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Introducing Chalatenango

The sleepy Chalatenango province comes momentarily to life each morning in the capital, ‘Chalate,’ the business headquarters of northern El Salvador. Honking trucks navigate the narrow streets, overflowing with pineapples, sugarcane, indigo and coffee, while colorful buses are stacked with friendly locals selling DVDs, toiletries and glittery sequined dresses. As the commerical center for small rural mountain villages, there’s a real contrast between the ambitious, city-bound youth and a generation of leather-skinned subsistence farmers recounting tales of FMLN might. The large military garrison on the plaza was built during wartime to rein in revolutionary activity in this FMLN stronghold.