Traditions in Salcaja
In Salcaja we visited the oldest Catholic church in Central America. It was built by the Spanish 500 years ago and is still in use today. The church has 2 names; it is known as Iglesia del Armita or Iglesia de la Conquistadora. A bit of history: when the Spanish invaded they tore down the Mayan temples and built church overtop of the ruins. They also forced the Mayan people to attend church. There are most likely the ruins of a Mayan temple underneath this Catholic church.
Salcaja is also known for producing 2 traditional liquors. The first is called Rompopo and is described by Steve (our guide) as an ‘egg noggy thing’. The reason being it is made from rum, honey and egg yolk. The other liquor, Caldo de Frutas is made from cane rum, sugar, cinnamon, and ten different fruits. It is fermented for 5 months after which the fruit is seperated from the liquid and both are consumed. The drink is made by everyone in the community for the fiesta of San Luis, however only a few households make it year round. During the fiesta the locals will sip the liquor and eat the fermented fruits while watching the bull fights. Rosario (our local guide) says that this can be problematic. We all tried some of the liquor, which was delicious, and the fruits, which were very strong.
-Andrea & Aude
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