The Peace Route in El Salvador. Memorializing the Country’s Civil War

By Eddie Galdamez  |  Jul 22nd, 2022
The peace route in El Salvador
The peace route in El Salvador.

The peace route in el Salvador or Ruta de la Paz is a touristic route that takes you through many small towns in the department of Morazan, which played a significant role during the Salvadoran Armed conflict. The department of Morazan was the main guerilla stronghold or main base of operations during the war.

The armed conflict or civil war lasted about 12 years, and these small towns bear witness to many of these ruthless battles. Unquestionably, the people living in the department of Morazan and in these small towns were the ones that suffered the most during the civil war.

By all means, this route offers the opportunity to learn more about the armed conflict that overwhelmed the nation for years, and the battles that took place in the area. Nevertheless, in this route and its colorful towns, you will also find plenty of things to do in a natural setting.

The touristic route includes waterfalls, mountains with incredible views, rivers with crystalline waters, camping sites, culture, history, and plenty of natural beauty that can be enjoyed with family or friends.

SEE ALSO: El Salvador Tourism: A Journey Through Pristine Beaches, Colorful Towns, and Enchanting Parks

Additionally, you can spend time with the locals, which for twelve years, were at the center of the civil war in that El Salvador lived. Many of these people can tell you firsthand details of how it was to live under conditions of war.

Towns in the Peace Route.

The towns of this route are Perquin, Arambala, Joateca, Cacaopera, Corinto, Jocoaltique, Meanguera, San Fernando, Torola, Delicias de Concepcion, and Guatajiagua.

SEE ALSO: Trial of the El Mozote massacre could change El Salvador’s history.

Each town or municipality in this touristic route has a story to tell or display, they also offer different activities for visitors to experience and enjoy.

If you ever get the chance to visit Morazan and the Peace Route, consider spending time at the Museum of the Salvadoran Revolution in Perquin and at the El Mozote memorial near the town of Meanguera.

The town of Perquin and the Museum of the Salvadoran Revolution

Perquin is a colorful town that holds the Museum of the Salvadoran Revolution created by ex guerilla fighters in 1992.

The museum pays tribute to Salvadorans, who died during the armed conflict. Here, you will see artifacts and information used by FMLN fighters during the war.

The museum is a simple concrete building surrounded by land where to this day; you can see holes in the ground from bombs propelled by the military.

El Mozote Memorial at the Peace Route in El Salvador.

If you visit the peace route, you should visit the El Mozote memorial. The memorial is in honor and dedication to the people who died during the military massacre of December 1981.

For those of you that don’t know the history of this massacre, here a quick recap of what happened.

The accounts of these events are by Rufina Amaya, the sole survivor of this massacre.

In December 1981, Special forces of the military arrived at El Mozote and rounded everyone in this small town or village.

At dawn, the army began executing the men, also, the women were raped before they were also shot. Lastly, about 140 children were taken into a church which soldiers then set on fire. In all, about 1000 people died on this day in El Mozote.

For years, no one believed the accounts of the sole survivor. But in 1992, a commission set to find out the truth began the exhumation of bodies buried at the site.

The commission’s conclusion was that Rufina Amaya’s testimony had accurately represented the events that happened at El Mozote. In 2006, the International Committee for Human Rights formally recognized the El Mozote Massacre.

It’s a sad story that as I write this, my eyes are tearing up. If you want to learn more about this massacre and the sole survivor, click here.

Peace route in El Salvador
El Mozote Memorial.

The Peace Route in El Salvador today.

The peace Route in El Salvador offers the opportunity to learn about Salvadoran culture and the civil war. Furthermore, the towns that make up the route have deep-rooted traditions that go back to colonial times or even before.

To sum up, in this area, the FMLN guerrilla fighters had their stronghold or base of operations. Because of that, this is where some of the bloodiest and most brutal events of the war took place.

However, this route is not only about events that happened during the war. This area and each town have plenty of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy.

If you decide to visit this area, do it with a touring company or someone who knows the area; you will definitely get more out of the trip.

Travel to El Salvador and visit the peace route, you will enjoy the experience.