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Culture Of El Salvador -

05.07.2019 3 Comments

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My impression of El Salvador may be a bit skewed. Salvadorian girls are beautiful. I was only there for three days and I got jumped. However, the city of San Salvador can be incredible - if you stay safe. The locals you see on the streets rarely are. Yet, El Salvador is worth a trip for a couple reasons. Second, the beaches in El Salvador have great surf, are cheap and foster great nightlife on the weekends.

Many of these immigrants have brought back American sports with them, and basketball is the most popular of those. El Salvador is also blessed with some of the best surfing beaches in the world. Nowhere in the country is that far away from the beach. Cumbria and salsa are often heard blasting from homes.

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There is also a vibrant rock scene in San Salvador with many local bands. Salvadoran hip hop is also popular. Unlike other Central American countries, genres such as reggaeton and reggae are generally looked down upon and are not popular. El Salvador also has quite a popular folk music scene. The xylophone is the national instrument and these things are heard all over the country. All countries in Central America make hammocks. But El Salvador is the best.

This is due to the propensity for earthquakes in the region think rocking like a hammock and for the quality of the hammocks themselves. More than any other country in the region, the hammock is a source of national pride and more or less every single family owns at least one. That goes for El Salvador as much as for its neighboring countries. But El Salvador does have something quite unique to its shores.

Something that it has managed to export to the rest of the world as its diaspora spread. Women are also under-represented in politics. Violence toward women occurred during the war, and has continued at an alarming rate. Violent crime including murder and rape increased after the signing of the peace accords. Domestic abuse, along with alcohol abuse, is said to be prevalent.

Among the poor, marriage is the decision of the couple.

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The most common kind of marriage is informal: a man and a woman set up a household and have children without a civil or church service. These unions are recognized under law but can be dissolved easily. However, men are now required to support children conceived in common law marriage as well as with women with whom they have no formal relationship.

A marriage performed in a church is considered irreversible, and many people wait until they have children to marry. Couples must be 18 years old to marry unless the woman is pregnant or already has children. In both civil and religious marriages, divorce law requires a separation and a cause. The Catholic Church and many Evangelical churches never condone divorce. Domestic Unit. The domestic unit generally consists of a couple and their children, although other relatives also may live in the household.

The man is nominally the head of the household, but women, especially in poorer families, often provide economic support for their children. A large proportion of families are headed by single women. Kin Groups.

The extended family is very important in the national culture. A woman can count on her cousins, uncles, aunts, and grandparents on both sides for support. The Family Code recognizes the importance of the extended family and requires various categories of kin to support their relatives with food, clothing, housing, health care, and education. Either spouse may be required to pay support to the other.

Grandparents may be asked to support grandchildren, and vice versa. Parents must support their children, and brothers and sisters may be required to pay support to their siblings.

A road through the village of El Jocotal. Rural housing is typically built of adobe and features a large front porch. Infant Care. Infants in poor families are cared for by their mothers, who take them along on their daily tasks.

They sleep in a room with their parents, in a crib or hammock of their own or in the parents' bed. People are affectionate with babies and play and talk with them often. They are breast-fed on demand and are not weaned until eighteen months or two years of age. In the upper middle and upper classes, child care often is delegated to a nanny.

Child Rearing and Education. Children are expected to show "respect" to their elders, which involves using respectful greetings and terms of address. They are expected to be obedient and comply with requests from adults immediately.

Children may be hit or reprimanded after age six or seven years for not complying with adults' requests, complaining, or answering back. Shaming is another method used to discipline children. Parents loudly complain about a misbehaving child to another adult or child, within earshot of the offending child. Shaming most often occurs in regard to completing assigned tasks, school performance, and propriety in matters such as dress. Basic education is compulsory until age thirteen, but half the children ages six to sixteen in the poorest families do not attend school.

Nine of ten children of the richest families attend school, and a quarter go on to study at a university.

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Poor families often cannot afford to pay school fees or pay for shoes and school supplies. Higher Education. Higher education is not emphasized and accounts for a small part of the government budget. Professors and students at the Universidad Centramericana and the National University were killed in the war, and neither university has been given the resources to recover.

