Sonsonate, El Salvador

Sonsonate on the map of El Salvador

Sonsonate is a town in western El Salvador. It is the capital of the department of the same name is located, 62 kilometers west of San Salvador and has 71 541 inhabitants ( 2007).

Place name

The place name is on the Nawat name Centzunat returned ( " Four hundred water" or " Big River "). The number 400 is called in Nahuatl word for centzontli (consisting of the roots ce [n ], "one" and tzon [ tli ], "four hundred " ), which sentzun the word in Nawat corresponds ( centzun ); Nawat at ( Nahuatl atl ) means " water ".


The city was founded in 1552 by Antonio Rodríguez under the name of Villa del Espíritu Santo, and received in 1553 by Pedro Ramírez de Quinonez and the Franciscan Bishop Marroquín the name of Villa de la Santisima Trinidad de Sonsonate. Sonsonate was during the colonial seat of Alcaldía Mayor de Sonsonate in the Captaincy General of Guatemala. 1824 was the department seat and 1834 under President José Gregorio Salazar capital of the Central American Confederation, to San Salvador took over this function.

1932 Sonsonate a center of the rebellion of Pipil peasants from the environment, from Izalco and Juayúa against the landlords and the military rule of General Maximiliano Hernández Martínez. Here, the mayor was killed by Sonsonate, for which falsely native of Izalco peasant leader Feliciano Ama was blamed. After the suppression of the rebellion it came to Matanza, a massacre, where about 30,000 people fell all over El Salvador beginning of 1932 to the victim. The Nawat the Pipil language was forbidden in the sequence and so brought to the brink of extinction within a few decades.

Sons and daughters of the town

  • Rafael Arévalo, tennis players
  • Luís Salvador Efraín Salazar Arrué writer