Acajutla is a seaport and municipality in Sonsonate Department, El Salvador. The town is located at on the Pacific Coast of Central America and is El Salvador's principal seaport from which a large portion of the nation's exports of coffee, sugar, and balsam are shipped. As a municipality, Acajutla is one of seventeen such districts in Sonsonate. As of 1992, the population of the town was 18,008, and of the municipality 47,678.
Spanish conquistador Pedro de Alvarado, under the command of Hernan Cortés, had conquered Mexico and Guatemala before coming to the vicinity of Acajutla. There he met heavy resistance, but defeated the indigenous people in 1524 and conquered all of present-day El Salvador at the Battle of Acajutla.
Following the complete independence of El Salvador in 1838, the economy of the nation became increasinging dependent on the export of coffee. The rapid growth of this lucrative "cash crop" led to profound socio-economic changes in the region, and drew of the attention of foreign investors and the local plantation owners to Acajutla, where infrastructure development was seen as necessary to assure the transport of crops from the interior and the ability to load them efficiently aboard ships.
The 1855 completion of the Panama Railway across the Isthmus of Panama further added to the activity at the port of Acajutla. With a convenient means of transporting goods between the Caribbean and the Pacific, additional shipping lines were created to carry these goods up and down the Pacific coast to and from the western terminus of the railway. Acajutla was a regular port of call from which coffee and sugar were shipped to the East Coast of the United States and Europe.
During the twelve-year Salvadoran civil war (1980-1992), the oil refinery at Acajutla (then the only operating refinery in El Salvador), was a target for anti-government rebels.
The town is also the site of a petroleum refinery, a fertilizer plant, and seafood-processing plants. The beaches there attract tourists to a growing beach-resort industry.
There are some primary schools between them: Fe y Alegría, Lizandro Larín Zepeda, Julian Vasquéz Rojas, and some other primary schools, even a high school named Instituto Nacional de Acajutla (INA).
The official language is Spanish.
One of the most important celebration is made between March and April when they celebrate the passion of Christ. In that day, people clean the roads and create decoratives images in the sand they bring from the beach, and at noon they begin the simulation of the passion from San Francisco de Asis church near Barrio La playa ending in the same location the next day in the early hours of the day.
On October 24 they make celebrations of the fishermen, in honor of San Rafael Arcangel, a day that is not highly concurred by citizens that take a little trip by fishing boat.