There has been an explosion of private colleges offering professional and technical degrees, but these schools are not respected and prepare students badly. Respect is due to older persons from younger person, and to higher-status persons from lower-status individuals. This includes using titles of respect before people's names and using the formal "you" " usted ". Women must show respect to men, should not raise their voices to them, and must serve them food on demand. Greetings are necessary upon entering a store or, in small towns and communities, passing someone on the street.

Failure to greet a person is considered offensive. A Salvadoran man works on his fishing net. Many Salvadorans are employed in low-paying, "informal economy" jobs. Religious Beliefs. El Salvador is 75 percent Roman Catholic but has a growing Protestant movement.

The Catholic Church returned to its traditional conservative stance after the end of the civil war. Among Protestant denominations, Pentecostal and fundamentalist sects-called evangelical churches-have had the largest growth. There are a number of reasons for the growth of evangelical churches in the last two decades of the twentieth century. First, Catholics were often targets of government repression for their "subversive" involvement in base Christian communities, while evangelicals were safe from government repression.

Second, the evangelical emphasis on personal conversion is considered apolitical. Finally, small evangelical churches provide their members with a strong sense of community and family. Religious Practitioners. While the Catholic Church has allowed greater participation of religious lay workers, the possibilities for leadership in the laity are restricted. There are more possibilities in the evangelical churches for nonspecialists to rise to leadership positions.

Such positions are restricted to men. Death and the Afterlife.

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Catholics devote nine nights of prayer for deceased persons so that the souls of the dead can be purified and they can rise from purgatory to heaven. Most Western-trained doctors who work in clinics and hospitals are located in the metropolitan areas. In the rural zones, most health issues are dealt with by health promoters or midwives who receive some training through the Ministry of Health, a foreign organization, or a local NGO.

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Salvadorans often treat themselves with modern medicine bought in pharmacies or from ambulatory salesmen. There are traditional remedies for some folk illnesses. The ojoor "evil eye," is said to affect babies with fever. It is cured when the person who gave the eye chews various herbs and spits them into a liquid that is rubbed on the baby's body.

Traditional healers are called curanderos. Independence is celebrated on 15 September with parades. It is the only secular holiday, although many religious holidays have become secularized.

Many people spend Holy Week, the week preceding Easter, at the beach. Salvadoran literary production in the latter twentieth century has been concerned with a re-examination of the national history.

The country suffers from a lack of publishing facilities. Graphic Arts. The village of LaPalma has become famous for a school of art started by Fernando Llort. Images of mountain villages, campesinos, and Christ are painted in bright colors on a variety of wooden objects.

Performance Arts. Most of the music on Salvadoran radio is standard pop fare from the United States, Mexico, and various Latin American countries, but there is a small underground movement of folk music which draws its inspiration from current events in El Salvador. Academia has suffered much from the war and has not been given the resources to recover. However, there has recently been increased social science research on social problems such as crime, violence, and social and economic inequality.

There has also been increased interest in research on the environment.

Much of this research is being conducted with funds from foreign agencies. Aguayo, S. Central Americans in Mexico and the United States Argueta, Manlio. Cuzcatlan: Where the South Sea BeatsBerryman, P. Binford, Leigh. Clements, C. Craft, Linda Jo. Novels of Testimony and Resistance from Central America Dickson-Gomez, J.

Farias, P. Garaizabal, C. Golden, R. Grande, L. Lindo-Fuentes, Hector. Mahler, Sarah J. American Dreaming: Immigrant Life on the Margins Marenn, Lea. Salvador's Children: A Song for Survival Martin-Baro, I.

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Suarez-Orozco, M. United Nations. Report of the Commission on the Truth United States Department of State. Background Notes: El Salvador Williams, Philip J. Toggle navigation. Culture Name Salvadoran. History and Ethnic Relations Emergence of the Nation. The mestizos were people of mixed Spanish El Salvador. Motor vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians crowd a busy street in downtown San Salvador.

