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El Salvador
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Flag of El Salvador

Country Profile

Capital City: San Salvador (pop. 600 000).

Other Cities: Santa Ana (pop. 237 000), San Miguel (pop. 222,000), Ahuachapán (pop. 100 000), Soyapango (pop. 222,096), La Union.

Local Time: UTC -6h

Location: Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean in the south, between Guatemala and Honduras.
Area: 21,476 sq. km. (8,260 sq. mi.).
Terrain: Mountains separate country into three distinct regions--southern coastal belt, central valleys and plateaus, and northern mountains.

Border countries
: Guatemala, Honduras

Climate: Semitropical, tropical on coast; temperate in uplands, distinct wet and dry seasons.


Type: Republic.
Independence: on 15 September 1821 (from Spain). Constitution: 20 December 1983.

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Salvadoran(s).
Population: 6.6 million.
Ethnic Groups: mixed Indian and Spanish 90%, indigenous 1%, Caucasian 9%.
Religions: Roman Catholic, Protestants
Languages: Spanish.
Literacy: 75-80%


Currency: Salvador Colon (SVC) and US Dollar (USD)

Natural resources: hydropower, geothermal power, petroleum, arable land.

Agriculture products: Coffee, sugar, livestock, corn, poultry, and sorghum

Industries: Food and beverage processing, textiles, footwear and clothing, chemical products, petroleum products, electronics.

Exports partners:
USA 67.8%, Guatemala 11.5%, Honduras 5.9% (2003)

Imports partners: USA 50%, Guatemala 8.1%, Mexico 5.5% (2003)

Internet Links

Official Sites of El Salvador

El Salvador

Asamblea Legislativa de la República de El Salvador

Ministerio de Gobernacion

Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores

Diplomatic Missions
Foreign Diplomatic Missions in El Salvador

Salvadoran Embassies and Missions Abroad

Embajada de El Salvador

Map of El Salvador

Map of Central America and the Caribbean

El Salvador

Introduction El Salvador

Background:  El Salvador achieved independence from Spain in 1821 and
from the Central American Federation in 1839. A 12-year civil war,
which cost about 75,000 lives, was brought to a close in 1992 when the
government and leftist rebels signed a treaty that provided for military
and political reforms.

Geography El Salvador

Location:  Middle America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between
Guatemala and Honduras

Geographic coordinates:  13 50 N, 88 55 W

Map references:  Central America and the Caribbean

Area:  total: 21,040 sq km water: 320 sq km land: 20,720 sq km

Area - comparative:  slightly smaller than Massachusetts

Land boundaries:  total: 545 km border countries: Guatemala 203 km,
Honduras 342 km

Coastline:  307 km

Maritime claims:  territorial sea: 200 NM

Climate:  tropical; rainy season (May to October); dry season (November
to April); tropical on coast; temperate in uplands

Terrain:  mostly mountains with narrow coastal belt and central plateau

Elevation extremes:  lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m highest point:
Cerro El Pital 2,730 m

Natural resources:  hydropower, geothermal power, petroleum, arable land

Land use:  arable land: 27% permanent crops: 12% other: 61% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  360 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards:  known as the Land of Volcanoes; frequent and sometimes
very destructive earthquakes and volcanic activity; extremely susceptible
to hurricanes

Environment - current issues:  deforestation; soil erosion; water
pollution; contamination of soils from disposal of toxic wastes

Environment - international agreements:  party to: Biodiversity, Climate
Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered
Species, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection,
Wetlands signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Geography - note:  smallest Central American country and only one without
a coastline on Caribbean Sea

People El Salvador

Population:  6,353,681 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 37.4% (male 1,211,156; female 1,162,317)
15-64 years: 57.5% (male 1,735,744; female 1,922,395) 65 years and over:
5.1% (male 144,864; female 177,205) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  1.83% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  28.3 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  6.1 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  -3.88 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.82
male(s)/female total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  27.58 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   74.11 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  3.29 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  0.6% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  25,000 (2000 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  1,300 (1999 est.)

Nationality:  noun: Salvadoran(s) adjective: Salvadoran

Ethnic groups:  mestizo 90%, Amerindian 1%, white 9%

Religions:  Roman Catholic 83% note: there is extensive activity by
Protestant groups throughout the country; by the end of 1992, there were
an estimated 1 million Protestant evangelicals in El Salvador

Languages:  Spanish, Nahua (among some Amerindians)

Literacy:  definition: age 10 and over can read and write total
population: 71.5% male: 73.5% female: 69.8% (1995 est.)

