You can't understand El Salvador without understanding its soldiers, their mindset, and their conflicts. But there are a couple of other nonmilitary things here that will surprise and likely interest you quite a bit, as well.

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Military Museum, El Zapote Barracks

Worth a look, as the military has had a huge influence on this country. Plus there's an extra surprise or two!

It's true that the Salvadoran military has over the generations played an outsize role in the the life of this country, so a visit to the military museum occupying onetime army barracks on 10 Avenida Sur at Calle Alberto Sánchez in the San Jacinto neighbourhood provides important insight into the history of El Salvador as a whole. The collection ranges from 18th-century uniforms to tanks and weaponry of the present day, and includes a section dedicated to military documentation and biographies. There are a couple of things here, though, that have nothing directly to do with war that might be of interest to a general audience: one is an enormous relief map of the country that really gives you a perspective on El Salvador's topography and geography, and the other is a Popemobile! Yes, the actual Popemobile used by John Paul II during his 1993 visit. Before leaving, don't forget to pay a visit to the Monument to the Heroes of National Independence.

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