Perquin was known unofficially as the guerrilla capital during the conflict; now a peaceful village in the mountains of Morazan. Visit the Museum of the Revolution and climb the Cerro de Perquin. Close by you will find the Rio Sapo where you can take a refreshing swim.
Perquin a Peaceful Town
The scenic mountain town of Perquin offers visitors a unique combination of history and natural beauty. Located in the area of guerrilla control during the civil war known as the “red zone”, Perquin was known unofficially as the guerrilla capital during the conflict. It was often the site of meetings of the leadership of the Frente guerrillas and, after the cease-fire, of important events on the road to a permanent peace.
Winter Festival in Perquin
During the first week of August they are celebrating the Winter Festival in the village of Perquin. There are five days of local food, sweets, cultural presentations, music, folk dance, dancing, and theater. Normally there is plenty of sunshine, although this in the rainy season, but you must be prepared to endure a shower, or two.
The Museum of the Guerrillas
The Museum of the Salvadoran Revolution, located right in town, recounts the experience of the guerrillas during the civil war, utilizing hundreds of photos, documents, and weapons. Founded by a group of ex-combatants in Perquin just after the civil war, The Museum of the Salvadoran Revolution, Homage to its Heroes and Martyrs tells a first-hand history of the 12 years of armed conflict that divided this small country. The exhibits focus largely on the experience of the guerrillas of Morazan.
What to see in the museum
The Museum is divided into five major sections: the causes of the war, the international solidarity effort, life in the guerrilla camps, the peace accords, and the Radio Venceremos. This last exhibit is located in the very spot from which the guerrillas broadcasted their famous radio program during much of the war. The museum also boasts the wreckage of the helicopter of Colonel Domingo Monterrosa, alleged author of the Mozote massacre of 1981, and a great story to go along with it.
Ask for a guide
If you speak Spanish, ask for a guided tour by one of the former guerrillas; they bring the exhibits to life by narrating the true stories behind them. An audiovisual center and an audio tour in English are both in the works.
Cerro de Perquin
Take fifteen minutes to climb the Cerro de Perquin for a panoramic view of Northern Morazan and nearby Honduras. Also visit the Poza de Final Adán, a great spot for swimming and only a twenty minute walk down a wooded road to the southeast. Birdwatchers will enjoy the pine forests to the north and east of Perquin, host to a variety of orioles and orchids.
Cool down in Rio Sapo
Also accessible from Perquin is the Rio Sapo protected area, which offers pristine rivers, endangered wildlife. In addition, PRODETUR offers camping supplies, cabins, interpretive nature hikes and rapeling.
New Approach to Nature Preservation
The Rio Sapo (Toad River) Protected Area is the fruit of a groundbreaking new approach to nature preservation in El Salvador based on cooperation between private landowners and environmental organizations like Perquin’s PRODETUR. The preservation effort covers approximately six thousand hectares of pristine land constituting the upper watershed of the Rio Sapo.
The park boasts a host of natural attractions for the visitor, including a breathtaking waterfall, several natural pools ideal for swimming, fascinating plant life and forty-six endangered animal species, among those river otters, coyotes, rattlesnakes and pumas.
Mozote, newer again
Just a few kilometers from the Rio Sapo is El Mozote, site of the 1981 massacre of more than a thousand civilians by a U.S.-trained battalion of the Salvadoran army.