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Sonsonate Department information

Flag of Sonsonate
Location within El Salvador
Location within El Salvador
Coordinates: 13°42′11″N 89°41′35″W / 13.703°N 89.693°W / 13.703; -89.693
CountrySonsonate Department El Salvador
(given current status)
 • Total1,225.8 km2 (473.3 sq mi)
 • RankRanked 9th
 • Total463,739
 • RankRanked 6th
 • Density380/km2 (980/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC−6 (CST)
ISO 3166 codeSV-SO
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Sonsonate (Spanish pronunciation: [sonsoˈnate]) is a department of El Salvador in the western part of the country. The capital is Sonsonate.

The department has a population of over 463,000 and an area of 1,226 km².

Created on June 12, 1824. The El Salvador National Parliament decided on January 29, 1859 to separate from the department the cities of Apaneca, San Pedro Puxtla, Guaymango and Jujutla and give these cities to Santa Ana Department.

Sonsonate City was the second capital of the Federal Republic of Central America in 1834.

The department remains the heart of the Pipil culture in the country, home to several ancient traditions and to most of the few remaining Nahuatl speakers in El Salvador.

It is an overwhelmingly agricultural area, with extremely fertile volcanic soils that once were the most valuable resource in Central America for the Spanish conquistadors who profited from its ancient cacao plantations. Its name appropriately means "Place of 400 rivers" or "Place of many waters" as it receives well over 2,000mm (79 inches) of rain a year.

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