El ZonteMunicipio de Chiltiupán, El Salvador
Playa El Zonte sits west of the sprawling coastal city of La Libertad and a short drive from the nation’s capital, San Salvador, but this small community has retained its inherent charm as a quiet farming town with an incredible point break.
Surrounded by unique rock formations called Farallón and divided by the river which creates their right and left-hand waves, El Zonte offers a perfect space where locals and visitors can enjoy landscapes, beach soccer, skateboarding, hiking, pupusas, and minimal development.
With the support of the USAID Economic Competitiveness Project (ECP), a group of local tourism operators formed a business association to help guide the future of their community. Asociación Zonte Lindo’s vision (translated from Spanish) is to “Convert El Zonte Beach into a model of sustainable and inclusive tourism; developing the services we provide in conjunction with the preservation of the environment and natural resources; integrating the community, entrepreneurs, local and central government”.
For 2022, STOKE is working with Asociación Zonte Lindo and public and private stakeholders on a long-term sustainable surf tourism plan to help the community create its own Destination Management Organization (DMO).
El Zonte has been benchmarked against the STOKE Surf Destinations standard and is working towards STOKE certification as a USAID ECP-funded project.