La Palma, Charming Crafts
The Heart of the Chalatenango Department
The city of La Palma was founded in the year 1825 and in 1984 it served as host to the first peace talk attempts between the guerilla militants and the Salvadoran government. The talks were held in an attempt to thwart the Salvadoran War, which began in 1980 and lasted until 1992.
There are several hotels where you can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the city. Within their quiet shelter, you can escape from busy days and streets of shopping, eating and exploring.
The local population’s strongest source of income comes from the production of handcrafts. About 75 % of the population makes a living by selling their products in the country. Some have even founded cooperatives and managed to start exporting their goods. Many handcraft workshops are scattered all over the city, where people work with all sort of materials, such as leather, ceramic, and cotton, among others.
One of the biggest icons when it comes to handcrafts – not only in La Palma, but also elsewhere in El Salvador – is the Salvadoran artist Fernando Llort. Fernando was born in the capital city of San Salvador in 1949 and during the 60’s he moved to the northern city of La Palma in order to develop his art. A Locust tree seed (hand painted with daily town activities motifs) is one of his most representative pieces and now every artisan in La Palma has copied this same kind of hand painted seed for their own profit. Fernando named this colorful kind of art naïf.
Fernando Llort has exhibited his work in many important places around the world, but his most important job was painting the tiles on the facade of the Metropolitan Cathedral in San Salvador.
Miramundo is located about 13 kilometers from La Palma and forms part of the hill in the midst of a cloud forest where you can enjoy some cooler temperatures, at 2400 meters above sea level. Most of the Salvadoran country can be seen from this place, due to its height. It’s also home to some of the most amazing, breathtaking sunsets on the planet. The average temperature at Miramundo is 12 degrees C.
Other nearby attractions
San Ignacio is a small town with a pleasant sub-tropical climate, located at 1010 meters above sea level. Its tourist attractions include a good number of cozy hotels and agricultural activities.
Las Pilas is the perfect place when you’re searching for the freshest organic cultivated fruits and vegetables such as: blackberries, strawberries, peaches, lettuce and more.
El Pital at only 10 km. from San Ignacio and at 2730 meters above sea level is the highest point in the whole country. El Pital is the perfect place for camping weekend, hiking and mountain biking. The average year round temperature ranges between 10 -16 degrees C.
The town of Citalá and River Lempa, the longest river in the country, are only a few minutes north of San Ignacio. The road that takes you to Citalá is close to the border with Honduras, and when you take this road, you’ll cross a bridge over the important River Lempa.