According to a staff member of the
Consulate of El Salvador in Ottawa, there are two types of
manzanas: urban and rural (2 Sept. 1993). After consulting various
sources in the Consulate, the staff member stated that an urban
manzana is the equivalent of a city block, the area circumscribed
by four streets, while in the countryside a manzana is a square
area of 100 metres by 100 metres (Ibid.). Although city blocks tend
to be square, they will be called manzanas even if they do not have
a regular shape. A rural manzana is a common unit for measuring
farmland, although other units of measurement may be used,
particularly when discussing specific crops. In coffee plantations,
for example, the unit tarea is used, which in turn is measured in
an ancient Spanish unit called brazada.
The Pequeño Larousse Ilustrado
dictionary defines manzana in general Spanish language usage as a
group of houses not separated by a street, while in America the
term is reportedly understood to be a "square space of houses in a
populated centre, and an equivalent area that has not been built up
yet" (García-Pelayo y Gross 1988, 657).
Additional and/or corroborating information
could not be found among the sources currently available to the
Consulate of El Salvador, Ottawa. 2
September 1993. Telephone interview with staff member.
García-Pelayo y Gross,
Ramón. 1988. Pequeño Larousse Ilustrado.
Barcelona: Ediciones Larousse.