Department of Chalatenango

Chalatenango is the Valley of the waters and Sands, cool climate and handicrafts that have toured the world. In the 16th century, when the Spaniards invaded the place found three indigenous groups: the Pipil of Nahuatl origin, that would have come at the end of the 15th century; The Chortis, of Mayoide descent, who occupied the central and western part of the Department, and the Lenca which were located in the East.

Cathedral of Chalatenango

The name of Chalatenango was given by the Pipil and form it three words “shawl” or “commando”; sand; “at”: water, River, and “tenango”: Valley. Means: “Valley of waters and Sands”. Citalá and Tejutla are populations of origin Chortí; Arcatao and Potonico are other cities and Lenca names.

Initially, Lenca peoples did not want to be dominated by the Spaniards. In 1537, they fought against the invaders under the command of cacique lempira, Honduras. In 1786 the Department was part of the Mayor of San Salvador.

As the Department at that did not have so many people then, in 1791 the Baron of Carardolet, Captain General of the Kingdom of Guatemala, ordered the repopulation of the place with families who brought the province of Galicia, Spain.

1807 it had four indigenous towns, 20 villages of people of mixed race, 34 farms and 40 ranches, where inhabited 12,151 people; 500 were Spaniards, 1,822 indigenous and 10,829 ladinos or mestizos (Spanish union with Indian). And that’s why in Chalatenango is quite common to see white people, because of his Spanish offspring.

The Department of Chalatenango was founded on February 14, 1855, departmental head in the village of the same name. On January 24, 1871, the town of Chalatenango reached the title of city, during the administration of Dr. Francisco Dueñas.

Entre Rios

In 1969 was given the so-called “war of the 100 hours” with Honduras in its territory, and in 1986, the first dialogue between the Government and the former guerrillas was held in the city of La Palma.

This apartment is bathed in the Lempa and Sumpul, Nunuapa, Gualchoco, Metayate, Talquezalapa, Grande de Tilapa, Azambio, Tamulasco and Gualcuquin rivers.

The geothermal the cerron and “5 de Noviembre” are the largest in the country and are located on the borders of the Department of Chalatenango.

The Cerrón has an area of 135 square kilometers. The “5 November”, also known as “Chorrera of guava”, it has an area of 19 square kilometers.

The Lempa River crosses the area from North to South and serves as a natural boundary between Chalatenango, Santa Ana, freedom, San Salvador and cabins.
The length that runs within the Department is 129.5 km, almost half of the total length in the country, which is 325 km.

Tilapa, Azambio large rivers are born in the North of the city Chalateca and others bathe most of the municipalities that are located in this area.

Almost all flow into the lempa River and at the same time to provide water to the smaller rivers.

Tourist centres

This town has spas, rivers and hills, impregnated all the natural beauties needed to relax and have fun.

Turicentro Agua Fría

The name comes from the low temperatures of the waters, ranging the 25¼ c It is located to the North of the city of Chalatenango, at an altitude of 450 meters above the sea level.

The tourist has an extension of 42 blocks. It was opened in March 1977 and is currently divided into two main areas: swimming pool area, one for adults and one for children and one of recreation.

In the second area are the desvestideros, a large restaurant or ranch that serves typical meals and a multipurpose room for all kinds of activities and family reunions.


Chalatenango is also nest of some archaeological finds that recall our indigenous ancestors.

The municipalities of Chalatenango, El Paraíso, Concepción Quezaltepeque and San Isidro Labrador were indigenous people who left their mark in monumental buildings, as well as small mounds that measure from 50 centimeters up to five or six meters high and other many parts which are now in the National Museum “David J Guzmán.”. Located in the city of San Salvador.

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