Urbanism, Architecture, and the Use of Space Rural houses are typically made of adobe, with a large front porch corredor where people spend most of their time when at home. Food and Economy Food in Daily Life.

Social Stratification Classes and Castes. Political Life Government. Social Welfare and Change Programs Government expenditures on health and education programs declined during the war.

Nongovernmental Organizations and Other Associations Nongovernmental organizations NGOs flourished during the war as a result of the civil population's desire for peace, democracy, and development. Marriage, Family, and Kinship Marriage. Socialization Infant Care. Etiquette Respect is due to older persons from younger person, and to higher-status persons from lower-status individuals. Religion Religious Beliefs. Medicine and Health Care Most Western-trained doctors who work in clinics and hospitals are located in the metropolitan areas.

Secular Celebrations Independence is celebrated on 15 September with parades. The Arts and Humanities Literature. The State of the Physical and Social Sciences Academia has suffered much from the war and has not been given the resources to recover. Bibliography Aguayo, S. Dalton, Roque. Miguel Marmol Also read article about El Salvador from Wikipedia.

User Contributions: 1. Thank you for publishing articles like this one. Thanks Jetty Sibrian. I really enjoyed reading this article. I really enjoy going there to,but i really appreciate that facts that you publish articles such as this to help me learn more about my country.

El Salvador is a very small country but the people is very nice,their are rich in culture that not many conutries his and they olso have a very nice Besches all over the countey and finaly el slavador is the most beautiful country in centrica america. The landscape and natural cts of El Salvador are truly stunning. The country is one of the most beautiful ones I've ever been to. Enjoy dating Salvadorian girls. Enjoy the beach. Then get out of El Salvador, alive! San Salvador - City Guide, chasing Salvadorian girls Positives of San Salvador.

Joseph Keogh. Great article Julia, thank you! My mother is from El Salvador and my father is Irish. I live in Dublin, Ireland and work as a photographer.

I have alot of family in El Salvador which I have never met.

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I would love to go there one day. I heard there is alot of kidnappings: Is this true? Best Regards, Joe. Unfortunately, now a days anyone is a target for kidnapping.


It used to be that only the wealthy, or at least the well to do got kidnapped and held for ransom. Just this year, two family friends have been kidnapped, one was released after paying the ransom, the other one was killed even AFTER the ransom was paid.

Neither family is reach or even well-to-do. They are average middle class people. Unfortunately, it seems like no one is immune anymore. Hi, thanks a lot for this article. I have to do a project and this article is the one that has helped me more. I'm from El Salvador and came here when I was 13 yrs old. I has there in July 06' and I had soooooo much fun, it's awesome to get together with the family and friends.

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If you want you can contact me at frivera yahoo. Great Artical!! It's helping me in my studies because most of the things you covered in this artical is the research that i needed!! Oh yea another thing i forgot to mention was i am also half El Salvadorean.

And its amazing how much more you know than i do!! Helpful information: I am in a relationship with a beautiful man from El Salvador; of course there is a race issue with my race as well as his. To me people are people regardless of your race, financial status, or religious beliefs. And its realy helping me to get info about El SAlvador for a report I have to do.

Eric Gonzalez. Iappreciate this article. Can you tell me what is correct when showing respect to the family? As a Christian we send flowers to the funeral, I don't want to disrespect the family by doing the same if they concider it to be wrong?. Thank you.

Kimberly O. For anyone unfamiliar with the Salvadorean culture, this article provides an accurate depiction of Salvadorean life, for the most part. I was made in El Salvador and born in New York, when my mother fled the war torn country while pregnant with me back in Although an American, I am, without a doubt Salvadorean.

Articles such as these revive the sense of who I truly am and always will be. On behalf of the Salvadorean people, "Muchas gracias por este articulo. Alma Hernandez. Great article. They were from a wealthy coffe family I believe, and he even spoke of an aunt or grandmother who was a political figure.

