Country of the Month: El Salvador!
If you talk to one of our staff from El Salvador and ask them what their country is like, each and every single time, their face will light up. Upon mention of their county’s name, they will smile, and you will see the flurry of memories rushing through their head.
El Salvador is the smallest yet most densely populated country in Central America. No larger than the state of Massachusetts, their people are described as happy, proud, and thankful. As we celebrate El Salvador this month, our children will learn about important traditions, cultural symbols, and will see the traditional dress. So, what makes this country so unique?
Many great civilizations once occupied modern-day El Salvador. Ancient ruins from the Olmecs, Lenca, Maya, and Toltec have been found. But the Pipil people were the ones who had the greatest impact on El Salvador and were present during Columbus’ arrival. The Pipil people were strong and intelligent, their might comparable to the Aztecs in Mexico. Before Columbus, this region was named Kuskatan, a native Nawat (dialect from the Aztec language Nahuatl) word meaning “The Place of Precious Jewels.”
In 1524, Pedro Alvarado, a Spanish Conqueror, arrived to take over Guatemala. When doing so, he also set his eyes on modern-day El Salvador. However, he was not prepared to fight against the united front of the Pipil people. After some strong opposition, disease and the superior Spanish armament and armor eventually overcame the Pipil. Throughout its history, El Salvador has fought for their independence multiple times, recovered from a civil war, and dealt with the highs and lows of its economy. Yet, this population has always found multiple reasons to smile and be proud of their culture, history, and important landmarks.
The primary ingredients in El Salvadoran cuisine are rice, beans, and corn. Meat is quite expensive and it is typically enjoyed during special occasions. To view more recipes check out this website!
Flor de Izote
This is the national flower of El Salvador! The petals are plucked and added to dishes such as scrambled eggs, soups, or even eaten by themselves. The flavor of the petals are similar to those from artichoke leaves!
When most people hear the word quesadilla they think of the traditional Tex-Mex appetizer. However, if you are in El Salvador and see this item on the menu expect a sweet treat instead! Quesadilla is a cheesecake made with savory cheese and sprinkled with sesame seeds on top.
Pupusas con Curtido
The national dish of El Salvador! Pupusas are similar to Gorditas from Mexico but are generally thicker and served with a side of Curtido, or pickled onions. They are easy to make and the filling can be anything you have in your pantry such as beans, cheese, or meats. Watch this video recipe from our very own Ms. Ana to learn how to make pupusas!
Also known as Cassava, Yucca is a potato-like vegetable that is very popular in Central America. Yuca is cut into thick wedges, fried, and enjoyed alongside a piece of meat!
Empanadas de Leche
This is delicious and a must try pastry! In El Salvador an empanada is a pastry made from ground plantains filled with a sweet custard and fried. They are typically enjoyed as a snack or alongside coffee for a dessert.
Land of Volcanoes and El Salvadoran Pompeii
El Salvador is known as the “Land of Volcanoes” due to the 170 volcanoes found in the region. There are currently 23 active volcanoes and 6 that are monitored at all times. In addition to this, El Salvador lies on the Ring of Fire, a region prevalent in seismic activity and volcanic eruptions. Although they are feared due to their large capacity for destruction, this population greatly admires these natural wonders and have embraced their cultural impact.
Joya de Cerén
Joya de Cerén was an ancient city during the Mayan classical period. However, it is most popularly known as the Pompeii of Latin America. This small agricultural town of around 200 individuals was discovered in the 1970s. It is now a national monument and widely studied by archaeologists to learn how ancient people lived.
We would love to thank and highlight our staff from El Salvador! These individuals have been an amazing contribution to Casa and bring a great energy to their work. We love to learn more from them and see them interact with our little ones. Thank you so much for being part of our community!
Ms. Ana: Lead Teacher
Mr. Armando: Lead Teacher
Ms.Cecilia: Teacher Aide
Mr. Kevin: Substitute Teacher
Ms. Isabel: Teacher Aide
Ms. Yessenia: Teacher Aide
Ms. Angela: Teacher Aide
Ms. Onix Adriana: Substitute Teacher
Ms. Amelia: Teacher Aide