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Sanarate, El Progreso, Guatemala, Central America.

El Conacastón Village
Sanarate, El Progreso.
Guatemala, Central America.



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PICTURES — EL CONACASTÓN VILLAGE

El Conacastón Village

Synopsis

The village of El Conacastón was originally called “Cerrito de Fuego” (Hill of Fire). The name originated during the times of General Rafael Carrera y Turcios, who founded the Republic of Guatemala on March 21, 1847*. During one of his military campaigns in the suburbs of Sanarate, troops commanded by General Carrera opened fire against enemy soldiers, from the hill in front of which now stands the village’s present-day grade school.

In this place there was a Conacaste tree, considered to be the “patriarch” of all the other trees in the village due to its lush and expansive branches, which stretched all the way to the site where the Catholic church is now located. Later, little by little, the people of the village became accustomed to calling the area “El Conacastón” in honor of this enormous tree.

In the 60’s, possibly due to the mischief of some youth in the area, the tree caught fire at the trunk, spreading flames up throughout the interior of the aged branches. After burning for an entire day the tree collapsed with a thunderous crash, reduced to carbon and ash; however, the village preserved the name in honor of this celebrated tree. The village’s grade school still maintains its official name as the “National School of Cerrito de Fuego (Hill of Fire)” and is recorded as such in official documents issued by the Ministry of Education.

Nowadays it is a matter of debate as to whether in reality El Conacastón remains a village, seeing as it has already been totally absorbed by the urban area of the municipality of Sanarate. It has started well-designed real estate developments with modern buildings running the breadth and width of its jurisdiction. The extent of its territorial boundaries stretches from the PUMA gas station on the Route to the Atlantic to the entrance of the San Carlos neighborhood in Zone 2 of Sanarate.

The population and housing growth is principally due to the strong immigration of persons from all parts of Guatemala and abroad, especially Central Americans. Such immigrants are attracted to El Conacastón by various factors, such as the abundance of drinking water, sources of stable employment, the climate, and the proximity of the capital of Guatemala, approximately 45 minutes away. These immigrants have secured well paying jobs in the Cementos Progreso factory, which is the principal cement factory of Central America; as well as in the LUMINATI factory, which produces granite flooring; HISPACENSA, a producer and exporter of ceramic flooring; and PROSEMILLAS, which processes seeds for export.

With regard to sports, soccer is the preferred sport for children, youth, and adults of El Conacastón and to practice they rely on a field called “The Turtle”, which lies at the edge of the Route to the Atlantic. Nowadays there is a project led by the coach Camilo Bonfacio, former player for the Brazilian team Flamengo, who is dedicated to improving and polishing the abilities of the youth so that they can practice their sport professionally with any Guatemalan team.

The majority of El Conacastón’s inhabitants adhere to the Roman Catholic faith and in the local church they venerate the Virgin of Guadalupe. Each year on December 12 they perform solemn religious acts accompanied by fireworks and a mini-fair where vendors sell many different kinds of food.

In El Conacastón there is also a gift of nature: a spot known for many years as “El Chorro” (The Stream). Actually, it is a kind of spring of water that flows constantly, 365 days a year. To capture the water the village constructed a type of well, which is always full of the vital, fresh, pure, and crystal-clear liquid. One has only to extend their hands out to enjoy this gift of God.

Those of us who are born and live in this place consider ourselves fortunate because we have everything at hand, a stone’s throw away, including a branch of the nation’s biggest bank, the BANRURAL. We also have access to education, health, communication, and other benefits offered by the modern age.


* After gaining independence from Spain in 1821, Guatemala formed
    part of the Central American Federation.



El Conacastón Village, Sanarate, El Progreso, Guatemala.



tono herrera gudiel
webmaster@sanarate.com

Photos:
Jorge H. Herrera


Guatelink Images — www.sanarate.com


© Copyright 2000 — 2011

Location

Main Crops

    •   Tomato
    •   Cucumber
    •   Beans
    •   Corn
    •   Loroco

Education

Elementary School

Basic Services

 • Drinking Water
 • Electricity
 • Cable TV
 • Land – line Phone service
 • Cellular Phone service

Religion

 • Catholic Church

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