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Julia, the information you have outlined above seems like it was taken from some Encyclopedia. Unfortunately I see many individuals claiming to be Salvadoreans but yet born outside the country. Many have not even visited El Salvador. They, "the want to be Salvadorenos", find your findings helpful. However, this information is not even first hand documentation. I would have to imagine that many of them are in high school or early years of university education.

My suggestion is to get them to conduct reserch for themselves and use your above information as secondary sources!! I appreciate this article,it really gave me insight on my culture and heritage.

I was born in The U. S but of Salvadorean decent,its great to know more about the land and tradition of my people thanks a lot,god bless. Christian Clarke. A more information of the civil war who started and why. The article is generally informative and I think it opens up discussion for the "remittance culture" that I believe is a more accurate representation of El Salvador than what the article depicts. I have been doing business over the past 10 years in El Salvador and married a local lady from San Miguel.

I have been to the most remote "canton" and have yet to see anyone who did not have an I-phone, mini notebook computer or the latest X-box game. I have yet to really meet kids greet me respectfully. Most of the ones I have seen run around in little groups, imitating the maras. From pueblo to pueblo, the names change but the situation is the same: Low population of men between the ages of 20 to 40; high population of children, teens, elderly and women.

Many men have migrated to the USA and elsewhere to earn competetive wages to help out with bills at home in El Salvador. I do believe the article's description of the extended family assistance is accurate.

I will also add that there is also a culture of dependence forming which is eroding Salvadorean culture. The country's dependence on foreign remittances has created an unnatural class of the "temporary rich" who are in reality the "permanent poor". Without the skills of administering and investing money, the temporary injection of remittance money is quickly spent on gadgets such as I-phones, X-box games and poverty returns.

What is their clothing styles? The Lencas later occupied the cave and utilised it as a spiritual place. The rock petroglyphs in San Jose Villanueva near a cave in Walter Thilo Deininger National Park are similar to other ancient rock petroglyph around the country. Native Americans appeared in the Pleistocene era and became the dominant people in the Lithic stagedeveloping in the Archaic period in North America to the Formative stageoccupying this position for thousands of years until their demise at the end of the 15th and 16th century, spanning the time of the original arrival in the Upper Paleolithic to European colonization of the Americas during the early modern period.

About 40, years ago the ancestors of the indigenous people of the Americas split from the rest of the world following the Pleistocene megafauna and then they flourish mightily, evolving in the Americas, from the Lithic stage to the Post-Classic stagewhich was brought into an abrupt end about years ago with the infamous mass genocide and cultural extinction caused by Europeans intrusion into the Americas, bringing deaseses and colonizing the Americas with warfare, terrorism, extremists radical Christianity and mass massacres.

Only some Native American indigenous groups survived that catastrophe, most of them in MexicoCentral America and South Americawith Salvadoran indigenous being one of many who have given rise to all modern Native Americans still alive today. La Palma-type art, from La Palma, Chalatenango.

Salvadoran staple art in La Palma, Chalatenango. Historically El Salvador has had diverse Native American cultures, coming from the north and south of the continent along with local populations mixed together.

El Salvador belongs to both to the Mesoamerican region in the western part of the country, and to the Isthmo-Colombian Area in the eastern part of the country, where a myriad of indigenous societies have lived side by side for centuries with their unique cultures and speaking different indigenous languages of the Americas in the beginning of the Classic stage.

The Lenca people are an indigenous people of eastern El Salvador where population today is estimated at about 37, The Lenca was a matriarchal society and was one of the first civilizations to develop in El Salvador and were the first major civilization in the country. The pre-Conquest Salvadoran Lenca had frequent contact with various Maya groups as well as other indigenous peoples of Central America.

The origin of Lenca populations has been a source of ongoing debate amongst anthropologists and historians. Throughout the regions of Lenca occupation, Lenca pottery is a very distinguishable form of Pre-Columbian art.

