The municipality of El Paso is located in the heart of La Palma, it is the most extensive and only prominently mountainous municipality of the island. It stretches from the northern limit of the Caldera de Taburiente National Park to the south where it borders with the municipality of Fuencaliente. Due to its centric position, it borders with all the municipalities except Tazacorte.
Cultural and Artistic Heritage
El Paso has a vast cultural and artistic heritage, highlights include silk production, archaeology, popular festivities and traditional Canarian sports.
In silk production, we preserve the complete cycle of this ancient technique, unique in Europe, which starts with the silkworm rearing and ends with garment manufacture. It is a tedious work that requires the assistance of several experts and it culminates with the production of a high-quality fabric. In our museum, declared an Asset of Cultural Interest, we have an exhibit devoted to this arduous craft and a workshop where the artisans of the municipality themselves show and explain the process in a very affable way.
In archaeology, we have the highest number of pre-Hispanic sites of the entire island, comprised by various rock carvings left behind by the Benahoarite aborigines. At El Paso’s Benehauno Rock Carvings Interpretation Centre, you will be able to find a representative sample and qualified staff for its explanation. Guided tours are also offered to the sites.
In our festivals, our most outstanding celebration is a triennial pilgrimage that takes place during the Fiestas de la Bajada de la Virgen del Pino, that every three years is brought from the Church of the Virgen del Pino to the centre of El Paso, to be returned to the chapel the first Sunday of September. Another popular festival is the Sagrado Corazón de Jesús, where we decorate our streets with traditional handmade lanterns, rugs, arches, and tapestries created with different materials that show unique patterns and images. A craft full of art and devotion that is prepared among neighbours, artists, collectives, associations, and grade schoolers to venerate the image of the Sagrado Corazón.
The traditional Canarian sports were done by the ancient inhabitants of the island. In El Paso, we still enjoy this practice through associations and clubs that hold courses and organize exhibits, where the neighbours, grade schoolers and visitors can enjoy them when they are celebrated. Highlights among these activities are the Arrastre de Ganado (“cattle dragging”), Lucha Canaria (“Canarian wrestling”), Salto del Pastor (“shepherd’s leap”), Calabazo or the Juego del Palo (“game of the stick”).
The origin of the name of El Paso dates from pre-Hispanic times, when the island was crossed through properly traced paths. When the Castilian troops arrived, they noticed that these paths were already marked in the mountain tops located east of El Paso, enabling cross-island communications. The conqueror Alonso Fernández de Lugo attempted to enter the Caldera de Taburiente through a mountain pass called Paso de Ajerjo (“Ajerjo Pass”), hence its local name Paso del Capitán (“Captain’s Pass”). Ultimately, from these historic and topographic references derived the toponym of our name: El Paso.
The urban and rural areas of El Paso, and the Caldera de Taburiente feature a humid subtropical climate, with mild temperatures throughout most of the year, with some punctual variations both during the summer and winter but mitigated by the trade winds.