Agua Caliente, El Salvador

Agua Caliente
Agua Caliente is located in El Salvador
Agua Caliente
Agua Caliente
Location in El Salvador
Coordinates: 14°10′N 89°13′W / 14.167°N 89.217°W / 14.167; -89.217
Country El Salvador
DepartmentChalatenango Department
381 m (1,250 ft)

Agua Caliente is a municipality in the Chalatenango department of El Salvador.

Agua Caliente, El Salvador is a town north of Chalatenango, the capital city of the department of Chalatenango, North East of Nueva Concepcion. It occupies an area of 195 square kilometers, and has a population (2006) of 8,992.[1] The location of the city center is 14°11′12.91″N, 89°13′19.82″W. As per the Technical Secretary of the Presidency of El Salvador, it has the 27th ranking of extreme poverty of the 267 municipalities of El Salvador.[2]


According to official records published by the Salvadoran government,[3] indicates that "As per Antonio Gutierrez y Ulloa in 1807 Agua Caliente was simply a hacienda of cattle and indigo belonging to Bernardino Aguilar, five leagues N. E. of Tejutla, away from the Royal Road. As per other traditions, that hacienda became a hamlet in 1819 and then, fulfilling the Laws and Orders of Indias it became a village with the long name of San Jose Agua Caliente de las Flores. The new municipality was incorporated to the Region of Tejutla. From 1824 to 1833 it belonged to the department of San Salvador; to the department of Tejutla in 1833; to the department of San Salvador from 1833 to 1835; to the department of Cuzcatlan from 1835 to 1855. From then on it has been a municipality of Chalatenango. In 1890 it had 2,340 souls. Its name comes from two hot springs in the area and another one in the canton of Obrajuelo."

Socio-economics status

The local cemetery appears overflowing but there is no expansion expected in the near future. It is mainly a livestock community. A local cooperative assists with loans to small enterprises. Cheese and dairy products which are produced locally can be purchased at good prices in a couple of stores. In downtown Agua Caliente there is a Catholic church, recently under restoration, and a mini park. The church is a beautiful colonial church and it appears more majestic than those in neighboring municipalities. Legend has it that the massive bell in one of the towers is just a replica of the original one which was stolen overnight and then taken by thieves to a famous church in Ahuachapan sometime in the 20th century. Every Thursday morning from about eight to eleven there is a market place in the streets. This is when the majority of people from neighboring hamlets or “cantones” buy their food and clothing items and may come down to sell cattle or farm products. Visitors can enjoy a pupusa at a local pupuseria. There is a vibrant environment in the area. Hundreds of people emigrated to as far as Australia and Europe in the 80's as the town was the scene of conflicts between the leftist guerrillas and the government troops. As these emigrants started to buy land in Agua Caliente, land prices soared. It is not unusual to find houses priced at $50,000.00, something which was unheard of twenty five years ago. Some local families depend on money they receive from expatriates, relatives living in the United States. The warm water lagoon gives the location its name “Agua Caliente” (Hot water or Hot Springs). The Metayate River divides the town in two main “barrios” or districts: El Carmen and El Centro. The flow of water of the river has diminished considerably over time due to deforestation of the surrounding hills. One of these hills has a huge rock (“La Piedra Movediza” or “The Moving Rock”) that can be moved with little effort due to its natural balance [1]. The festivities of the town take place in the week of March 18 and 19; they are dedicated to Saint Joseph, patron saint of Agua Caliente.


  1. ^ El Salvador: Indicadores Demograficos por Departamento. 2006
  2. ^ Agua Caliente, Chalatenango, 19 de septiembre de 2008
  3. ^ Agua Caliente
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