Sonsonate, El Salvador

By: Evelyn Repreza

The Map

The little Red dot is where Sonsonate is located, and the yellow line is where Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador is all separated. It is about the size of Massachusetts. El Salvador means "The Savior". The capital of El Salvador, Is San Salvador. The capital is the biggest city in El Salvador.

The Flag

The flag has two horizontal blue lines and one white one in the middle. In the middles are the words "15 Septiembre De 1821" which is September 15, 1821, is when we got independence. They contain the flag as a symbol of national pride. The blue symbolizes support for the ruling oligarchy, and the red symbolizes supports for communism and/or resistance. The words "Dios, Union, y Libertad" (God, Union, and Liberty) are in the middle. Also"Republica de El Salavdpr en la America Central" is what surrounds the little triangle.

The Food We Eat

We eat a lot of beans and rice. Corn is one of the major food ingredients that we use. Like for example we use corn to make tamales, and tortillas. We can also use corn in our drinks like to make atol. One of the main drinks that we have is Horchata which is made from a morron seed that is grounded into a powder, and then is added to water or milk and sugar. The most common desert that we eat is Pastel de Thres Leches which means "cake of three milks" it is made up of three different kinds of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and whipped cream. We eat a lot of Pollo (chicken), beef, pork, and sometimes fish. We do eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, which they are commonly served on the side of a dish. Another main thing we serve on the side is Arroz y queso con crèma (rice with cheese and cream). Salvadorians get offended if you do not eat there food, they except you to be hungry whenever you come to them. One main thing about our food is that we don't really eat a lot of spicy food like some Mexicans do. Like our candy, we love to eat candy and our candy is very sweet but while some of our candy can be spicy it is most likely for you to find a candy that is sweet rather then spicy. Down below there are some examples of the main things we eat:

Our Language

The language we speak is Spanish. All though some of the spanish is the same as in other countries like mexico, most words actually have different meanings, the dialect is different and some of the words are spelled differently. Here are some Examples:

"Choco- means blind, Chivo- is cool/awesome, Chota- is the police, Pisto- money, Tunco- pig". The way you greet somebody is by saying "Buenos dias" (good morning), "buenas tardes" (good afternoon), y "buenas noches" (good night), greeting somebody everyday like this is showing respect and could be punished if not. El Salvador is a culture where only close family members and friends can be greeted by first names.

Our Gender Roles

In Sonsonate the men are the providers for everything else and the woman is the house provider. They are considered to be a Nuclear Family, only the parents and the children live together. But we can also be considered an Extended Family, because some people live all together including the the grandparents, uncles, and their aunts. They believe that the woman must show respect to the men, they cannot raise their voices at them, and they must be feed as demanded. The children are expected to show "respect" to their elders, which means they have to use respectful greetings and terms of address. They have to be obedient and when an adult request something they have to comply immediately. If the children do not comply to an adults request, complain, or talk back they can be hit or reprimanded at any age. But in some situations the the woman is not with her male partner, then the woman has to take on fully responsibility of working, the household and taking care of the children. Our society is sometimes called "Michista", they boys are expected to be strong and brave, while the girls are excepted to be peaceful and quiet.

Beliefs and Religious Practices

We believe in God and all he has sacrificed for us. Our main religious practice is Catholic. About 58% of the population is Catholic. Our other religious practice is Protestant which includes being part Christian, Baptist, or being part of the Jehovah Witness. About 21-35% of the population are Protestant. They believe that the "Ojo" or the "Evil Eye" affects the babies with fevers. They believe that the choice of getting married is made up by the couple. The common kind of marriage is informal: that is when a man and a woman move in together and have children without the church service. But when they do get married in a church it is considered irreversible, and mostly wait until they have children to get married. You have to be 18 years old to get married unless the woman is already pregnant or if the couple already have children. For both civil and religious marriages getting a divorce requires a separation and a reason why you want to divorce. Most of the Catholic Churches and Evangelical churches never condone divorce.

Personal Interactions

We don't mind our personal space, we love giving hugs to each other any time we can. When we meet some one for the first time we shake their hand. If we know the person really close they do a "special" fist bump, we also greet each other with a kiss on side of the cheek, but our main is just giving each other big hugs. Family interaction is very important to us. We enjoy having company with us, on every holiday we get together as a big family reunion. We like to get together on any special occasions like birthdays, getting engaged, getting married, or just to have a cook out. If you don't not greet a person it could be considered an offense. We are considered a very close family, we all have the responsibility to look after each other. The different about being here in the U.S. and in El Salvador is that there they like to hang out with friends after school, but a lot people here don't like to really hang out after school.

What We Look Like

Everybody looks different from each other, because we all have different skin color. Like half of Salvadorians are mixed with Indigenous (Native American). Those who are mixed with Indigenous have a darker skin tone. Then the other half is mixed with White. Those who are mixed with being part White have a lighter skin tone. Our skin tones are a little different from each other but otherwise we look the same. Other names that we are known as is Salvadorean, Guanaco, and Salvadoreño.

Health Care

About 47% of our people do not have access to clean water. Most Salvadorians treat themselves with medicine bought in pharmacies. When the "Evil eye" affects the baby the cure is when the person who gave the eye chews various herbs and splits them into a liquid that they rub onto the baby's body. The traditional healers are called curanderos. Like in the U.S. most of the common health issues in El Salvador is colds, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, constipation, sinus infections, skin infections, headaches, ear infections, dental problems, minor injuries, dental problems, minor injuries, sexually transmitted diseases like STDs, adjustment disorders, emotional problems, and alcohol abuse.

Education and Dressing

The basic education is compulsory until the age 13, but the children from the poorest families ages 6 to 16 do not attend school. Nine out of ten children from the richest families attend school and only a quarter go on to study at a university. Most families cannot afford to pay for the school fees, shoes or the school supplies. Because the class rooms are so small the children have a choice to go into school at whatever time they want. The times are from 6:30 am to 12:00 pm or 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Since the days are shorter then the kids get to go home for lunch or dinner. They get to have a 15min. recess when they can buy snacks. There the teachers are the ones who move from classroom to classroom but the students stay the same. They are graded on a scale of 1-10 where 10 is the highest and 6 is passing. Unlike here the government does not force the children to go to school. Just like here the teachers and students do have an open relationship where they can just talk openly together. But also the parents have to come in for parent meetings. The class sizes is public schools can fit up to 50 people. They wear casual and comfortable clothing. On special days the men and woman have to dress up the girls can either wear a skirt or a dress, the men have to suit up.

Interesting Things

Some people go to the park and just hang out. Sometimes people like to just go walking around, and go fly a kite. Salvadorians love to play soccer, it is the main sport that we play. The woman like to watch Novellas or sometimes they watch mexican soap operas. Some people would go down to the beach and go swimming around. They love to go dancing like they have clubs where they could go dancing. The most popular music that they listen to is Cumbia, and they sometimes listen salsa but that is rarely ever. A traditional instrument that they use is the Marimba, other instruments that they use includes the flute, drums, scrapers, and gourds, but barely recently they had started using guitars.

Prejudice

They are prejudice towards each other. They treat the light skinned Salvadorians better, they believe that they are "special". The Indigenous Salvadorians (Native American/dark skinned ones) are usually made fun of because their skin tone is different.