The culture of El Salvador is a Central American culture nation influenced by the clash of ancient Mesoamerica and medieval Iberian Peninsula. Salvadoran culture is influenced by Native American culture (Lenca people, Cacaopera people, Maya peoples, Pipil people) as well as Latin American culture (Latin America, Hispanic America, Ibero-America). The People. Unlike every other country in Central America, El Salvador is the only one that has no Caribbean coast at all. And if there's one factor in this part of the world that affects culture, it could be that Caribbean coast (or lack of) factor. Apr 30,   Two of the major cultural customs in El Salvador are marriage and familial structure. Both marriage and family are very important to the people of El Salvador. But as the country of El Salvador continues to grow and develop the culture the people are so .

Handcrafted by Lenca women, Lenca pottery is considered an ethnic marking of their culture. Some scholars have suggested that the Lenca migrated to the Central American region from South America around 3, years ago, making it the oldest civilization in El Salvador.

Guancasco is the annual ceremony by which Lenca communities, usually two, gather to establish reciprocal obligations in order to confirm peace and friendship. Quelepa is a major site in eastern El Salvador. Its pottery shows strong similarities to ceramics found in central western El Salvador and the Maya highlands.

The Cacaopera people are an indigenous people in El Salvador who are also known as the Matagalpa or Ulua. Cacaopera people spoke the Cacaopera languagea Misumalpan language.

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It was closely related to Matagalpa, and slightly more distantly to Sumo, but was geographically separated from other Misumalpan languages. The Xinca peoplealso known as the Xinka, are a non-Mayan indigenous people of Mesoamerica, with communities in the western part of El Salvador near its border. The Xinka may have been among the earliest inhabitants of western El Salvador, predating the arrival of the Maya and the Pipil. The Xinca ethnic group became extinct in the Mestizo process.

El Salvador has two Maya groups, the Poqomam people and the Ch'orti' people. The Poqomam are a Maya people in western El Salvador near its border. Their indigenous language is also called Poqomam. The Ch'orti' people alternatively, Ch'orti' Maya or Chorti are one of the indigenous Maya peoples, who primarily reside in communities and towns of northern El Salvador.

Alternative Names

The Maya once dominated the entire western portion of El Salvador, up until the eruption of the lake ilopango super volcano. Alaguilac people were a former indigenous group located on northern El Salvador. Their language is unclassified. The Alaguilac ethnic group became extinct during the Mestizo process.

The Mixe people is an indigenous group that inhabited the western borders of El Salvador. They spoke the Mixe languages which are classified in the Mixe-Zoque family, The Mixe languages are languages of the Mixean branch of the Mixe-Zoquean language family. The Mixe ethnic group became extinct during the Mestizo process. The Mangue people, also known as Chorotega, are an extinct Oto-Manguean language people, indigenous to eastern El Salvador border, near the gulf. The Pipils are an indigenous people who live in western El Salvador.

Their language is called Nahuat or Pipil, related to the Toltec people of the Nahuatl Nation and were speakers of early Nahuatl languages. However, in general, their mythology is more closely related to the Maya mythologywho are their near neighbors and by oral tradition said to have been adopted by Ch'orti' and Poqomam Mayan people during the Pipil exodus in the 9th century CE.

The culture lasted until the Spanish conquest, at which time they still maintained their Nawat language, despite being surrounded by the Maya in western El Salvador. The Pipil are known as the last indigenous civilization to arrive in El Salvador, being the least oldest and were a determined people who stoutly resisted Spanish efforts to extend their dominion southward.

The Pipil are direct descendants of the Toltecs, but not of the Aztecs. Evidence of Olmec civilization presence in western El Salvador can be found in the ruin sites of Chalchuapa in the Ahuachapan department. Olmec petroglyphs can be found on boulders in Chalchuapa portraying Omlec warriors with helmets identical to those found on the Olmec colossal heads.

This suggest that the area was once an Olmec enclave, before fading away for unknown reasons. According to the Salvadoran Government, about 0. The number of indigenous people in El Salvador have been criticized by indigenous organizations and academics as too small and accuse the government of denying the existence of indigenous Salvadorans in the country. The low numbers of indigenous people may be partly explained by historically high rates of old-world diseases, absorption into the mestizo population, as well as mass murder during the Salvadoran peasant uprising or La Matanza which saw estimates of up to 30, peasants killed in a short period of time.

