanic eruption, Joya de Ceren. It is a good point to start in your immersion into El Salvadorian culture.

2. A second way to continue with your El Salvadorian cultural immersion is to look around for and experience the natural preserves that can be found around El Salvador. Embrace the natural beauty of the nature preserve such as CerroVerdeNational Park, the beaches and the tropical nature preserves. You can appreciate and get to know the environment better, finding out how the people interact with different parts of their environment.

3. Continuing your immersion into the culture of El Salvador it must be remembered that history and nature are only a start. Hungry by now and the next place on our agenda is a stop at a restaurant, of which there are many in the bigger towns, for some authentic traditional food in one of the small restaurants to be found here, run by locals, commons foods are tortilla, atole, tamales, and enchiladas.An excellent way to taste the cuisine within El Salvador.

4. To travel to El Salvador the best time to go would be during the dry season (November – April) as the roads will be in a better condition and during this time you can enjoy some truly wonderful cultural festivals and holidays. You can immerse yourself in El Salvadorian holidays of Christmas, Semana Santa ( a week long festival before Easter) and in the first week of August visitors can enjoy the annual festival in San Salvador. These holidays will show you how the El Salvadorians celebrate their holidays and immerse you further into their culture.

August visitors can enjoy the annual festival in San Salvador. These holidays will show you how the El Salvadorians celebrate their holidays and immerse you further into their culture.


5. Communities gather in El Salvador in their town squares as with the capital San Salvador with its good restaurants, with its fresh seafood, shops, street entertainment and nightlife. Here you can immerse yourself in the culture with the traditional costumes, crafts and food of El Salvador. Walking through the Ciudad Merliot with its tree lined avenues one will see how the richer population live in El Salvador, with its plazas, boutiques, café and stores. One can enjoy and take in the smells and taste of all on offer of the local culture.

6. Another step to immersing yourself in the culture of El Salvador is to meet people, talk to them about their lives, making new friends in the process. The markets, the local shops. You can meet local artisans in their shops; learn about their families roots their ancient traditions first hand. This is a good way to relax and unwind, a good time to mingle in an unstressed atmosphere.

7. A final way to immerse yourself in the culture is to volunteer in one of the programs from around the world involved in rural education, development projects, and other social projects most affected by war. Nongovernment Organisations have been created for the soul purpose to run such programs to help. El Salvador is known for its poverty, its poor, and the economic difficulties so charities bring help in the shape of medical services amongst other things to those that need the help. This is a fantastic opportunity for you to experience El Salvador as tourists rarely get the opportunity to do so.

These steps are a perfect way to immerse yourself in the culture of El Salvador. As with any foreign country, to see the world through the eyes of the natives there you will have your eyes opened, learning from it and a great experience. You will see the country in a way it is seen from an inside point of view. When visiting plan your itinerary, make the most of your time there so you do not miss out. Following these guide lines, one or several, will help you make your trip to El Salvador unforgettable.

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