This week’s featured UNESCO World Heritage Site is located in El Salvador, in the shadow of volcanoes. Thousands of years ago, Joya del Cerén was a small Mayan farming community that was ruled by the larger nearby city of San Andrés.
The volcanoes periodically caused problems for Joya del Cerén-the entire area was abandoned once in 250 AD when the nearby Ilopango volcano erupted. Eventually, though, people moved back, built houses and began to farm again.
Then, around 590 AD, the Loma Caldera volcano erupted and covered the town in ashes. Joya del Cerén is often called the “Pompeii of the Americas” because of the similarity between the fates of the two towns.
If you visit Joya del Ceren, you won’t see any of the haunting plaster images of dead victims of the volcano, as you would at Pompeii. The people of Joya del Ceren were more fortunate, and they managed to escape. They didn’t have any time to pack up their possessions, though-in many cases, there is evidence that they left food half-eaten on their plates in their rush to get away from the ash.
Because they had to depart so quickly and because the town was buried so deep, Joya del Ceren is an amazingly well-preserved archaelogical site that has given researchers a wealth information about what day-to-day life was like for Mayan farmers in El Salvador.
To visit Joya del Ceren, you will need a passport and an El Salvador visa. American citizens staying in El Salvador for less than 30 days have two options when it comes to applying for an El Salvador visa- apply for one in advance, before leaving the US, or get a tourist card at the border. If you are staying longer than 30 days, you cannot get a tourist card 0n arrival and you must request your visa in advance. Here are the documents you will need to apply:
- Your application form
- 2 passport-sized photos
- Your itinerary or round-trip plane tickets.
For stays of more than 30 days, you may be required to supply the following:
- Evidence that you have a job at home
- Evidence that you are financially stable enough to take care of yourself while you are in El Salvador.
RushMyTravelVisa can help you apply for your El Salvador visa as well as for any other countries you may visit on your journey. Contact us today!