The Salvadoran army, being vastly superior in terms of weapons and soldiers, executed those who stood against it. The rebellion was a mixture of protest and insurrection and ended in ethnocideclaiming the lives of anywhere between 10, and 40, peasants and other civilians, many of them indigenous people.

Many authors note that since La Matanza the indigenous in El Salvador have been very reluctant to describe themselves as such in census declarations for example or to wear indigenous dress or be seen to be taking part in any cultural activities or customs that might be understood as indigenous.

Departments and cities in the country with notable indigenous populations include Sonsonate especially IzalcoNahuizalcoand Santo DomingoCacaoperaand Panchimalcoin the department of San Salvador. There is a significant Arab population of about; [4] mostly from Palestine especially from the area of Bethlehembut also from Lebanon. Salvadorans of Palestinian descent numbered around 70, individuals, while Salvadorans of Lebanese descent is around 25, The history of the Arabs in El Salvador dates back to the end of the 20th century, because of religious clashes, which induced many PalestiniansLebaneseEgyptians and Syrians to leave the land where they were born, in search of countries where they at least lived in An atmosphere of relative peace.

There were also other reasons of a subjective nature, based on the hope of success, of achieving success and fortune and obtaining recognition from others. Arab immigration in El Salvador began at the end of the 20th century in the wake of the repressive policies applied by the Ottoman Empire against Maronite Catholics.

Culture of El Salvador

Several of the destinations that the Lebanese chose at that time were in countries of the Americas, including El Salvador. This resulted in the Arab diaspora residents being characterized by forging in devoutly Christian families and very attached to their beliefs, because in these countries they can exercise their faith without fear of persecution, which resulted in the rise of Lebanese-Salvadoran, Syrian-Salvadoran and Palestinian-Salvadoran communities in El Salvador.

Inter-ethnic marriage in the Lebanese community with Salvadorans, regardless of religious affiliation, is very high; most have only one father with Lebanese nationality and mother of Salvadoran nationality. As a result, some of them speak Arabic fluently. But most, especially among younger generations, speak Spanish as a first language and Arabic as a second.

First they arrived at La Libertad, were they comprised half of the economic activity of immigrants. Lebanon had been an iqta of the Ottoman Empire. Although the imperial administration, whose official religion was Islam, guaranteed freedom of worship for non-Muslim communities, and Lebanon in particular had a semi-autonomous status, the situation for practitioners of the Maronite Catholic Church was complicated, since they had to cancel exaggerated taxes and suffered limitations for their culture.

These tensions were expressed in a rebellion in and a war against the Druze in The hostile climate caused many Lebanese to sell their property and take ships in the ports of SidonBeirut and Tripoli heading for the Americas.

In the case of these Arab-Salvadorans, although not all the families arrived together, they were the ones that lead the economy in the country. A Cabalgador Spanish: Cavalry, Horseman, Horserider is a Salvadoran horse-mounted livestock herder cowboy of a tradition that originated on the Iberian Peninsula and was brought to Central America by Spanish settlers. It has deep historic roots tracing back to Spain and the earliest European settlers of the Americas.

Cabalgador is a Spanish word for a horseman rider and herder. It derives from Cabalgar and Cabalgadura meaning "rider".

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Early Cabalgadores in El Salvador were originally a mixture of part Spanish and American Indigenous, Mestizo, Indigenous and Pardo men who lived in the countryside and had a strong culture which has shaped El Salvador's over all distinctive rural culture, tradition, folklore, and music, having a strong rural countryside culture.

The origins of the Cabagador tradition in El Salvador come from Spain, beginning with the hacienda system of medieval Spain. This style of cattle ranching spread throughout much of the Iberian peninsula and later, was imported to the Americas. During the 16th century, the Conquistadors and other Spanish settlers brought their cattle-raising traditions as well as both horses and domesticated cattle to the Americas.

The traditions of Spain were transformed by the geographic, environmental and cultural circumstances.

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