On the Way to La Palma


La Palma is located in the western part of the department of Chalatenango at 82 km from San Salvador and 8 km from the border El Poy which separates El Salvador and Honduras.


Everybody refers to La Palma as being the town where art Naif was born. Naif is a kind of colorful painting on wood, creation of Fernando Llort (He also designed the ceramic tiles on the facade of the Cathedral in San Salvador). There are many workshops where wood, leather, ceramic, seeds, and cotton ware handicrafts are made using his same style.


Besides being well known because of its handicrafts, La Palma became center of attention in 1984, when the former president José Napoleón Duarte met with guerilla leaders, in the very first attempt to end the civil war, which had started four years earlier.


La Palma used to be part of the route called "Caminos Reales" (Royal Paths), which could only be reached through Honduras.  Walking through the streets of La Palma, Fernando found a kid rubbing a little seed against the ground, and discovered that it had a white surface with a brown frame, "a framed painting" he thought, and he painted it with very small and colourful drawings. Ever since La Palma gained its independence it's been place of numerous national battles, when the municipality and governmental armies fought the rebellious former president Francisco Malespín, Malespín was defeated in both battles.

from: http://www.tourism.com.sv/destinations/la-palma.php


That episode lead to the creation of the first workshop in La Palma, it was called "La Semilla de Dios" (The seed of God), in reference to the seed that started it all. There, Fernando would start teaching the people from the town to draw and paint; an artisan movement was born, and La Palma went from being a mainly agricultural town, to one driven by art. Fernando's dream was now a reality and his idea would become the main source of income for a lot of families in La Palma, and would also transform the town into one of the most touristic spots in El Salvador.