El Salvador

From Academic Kids

Republic of El Salvador (Spanish for "The Savior") is a country in Central America with a population of approximately 6.7 million people. It is the most densely populated state on the American mainland and the most industrialized in Central America.

Rep?a de El Salvador
(In Detail) (Full size)
National motto: Dios, Uni󮬠Libertad
(Spanish: God, Union, Liberty)
Official language Spanish
Capital San Salvador
Capital's coordinates Template:Coor dm
Largest City San Salvador
President Antonio Saca
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 149th
21,040 km²
 - Total (Year)
 - Density
Ranked 97th
 - Total (Year)
 - GDP/head
Ranked 91th
31.17 billion $
Currency US dollar ($) and [[El Salvador col󮼓alvadoran col󮝝
Time zone UTC -6
Independence From Spain: September 15, 1821

From the Central American Federation: 1842

National anthem Saludemos la Patria orgullosos
Internet TLD .sv
Calling Code 503


Main article: History of El Salvador

El Salvador gained its independence from Spain on September 15, 1821 and the Central American Federation in 1839.

In 1930 General Maximiliano Hernᮤez Mart�z, the country's Minister of Defense, took power in a coup d'etat. Soon after, Mart�z, now President, suppressed a 1932 revolt consisting of farmers and Indians in the western part of the country. The revolt was conducted by the newly formed Communist Party and its leader [[Agust�Farabundo Mart흝. The military left more than 20,000 people dead in retaliatory massacres, which came to be known as "La Matanza;" this consolidated Mart�z's power and marked the beginning of a series of de facto military dictatorships that would rule El Salvador until 1979, when General Humberto Romero of the Party of National Conciliation (PCN) would be overthrown in a reformist coup.

In 1969 a brief war, known as the Football War, took place with Honduras over the eviction of Salvadoran illegal immigrants living in the Honduran countryside, and to a lesser degree over the heated World Cup qualifying series taking place between the two countries.

Following increasing clashes between the FMLN, El Salvadoran Armed Forces (ESAF,) and rightist vigilantes known as death squads, a civil war broke out that would last 12 years (1980-1992) and claim the lives of approximately 75,000 people, most of them at the hands of the ESAF. A ceasefire was established in 1992 when the rebels of the FMLN and the government of President Alfredo Cristiani of the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA), signed "Peace accords" on January 16, 1992 that assured political and military reforms; death squad activity was virtually eliminated. However, the accords did not expound on social reforms.

El Salvador is known for the many earthquakes that occur within its borders. Its is known popularly as the “Valley of the Hammocks” since colonial times. On January 13, 2001 an earthquake that measured 7.6 on the Richter scale caused a landslide that killed more than 800 people. On February 13, 2001 a second earthquake killed 255 people.

The population density is high. The highest concentration of people is found in the capital, San Salvador.


Main article: Politics of El Salvador, Legislative Assembly of El Salvador, List of political parties in El Salvador

El Salvador is a democratic republic governed by a president and an 84-member unicameral Legislative Assembly. The president is elected by universal suffrage and serves for a 5-year term by absolute majority vote. A second round runoff is required in the event that no candidate receives more than 50% of the first round vote. Members of the assembly (called "deputies", or diputados), also elected by universal suffrage, serve for three-year terms. The country has an independent judiciary and Supreme Court.

The current legal system of El Salvador, based on civil and Roman law, with traces of common law came into force with the passage of the constitution on December 23, 1983.


Main article: Geography of El Salvador

It is the smallest Central American country (roughly the size of the U.S. state of Massachusetts) and the only one without a coastline on Caribbean Sea. El Salvador is located between the North Pacific Ocean to the south and southwest, with Guatemala in the north-northwest and Honduras to the north-northeast. The climate is tropical. The country experiences a rainy season from May to October and a dry season from November to April. Mostly mountainous with narrow coastal belt and central fertile volcanic plateau it is known as the "Land of the volcanoes", and has been victim to repeated seismic and volcanic acticity thourghout its history.

Natural resources include hydropower, geothermal power, petroleum, and arable land.

The most important cities are:


Main article: Economy of El Salvador

El Salvador has an economy based on that of coffee and other cultivated goods. El Salvador's economy suffers from a weak tax collection system, factory closings, the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch, and low world coffee prices. On the bright side, in recent years inflation has fallen to single digit levels, and total exports have grown substantially. The substantial trade deficit has been offset by remittances from the large number of Salvadorans living abroad who fled military repression and economic stagnation, and from external aid.

As of December 1999, net international reserves equaled $1.8 billion or roughly 5 months of imports. Having this hard currency buffer to work with, the Salvadoran Government undertook a "monetary integration plan" beginning January 1, 2001, by which the U.S. dollar became legal tender alongside the [[El Salvador col󮼣ol󮝝.


Main article: Demographics of El Salvador

El Salvador's population numbers about 6.2 million people. Around 90% is mestizo (mixed Amerindian and Spanish), some 9% white, and only 1% indigenous. Very few Amerindians have retained their customs, traditions or languages.

Spanish is the language spoken by virtually all inhabitants. The country's people are largely Roman Catholic, though Protestant groups are growing.

The capital city of San Salvador has about 1.8 million people; an estimated 42% of El Salvador's population live in rural areas.

According to the most recent United Nations survey life expectancy for men was 68 years, and 74 years for women.


A small part of the population speaks Nahua, the native language. The Roman Catholic religion played an important role in the Salvadorenian culture. Painting, ceramics and textile articles are the main manual artistic expressions. We could also name the writers Francisco Gavidia (1863-1955) and Manlio Argueta, and the poet Roque Dalton among the most important artists from El Salvador.

DateEnglish NameLocal NameRemarks
March/AprilHoly WeekSemana SantaCelebrated with carnival-like events in different cities by the large Catholic population
May 1 Labor DayD�de los trabajadoresInternational Labour Day
May 10 Mother's DayD�de la Madre
September 15Independence DayD�de la IndependenciaCelebrates independence from Spain, achieved in 1821
October 12Race DayD�de la RazaThis day comemorates the discovery of the Americas
November 2Day of the DeadD�de los Difuntos
December 25Christmas DayNavidad

Miscellaneous topics

External links

Government sites

Salvadoran Newspapers

Countries in North America
Antigua and Barbuda | Bahamas | Barbados | Belize | Canada | Costa Rica | Cuba | Dominica | Dominican Republic | El Salvador | Grenada | Guatemala | Haiti | Honduras | Jamaica | Mexico | Nicaragua | Panama | Saint Kitts and Nevis | Saint Lucia | Saint Vincent and the Grenadines | Trinidad and Tobago | United States
Dependencies: Anguilla | Aruba | Bermuda | British Virgin Islands | Cayman Islands | Greenland | Guadeloupe | Martinique | Montserrat | Navassa Island | Netherlands Antilles | Puerto Rico | Saint-Pierre and Miquelon | Turks and Caicos Islands | U.S. Virgin Islands

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