San Salvador Tour

Spanish immersion

Welcome, students of the Spanish School “SAY ZONTE!” Today, we are embarking on an exciting tour of San Salvador, the vibrant capital of El Salvador.

This tour is designed to immerse you in the rich history and culture of our capital city while also giving you an opportunity to practice your Spanish.

We understand that some of you might be beginners, so we’ll provide key information in English to ensure everyone can enjoy and learn from this experience.

San Salvador Tour
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Quick facts

Transfer to San Salvador

The transfer from El Zonte to San Salvador by car takes approximately 60 to 75 minutes each way, depending on traffic. The tour takes about 5 – 6 hours.

Historic City Center

In San Salvador, we will visit the historic city center. Part of the tour will include:

  • The Church “El Rosario”
  • The Cathedral of San Salvador
  • The tomb of the famous Archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Romero
  • The New National Library
  • The Palacio Nacional (if time permits)

What to bring?

  • positive vibes and the motivation to improve your Spanish
  • water
  • sunnscreen and Sunprotection
  • some cash (for souvenirs)

The Cathedral and the Tomb of “Monsenior Romero”

The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Holy Savior (Catedral Metropolitana de San Salvador) in San Salvador, El Salvador, is the cathedral church of the Catholic Archdiocese of San Salvador.

History

  • 1842: The first cathedral was established on the site of the old Temple of Santo Domingo.
  • 1873: The first cathedral was destroyed in an earthquake.
  • 1888: The second wooden cathedral was completed.
  • August 8, 1951: The Old San Salvador Cathedral was destroyed by fire.
  • 1970s-1990s: Archbishop Óscar Romero deferred the completion of the cathedral to fund projects for the poor. The site witnessed several significant events, including the San Salvador Cathedral Massacre on May 9, 1979, and the deaths of 44 people during Romero’s funeral on March 30, 1980.
  • March 19, 1999: The cathedral was completed and inaugurated with a festive tiled facade by Fernando Llort.
  • 1983 and 1996: Pope John Paul II visited and prayed before the tomb of Archbishop Óscar Romero.
  • March 2011: President Barack Obama visited the cathedral and Romero’s tomb.
  • December 2012: Archbishop José Luis Escobar Alas ordered the removal and destruction of Llort’s ceramic mural facade.

Architecture and Style

The cathedral features a festive and colorful facade surrounding a shrine to the Divine Saviour of the World, sculpted in 1777. The main altar, donated by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in 1546, includes an image of the Divine Saviour and is surrounded by images of Moses and Elijah. The altar is also adorned with eight large paintings depicting scenes from the life of Christ. The Churrigueresque cupola stands at a height of 148 feet with a 79-foot radius.

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Monsenior “Romero”

Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (15 August 1917 – 24 March 1980) was a prominent Catholic prelate in El Salvador. 

Romero was known for his outspoken criticism of social injustice and violence during the Salvadoran Civil War.

Despite his initial reputation as a social conservative, he became a vocal advocate for the poor and marginalized, influenced by the murder of his friend, Rutilio Grande. Romero’s assassination was linked to Major Roberto D’Aubuisson, though no one was convicted.

Romero’s legacy continues with the UN designating 24 March as the “International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims” in his honor.

There are calls within the Church for him to be proclaimed a Doctor of the Church. He is revered in various Christian denominations and commemorated in places like Westminster Abbey

civil war in el salvador

Here are the key dates in his life and legacy:

 

  • 15 August 1917: Birth of Óscar Romero.
  • 1977: Romero became the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador.
  • 24 March 1980: Romero was assassinated while celebrating Mass.
  • 1997: Pope John Paul II declared Romero a Servant of God and initiated his beatification process.
  • 3 February 2015: Pope Francis declared Romero a martyr.
  • 23 May 2015: Romero was beatified.
  • 14 October 2018: Romero was canonized by Pope Francis.

National Library of El Salvador

The government of El Salvador’s intention in building the new National Library of El Salvador is to modernize and enhance the country’s library infrastructure, promoting education, culture, and access to information.

By replacing the old Francisco Gavidia National Library with a new, state-of-the-art facility, the government aims to provide a more modern and well-equipped space for the public to access books, resources, and educational materials.

Additionally, the cooperation with China reflects an effort to strengthen international relations and secure foreign investment for significant national projects.

San Salvador Library

How can I join?

Please sign up for the San Salvador-Tour here or come to our Spanish School in El Zonte.There’s no need to pay online, you can pay after or before the tour in cash or with credit card (or Bitcoin).

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