MCC Daily Tribune Archive

Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month

As we are approaching the end of Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month, the country chosen for this week is El Salvador.

El Salvador is situated on the Pacific coast of Central America. El Salvador has Guatemala to the west and Honduras to the north and east. It is the smallest of the Central American countries, with an area equal to that of Massachusetts, and it is the only country in Central America without an Atlantic coastline.

Official name: República de El Salvador
Capital: San Salvador
Currency: United States Dollar
Languages: Spanish is the official language of El Salvador.  There are also other languages derived from the Indigenous people and although rarely spoken, they can still be found in El Salvador.

Some of those languages are:

*  Lenca – one of the dialects of the native Mesoamerican language; spoken in areas of southwestern Honduras and east of the Lempa river during the Spanish defeat of Central America in 16th century,

*  Pipil or Nawat – a language first spoken by the Pipils in western part of the country; Pipils and persons of the country normally refer to the language as Nawat,

*  Cacaopera – an extinct language that goes back to the Misumalpan family, spoken before in the area of Morazán,

*  Nahaut– spoken by Native Americans in the Western region; native languages spoken in the state are part of the social custom and are to be preserved, recognized and respected; still spoken by elderly persons as well as Salvadoran sign language.

The Salvadoran Flag and its Meaning:

*  Blue stripes represent the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea

*  White stripe symbolizes peace

*  State coat of arms on El Salvador’s flag is based on the coat of arms of the former United Provinces of Central America

1.      Its triangle represents equality and the three branches of El Salvador’s government
2.      The five volcanoes within the flag symbolizes the five former members of the federation, flanked by the blue of the ocean and sea

3.      Triangle contains symbols of liberty, ideals of the people and peace, which are represented by a red cap, golden rays, rainbow, and the date that El Salvador gained independence from Spain

4.      Underneath the triangle lies El Salvador’s national motto which translates in English to ‘God, Union and Liberty’

5.      Fourteen clusters of leaves represent the 14 departments or states of El Salvador

Typical Foods:

El Salvador most traditional dish is the PUPUSA and the TAMAL.  This is a handmade tortilla of corn flour or rice and stuffed with either a ground pork paste or refried beans with cheese.  The pupusa can also be with vegetables or seafood.  The main ingredient in both dishes is corn flour.

Jorge Alas
World Languages and Cultures

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