Acajutla

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Acajutla
Municipality
US Navy 070730-N-8704K-053 Hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) is moored in Acajutla, El Salvador, during a scheduled port visit.jpg
Acajutla is located in El Salvador
Acajutla
Acajutla
Location in El Salvador
Coordinates: 13°35′24″N 89°50′01″W / 13.59000°N 89.83361°W / 13.59000; -89.83361
Country Flag of El Salvador.svg El Salvador
Department Sonsonate Department
Area
 • Total 166.59 km2 (64.32 sq mi)
Elevation 24 m (79 ft)
Population (2012)
 • Total 29,701
 • Density 180/km2 (460/sq mi)

Acajutla is a seaport and municipality in Sonsonate Department, El Salvador. The town is located at 13°35′24″N 89°50′01″W / 13.59000°N 89.83361°W / 13.59000; -89.83361 on the Pacific Coast of Central America and is El Salvador's principal seaport from which a large portion of the nation's exports of coffee, sugar, and Balsam of Peru are shipped. As a municipality, Acajutla is one of seventeen such districts in Sonsonate. As of 1992, the population of the town was 18,008, and of the municipality 47,678.

Nearby towns and villages to the main town include Hacienda Atalaya (0.5 nm), El Flor (1.7 nm), Hacienda San Antonio (1.7 nm) and Club Salinitas (3.6 nm).

History[edit]

Spanish conquistador Pedro de Alvarado, under the command of Hernán Cortés, had conquered Mexico and Guatemala before coming to the vicinity of Acajutla. There he met heavy resistance, but defeated the indigenous people in 1524 and conquered all of present-day El Salvador at the Battle of Acajutla.

Acajutla became an important colonial port for the Spanish Empire as part of the Kingdom of Guatemala, which was subordinate to the Viceroyalty of New Spain.

Following the complete independence of El Salvador in 1838, the economy of the nation became increasinging dependent on the export of coffee. The rapid growth of this lucrative "cash crop" led to profound socio-economic changes in the region, and drew of the attention of foreign investors and the local plantation owners to Acajutla, where infrastructure development was seen as necessary to assure the transport of crops from the interior and the ability to load them efficiently aboard ships.

The 1855 completion of the Panama Railway across the Isthmus of Panama further added to the activity at the port of Acajutla. With a convenient means of transporting goods between the Caribbean and the Pacific, additional shipping lines were created to carry these goods up and down the Pacific coast to and from the western terminus of the railway. Acajutla was a regular port of call from which coffee and sugar were shipped to the East Coast of the United States and Europe.

On June 4, 1882, the first railway line in El Salvador began operations, with Sonsonate as the northern terminus and Acajutla as the southern terminus.

During the 1932 Salvadoran peasant uprising, two destroyers of the Royal Canadian Navy anchored off the shore of Acajutla at the request of the British Consul in El Salvador who feared for the safety of British nationals and assets. Armed Canadian sailors briefly landed against the wishes of the Salvadoran government and began preparing to continue on to San Salvador before the situation improved and the British no longer deemed an armed Canadian presence necessary.[1]

During the twelve-year Salvadoran civil war (1980-1992), the oil refinery at Acajutla (then the only operating refinery in El Salvador), was a target for anti-government rebels.

Acajutla Port[edit]

USNS Comfort in Acajutla, El Salvador

The port of Acajutla was built in its initial phase at a cost of 25 million colones. The wave breaker of 338 meters inaugurated its operations in August 1961, and is managed by the Executive Commission of Autonomous Port (CEPA).

Climate[edit]

As with all the Pacific Coast of Central America, the climate at Acajutla is continuously hot and humid. Daytime high temperatures are usually in the 32°C - 34°C range. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Aw" (Tropical Savanna Climate).[2]

Climate data for Acajutla
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 31
(88)
31
(88)
31
(88)
32
(89)
31
(88)
31
(87)
31
(88)
31
(88)
30
(86)
31
(88)
31
(88)
31
(88)
31
(87.8)
Average low °C (°F) 24
(75)
24
(75)
25
(77)
26
(78)
26
(78)
25
(77)
24
(76)
24
(76)
24
(75)
24
(76)
24
(75)
24
(75)
24.5
(76.1)
Precipitation mm (inches) 18
(0.7)
5
(0.2)
13
(0.5)
50
(2)
145
(5.7)
312
(12.3)
264
(10.4)
315
(12.4)
371
(14.6)
224
(8.8)
58
(2.3)
10
(0.4)
1,785
(70.3)
Source: Weatherbase [3]

Commerce[edit]

Acajutla's deepwater harbor is the principal port, and for some types of shipping, there are two operational ports in El Salvador. Its port cargo loading facilities allow the marine shipment of a large portion of its major exports of coffee (40%), sugar, and Balsam of Peru. Its oil refinery is the nation's largest and it mainly refines petroleum imported from Venezuela.

The town is also the site of a petroleum refinery, a fertilizer plant, and seafood-processing plants. The beaches there attract tourists to a growing beach-resort industry.

Education[edit]

There are some primary schools between them: Fe y Alegría, Lizandro Larín Zepeda, Julian Vasquéz Rojas, and some other primary schools, even a high school named Instituto Nacional de Acajutla (INA).

People[edit]

The official language is Spanish.

Events[edit]

They celebrate their traditional parties between the last days of May and June 2 as the main day.

One of the most important celebration is made between March and April when they celebrate the passion of Christ. In that day, people clean the roads and create decoratives images in the sand they bring from the beach, and at noon they begin the simulation of the passion from San Francisco de Asis church near Barrio La playa ending in the same location the next day in the early hours of the day.

On October 24 they make celebrations of the fishermen, in honor of San Rafael Arcangel, a day that is not highly concurred by citizens that take a little trip by fishing boat.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Marc Milner, "The Invasion Of El Salvador: Navy, Part 14", Legion Magazine, 1 March 2006. Accessed 22 January 2011.
  2. ^ Climate Summary for Acajutla
  3. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Acajutla, El Salvador". Weatherbase. 2011.  Retrieved on November 24, 2011.

Sources[edit]

  • "Acajutla". 2006. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online Library Edition. (Retrieved September 16, 2006).
  • "CENTRAL AMERICA: Interesting Record of the Voyage of the Steamship Columbus from Panama to Central American Ports — Trade of the Coast — Agriculture in Guatemala — Cochineal and Indigo Trade in Guatemala and Salvador — Increase in the Growth of Coffee in Salvador — Facilities of Trade — General News, etc.." New York Times (1857-Current file), January 29, 1858 (Accessed via ProQuest September 17, 2006).
  • Meislin, Richard J. "5 Key Leaders of the Opposition Reported Kidnapped in Salvador." New York Times. October 23, 1982. (Accessed via Proquest, September 17, 2006).
  • Snaden, James N. "El Salvador". Lands and Peoples. Grolier Online. (Retrieved September 16, 2006)
  • "Trade with Central America and with the States of the South Pacific, via Isthmus of Panama." New York Times. July 17, 1858. (Accessed via Proquest, September 17, 2006).
  • Woodward, Jr., Ralph L. "El Salvador". Encyclopedia Americana. Grolier Online. (Retrieved September 16, 2006).

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 13°35′24″N 89°50′01″W / 13.59000°N 89.83361°W / 13.59000; -89.83361