El Salvador is a Central American country. Bathed by the Pacific Ocean in the south, it borders Guatemala in the northwest and Honduras in the north and east. It has an area of 21 040 km2. The most important cities are San Salvador, the capital, with a population of 513,400 residents (2004), Soyapango (381,000 residents), Mejicanos (170,400 residents), Santa Ana (169,900 residents) and San Miguel ( 146 700 residents). In the mountain ranges closest to the sea, there are volcanoes, some of which are active.
The climate is tropical, but cool in the highlands. In the lowlands, next to the Pacific, it is quite hot and humid. The rainy season is between May and October.
El Salvador has an economy that is based on trade, industry and agriculture. Most of the imported products come from the USA, Guatemala, Mexico and Venezuela and are fuels, chemicals, transport equipment, machinery, metal products and food. Exports, mainly to the USA, Guatemala and Germany, include coffee, sugar, pharmaceuticals and cartons. The country is the world’s largest producer of balsamic gum, used in medicines and perfumes. Even so, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is among the lowest in all of Central America. The dominant agricultural crops are coffee, sugar cane, beans, corn, rice, tobacco, cotton, orange and banana. Food, drinks, textiles are produced in industry
Environmental indicator: the value of carbon dioxide emissions, per capita, (metric tons, 1999) is 0.9.
The population is 6 822 378 residents (est. 2006), which corresponds to a population density of 318.67 residents/km2. The birth and death rates are respectively 26.61% and 5.78%. Average life expectancy is 71.49 years. The value of the Human Development Index (HDI) is 0.719 and the value of the Gender-adjusted Development Index (IDG) is 0.707 (2001). It is estimated that, in 2025, the population will be 9 108 000 residents. The main ethnic groups are mestizo (89%), India (10%) and white (1%). The religion with the greatest expression is Catholic. The official language is Castilian.
El Salvador became independent in 1821 and, since that date, internal struggles and military dictatorships have become commonplace in the territory. But the clashes have also widened externally. Having been defeated at a soccer game in 1969, El Salvador tried to occupy Honduras, which led to a war between the two countries that lasted only five days. In 1976, there were clashes on the border between the two armies. For El Salvador democracy and rights, please check localbusinessexplorer.
The power struggles in El Salvador were at the origin of the civil war that caused thousands of deaths and refugees between 1979 and 1992. In the early 1980s, successive governments were accused of not respecting human rights, of practicing torture, killing political activists and executing people without trial. At the time, the government was threatened by leftist guerrillas. The United States, fearing the spread of communism to the north, sent economic and military aid to the territory. In 1982 Roberto d’Aubuisson, from the extreme right, led the government, but only remained in power for two years. In 1983 a new Constitution was adopted.
Between 1982 and 1984, government brutality led American public opinion to criticize US support for the Government of El Salvador. In 1984 the country had its first democratic elections and the more moderate Christian Democratic leader, José Napoleón Duarte, took power. In order for the democratic process to be truly legitimized, the Government invited the guerrillas to negotiate and run for election. The invitation was not accepted and the fighting continued. In 1992 an agreement brought an end to the civil war and the beginning of a period favorable to free legislative elections. Subsequently, the president of the country began to govern with a legislative assembly.
- Countryaah.com: Offers a full list of airports in the country of El Salvador, sorted by city location and acronyms.
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1UpTravel.com – Maps of El Salvador
Reveals a collection of country, and shaded relief maps of El Salvador in Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala, and Honduras.
El Salvador – About.com
View a simple political map and read about the economy, military, government and population of this Central American country.
El Salvador – Expedia Map
Interactive map of El Salvador allows users to zoom in and out, find cities and towns, and to print or email the map to others.
El Salvador – InfoPlease Map
View a close-up perspective of the country to find villages and cities across El Salvador.
El Salvador – MapQuest
Check out a well-detailed, graphical map of El Salvador, clearly showing the contours of the landscape, with place names dotted throughout.
El Salvador – National Geographic Map Machine
View a high-tech map of the country, which combines satellite imagery with map-editing.
MSN Encarta Maps – El Salvador
Finely-detailed map shows the countries physical characteristics and locations of key cities and villages. Click on a place to get more info.