Government El Salvador

Country name:   Republic of El Salvador conventional short form:
El Salvador

Government type:  republic

Capital:  San Salvador

Administrative divisions:  14 departments (departamentos, singular -
departamento); Ahuachapan, Cabanas, Chalatenango, Cuscatlan, La Libertad,
La Paz, La Union, Morazan, San Miguel, San Salvador, Santa Ana, San
Vicente, Sonsonate, Usulutan

Independence:  15 September 1821 (from Spain)

National holiday:  Independence Day, 15 September (1821)

Constitution:  23 December 1983

Legal system:  based on civil and Roman law, with traces of common
law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; accepts
compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

Suffrage:  18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:  chief of state: President Francisco FLORES Perez
(since 1 June 1999); Vice President Carlos QUINTANILLA Schmidt (since 1
June 1999); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of
government head of government: President Francisco FLORES Perez (since 1
June 1999); Vice President Carlos QUINTANILLA Schmidt (since 1 June 1999);
note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet:  vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for
five-year terms; election last held 7 March 1999 (next to be held NA
March 2004) election results: Francisco FLORES Perez elected president;
percent of vote - Francisco FLORES (ARENA) 52%, Facundo GUARDADO (FMLN)
29%, Ruben ZAMORA (CD) 7.5%, other (no individual above 3%) 11.5%

Legislative branch:  unicameral Legislative Assembly or Asamblea
Legislativa (84 seats; members are elected by direct, popular vote to
serve three-year terms) elections: last held 12 March 2000 (next to
be held NA March 2003) election results: percent of vote by party -
ARENA 36.1%, FMLN 35.14%, PCN 8.76%, PDC 7.08%, CD 5.32%, PAN 3.75%,
USC 1.47%, PLD 1.29%; seats by party - ARENA 28, FMLN 31, PCN 14, PDC 5,
CD 3, PAN 1, independent 2

Judicial branch:  Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (judges are selected
by the Legislative Assembly)

Political parties and leaders:  Christian Democratic Party or PDC [Rene
AGUILUZ]; Democratic Convergence or CD (includes PSD, MNR, MPSC) [Ruben
ZAMORA, secretary general]; Democratic Party or PD [Jorge MELENDEZ];
Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front or FMLN [Fabio CASTILLO];
Liberal Democratic Party or PLD [Kirio Waldo SALGADO, president];
National Action Party or PAN [Gustavo Rogelio SALINAS, secretary general];
National Conciliation Party or PCN [Ciro CRUZ Zepeda, president]; National
Republican Alliance or ARENA [Walter ARAUJO]; Social Christian Union or
USC (formed by the merger of Christian Social Renewal Party or PRSC and
Unity Movement or MU) [Abraham RODRIGUEZ, president]

Political pressure groups and leaders:  labor organizations - Electrical
Industry Union of El Salvador or SIES; Federation of the Construction
Industry, Similar Transport and other activities, or FESINCONTRANS;
National Confederation of Salvadoran Workers or CNTS; National Union
of Salvadoran Workers or UNTS; Port Industry Union of El Salvador
or SIPES; Salvadoran Union of Ex-Petrolleros and Peasant Workers or
USEPOC; Salvadoran Workers Central or CTS; Workers Union of Electrical
Corporation or STCEL; business organizations - National Association of
Small Enterprise or ANEP; Salvadoran Assembly Industry Association or
ASIC; Salvadoran Industrial Association or ASI

International organization participation:  BCIE, CACM, ECLAC, FAO, G-77,
IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer),

Diplomatic representation in the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador Rene
Antonio LEON Rodriguez consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Dallas,
Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and San Francisco telephone: [1]
(202) 265-9671 chancery: 2308 California Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

Diplomatic representation from the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
Rose M. LIKINS embassy: Final Boulevard Santa Elenal, Antiguo Cuscatlan,
La Libertad, San Salvador mailing address: Flag description:  three equal
horizontal bands of blue (top), white, and blue with the national coat of
arms centered in the white band; the coat of arms features a round emblem
similar to the flag of Nicaragua, which has a different coat of arms
centered in the white band - it features a triangle encircled by the
words REPUBLICA DE NICARAGUA on top and AMERICA CENTRAL on the bottom;
also similar to the flag of Honduras, which has five blue stars arranged
in an X pattern centered in the white band

Economy El Salvador

Economy - overview:  El Salvador is a struggling Central American
economy which has been suffering from a weak tax collection system,
factory closings, the aftermaths of Hurricane Mitch of 1998 and the
devastating earthquakes of early 2001, and weak world coffee prices. On
the bright side, in recent years inflation has fallen to single digit
levels, and total exports have grown substantially. The trade deficit
has been offset by remittances (an estimated $1.6 billion in 2000) from
Salvadorans living abroad and by external aid. As of 1 January 2001,
the US dollar was made legal tender alongside the colon. Growth in 2002
will depend largely on the speed of recovery in the US.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $28.4 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  1.4% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $4,600 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 10% industry: 30% services:
60% (2000)

Population below poverty line:  48% (1999 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: 1.4%
highest 10%: 39.3% (2001)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:  50.8 (1997)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  3.8% (2001 est.)

