San Miguel, El Salvador
|Department||San Miguel Department|
|• Total||593.98 km2 (229.34 sq mi)|
|Elevation||129 m (423 ft)|
|• Density||310/km2 (800/sq mi)|
|Website||Official website (Spanish)|
San Miguel is the third most populous city in El Salvador after Santa Ana. It is located 138 km east of the capital, San Salvador. It is also the capital of the department of San Miguel and a municipality. The population of the city in (2007) was 218,410 habitants.
After the foundation of the Villa de, the Spaniards sent Captain Luis de Moscoso east of the Lempa River with the entrust of the establishment of a new Spanish village. Such event took place on May 8, 1530, being the name given to the new village San Miguel de la Frontera (San Miguel of the Frontier). By 1586 the village had obtained the title of city. The native language is Spanish.
The city has been an important center of the agriculture, textile and chemical industries of El Salvador. However, in the last decade the services sector, specially health care and commerce, have increased considerably, resulting in significant private investments in hospitals and shopping malls within the city. This has been usually attributed partly for the high inflow of remittances (at least 35% of the total, that represent around 18% of the national GDP ) that salvadorans living abroad send to the eastern zone of the country.
The wealth of the eastern half of the country is expected to increase when the Puerto La Unión starts operations in 2012.
There are many educational institutions within the city, private and public, including some of the oldests schools in the country. The main universities are the public University of El Salvador ( with its Facultad Multidiciplinaria de Oriente) and the private Universidad de Oriente (UNIVO).The University Gerardo Barrios, the University Modular Abierta.
The sports infrastructure of San Miguel has had a remarkable development and modernization since the beginning of the past decade. The main sports centers are the national football stadium of "Juan Francisco Barraza", the "Polideportivo Don Bosco" and the Charlaix Stadium.
On November, San Miguel celebrates its municipal festivities in honor of "Nuestra Señora De La Paz" (Our Lady of Peace), being the Carnival of San Miguel the final and main event that takes place on the last Saturday of the month. With an estimate of 1,000,000 people attending it for its 50th anniversary (as reported by the local media), it is considered the biggest festival of entertainment, music and food in El Salvador and one of the largest in Central America. The beginnings of the Carnival itself date from 1959. Currently, this tradition continues to reflect the growth of the city and one of the motors for its economy.
San Miguel is famous for its night life along the Roosevelt Avenue, the main street that runs through the city, dividing it in half. One of those sides includes the places of historical interest such as the Cathedral of "Nuestra Señora de la Paz" (1862), Parque Guzman, Francisco Gavidia Theater (1909) and Palacio Municipal (1935). The other half, modern San Miguel, includes new neighborhoods called "colonias".
Many Salvadoran historical figures were born in San Miguel: Captain General Gerado Barrios, writer Francisco Gavidia, and poet Juan J. Cañas. The city is flanked by the Volcan Chaparrastique (2,129 meters), perhaps the most iconic image of San Miguel.
San Miguel is a sister city of Arlington, Virginia.