As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been away. I went back home to the country I was born in, where I lived half of my childhood. Despite the reason for why I was there, I was glad to be back and see what I had missed, to see family I hadn’t seen for over a decade and to enjoy life’s little treasures. I was also lucky enough to see some of the countryside and travel a little bit around the surrounding areas, this included the San Andres Mayan ruins that are just outside San Salvador – the capital city.
The country I’m talking about is El Salvador of course.
San Andres is an archaeological site, where there is a small museum and also a traditional crafts store. One lazy Sunday afternoon, my family and I felt a compulsive need to go out and go for a drive, so we ended up here. The place is beautiful, and I think the government has done a good job of maintaining it and looking after it. It’s important to the country’s economy as these archaeological sites also bring a lot of tourism to ESA – but also because it is part of the rich history that belongs to this tiny country.
It is believed that San Andrés was an ancient capital city – from pre-Hispanic times. A lot of it has been dug out, but not everything is well preserved. There were areas that were closed to the public too. There is another archaeological site very close to San Andrés, called Joya de Cerén – which is actually an UNESCO World Heritage site. The area was buried by volcanic ash from various volcanic eruptions in the area. What makes Joya de Cerén so especial is that most of its structures, buildings, homes, religious structures were preserved. We didn’t really get time to see this site, but definitely for next time.
As you can see from the photos, San Andrés has been well looked after and maintained. I was impressed to see a lot of school groups/excursions on the day (especially for a Sunday afternoon) and it was nice to see families out together.
The craft stores were very simple, but they sold anything from jade knives, to earrings and bracelets, to small figures of Mayan pyramids (I got one of jade), and anything you could give as a gift. One man also had a Mayan calendar with him (which was not for sale), but clearly explained to the ‘tourists’ that were standing by that the calendar ends this year, not the world! There were also a lot of cocoa plantations around. There was also a really nice woman selling coconuts to drink – and chopping them as you ordered. That was the best drink one could have on a hot and sunny day…
There is one massive hill that somewhat divides the archaeological area from the rest of the facility – where at the bottom is an open space for kids to play (some where playing softball, others were playing football – or soccer for those of you who prefer that name). Kids were literally rolling down it in their school uniforms (who could blame them!). I felt like having a bit of fun and rolled down twice…but I admit feeling a little bit dizzy (and very itchy) after it – but it was totally worth it!