Labor force:  2.35 million (1999)

Labor force - by occupation:  agriculture 30%, industry 15%, services 55%
(1999 est.)

Unemployment rate:  10% (2001 est.)

Budget:  revenues: $2.1 billion expenditures: $2.5 billion, including
capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)

Industries:  food processing, beverages, petroleum, chemicals, fertilizer,
textiles, furniture, light metals

Industrial production growth rate:  3% (2001 est.)

Electricity - production:  3.69 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 42.3% hydro: 35.5%
other: 22.2% (2000) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  4.07 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  112 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  750 million kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  coffee, sugar, corn, rice, beans, oilseed,
cotton, sorghum; shrimp; beef, dairy products

Exports:  $2.9 billion (2001)

Exports - commodities:  offshore assembly exports, coffee, sugar, shrimp,
textiles, chemicals, electricity

Exports - partners:  US 65%, Guatemala 11%, Honduras 8%, EU 5% (2000)

Imports:  $5 billion (2001)

Imports - commodities:  raw materials, consumer goods, capital goods,
fuels, foodstuffs, petroleum, electricity

Imports - partners:  US 50%, Guatemala 10%, EU 7%, Mexico 5%, (2000)

Debt - external:  $4.9 billion (2001 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:  total $252 million; $57 million from US
(1999 est.)

Currency:  Salvadoran colon (SVC); US dollar (USD)

Currency code:  SVC; USD

Exchange rates:  Salvadoran colones per US dollar - 8.750 (fixed since
January 2001), 8.755 (fixed rate since 1993) note: since January 2001
the US dollar has also become legal tender; the exchange rate has been
fixed at 8.75 colones per US dollar

Fiscal year:  calendar year

Communications El Salvador

Telephones - main lines in use:  380,000 (1998)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  40,163 (1997)

Telephone system:  general assessment: NA domestic: nationwide microwave
radio relay system international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat
(Atlantic Ocean); connected to Central American Microwave System

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 61 (plus 24 repeaters), FM 30, shortwave 0

Radios:  2.75 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations:  5 (1997)

Televisions:  600,000 (1990)

Internet country code:  .sv

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  4 (2000)

Internet users:  40,000 (2000)

Transportation El Salvador

Railways:  total: 562 km narrow gauge: 562 km 0.914-m gauge note:
length of operational route is reduced to 283 km by disuse and lack of
maintenance (2001 est.)

Highways:  total: 10,029 km paved: 1,986 km (including 327 km of
expressways) unpaved: 8,043 km (1997)

Waterways:  Rio Lempa partially navigable

Ports and harbors:  Acajutla, Puerto Cutuco, La Libertad, La Union,
Puerto El Triunfo

Merchant marine:  none (2002 est.)

Airports:  83 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 4 over 3,047 m: 1 1,524 to 2,437 m:
1 914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:  total: 79 914 to 1,523 m: 17 under
914 m: 62 (2001)

Heliports:  1 (2001)

Military El Salvador

Military branches:  Army, Navy (FNES), Air Force

Military manpower - military age:  18 years of age (2002 est.)

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 1,500,712 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 951,715
(2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:  males: 68,103
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $112 million (FY99)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  0.7% (FY99)

Transnational Issues El Salvador

Disputes - international:  El Salvador claims tiny Conejo Island off
Honduras in the Golfo de Fonseca; many of the "bolsones" (disputed
areas) along the El Salvador-Honduras boundary remain undemarcated
despite ICJ adjudication in 1992; with respect to the maritime boundary
in the Golfo de Fonseca, the ICJ referred to the line determined by the
1900 Honduras-Nicaragua Mixed Boundary Commission and advised that some
tripartite resolution among El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua likely
would be required

Illicit drugs:  transshipment point for cocaine; small amounts of
marijuana produced for local consumption; domestic cocaine abuse on
the rise

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

El Faro

Diario El Mundo

La Prensa Gráfica

Tele 2

Arts & Culture

League of Salvadoran Artists and Writers - UNARTES

Business & Economy
Banco Central de Reserva de El Salvador

Bolsa de Valores de El Salvador

Camara de Comercio e Industria de El Salvador

Fundación Salvadoreña para Investigaciones del Café

Destination El Salvador - Country Guides

El Salvador Tourism

El Salvador en Imagenes

Elsalvador Magazine

San Salvador
San Salvador


Universidad Centroamericana "José Simeón Cañas"

Universidad de El Salvador UES

Universidad Francisco Gavidia

Universidad Tecnologica de El Salvador

Living Water El Salvador
Clean drinking water for El Salvador.
Salvadoran Research Program on Development and Environment (PRISMA)

El Salvador: History

Museo Digital Arqueológico de El Salvador

History of El Salvador

Oscar Romero



Newsgroup of El Salvador




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