El Salvador (Spanish: República de El Salvador) is the smallest and most densely populated country in Central America. The country's capital and largest city is San Salvador. Other important cities are: Santa Ana and Sonsonate. El Salvador borders the Pacific Ocean on the south, and the countries of Guatemala to the west and Honduras to the north and east.
Republic of El Salvador
República de El Salvador
|Motto: "Dios, Unión, Libertad" (in Spanish)|
"God, Unity, Freedom"
|Anthem: Himno Nacional de El Salvador|
National anthem of El Salvador
and largest city
13°40′N 89°10′W / 13.667°N 89.167°WCoordinates: 13°40′N 89°10′W / 13.667°N 89.167°W
|Recognised regional languages||Nahuatl|
|Ethnic groups||Mestizo: 80%
Native American: 1%Other: 2%
|Demonym(s)||Salvadoran or Salvadorian|
|Government||Federal presidential constitutional republic|
|José Salomón Padilla|
• from Spain
|September 15, 1821|
• Recognized by Spain
|June 24, 1865|
• from the Greater Republic of Central America
|November 13, 1898|
|21,040 km2 (8,120 sq mi) (153rd)|
• Water (%)
• July 2009 estimate
• 2009 census
|341.5/km2 (884.5/sq mi) (47th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2010 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2010 estimate|
• Per capita
|HDI (2015)|| 0.704|
high · 90th
|Currency||United States dollar (|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (CST)|
|ISO 3166 code||SV|
In 2010 El Salvador ranked in the top 10 Latin American countries in terms of Human Development Index. It was in the top 3 in Central America (behind Costa Rica and Panama). Also, tropical forests and overall forests have expanded by nearly 20% from the year 1992 to 2010, making it one of the few countries experiencing reforestation.
In El Salvador there are only two seasons. The dry season starts in mid-October and it lasts until mid May. During the dry season, it hardly ever rains. The wet season starts in mid-May and ends in mid-October. In this season it rains every day. The dry season is called summer and the rainy season is called winter.
Most of the population is mestizo, a mixture of European and American people.
In June 2021, it became the first country in the world to make Bitcoin a legal tender. In September 2021, the country began accepting Bitcoin as an official currency, making it the first country to do so.
The civilization of El Salvador began around 1500 B.C., leaving an evidence that would be the Tazumal Ruins and Chalchuapa Ruins. The first habitants were Pocomanes, Lencas and Pipiles; they stayed in the middle and east zone of El Salvador until about the eleventh century. The Spaniard Andrés Niño led an expedition from Central America and arrived in Meanguera Island in the Gulf of Fonseca on May 31, 1522. That was the first Salvadoran territory visited by Spaniard men.
In June 1524, Pedro de Alvarado began a war of conquest against Cuzcatlán (Land of beautiful things) that was populated by native tribes of the country. During 17 days of bloody battles many natives and Spaniard men died, including the native Atlacatl. Pedro de Alvarado, deterred and injured, left the battle and set off to Guatemala, leaving his brother, Gonzalo de Alvarado, to continue the conquest of Cuzcatlan. After this, their cousin, Diego de Alvardo established the San Salvador Ville on April 1525 in a site named La Bermuda, near Suchitoto City. In 1546, Carlos I from Spain named San Salvador a city.
During the following years, the country grew under Spaniard control. In 1810 a feeling of freedom formed between the countries of Central America. On the morning of November 5th, 1811, the priest José Matías Delgado rang the bells of La Merced Church in San Salvador, calling for an uprising. After many internal conflicts, the Declaration of Independence of Central América was signed in Guatemala on September 15th, 1821. That day is the Independence day all around Central America.
El Salvador has a total area of 21,041 km2 (8,124 sq mi). As the smallest country in continental America, El Salvador is sometimes called Pulgarcito de America (the "Tom Thumb of the Americas"). The highest point in El Salvador is Cerro El Pital, at 2,730 metres (8,957 ft), on the border with Honduras.
El Salvador has a long history of destructive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The capital San Salvador was destroyed in 1756 and 1854, and it suffered heavy damage in the 1919, 1982, and 1986 tremors. El Salvador has over twenty volcanoes. Two of them, San Miguel and Izalco, have been active in recent years.
El Salvador has over 300 rivers. The most important is the Rio Lempa. Important lakes are Lake Ilopango (70 km²) and Lake Coatepeque (26 km²).
Flora and FaunaEdit
There are eight species of sea turtles in the world. Of these six nest on the coasts of Central America, and four make their home on the Salvadoran coast: the leatherback turtle, the hawksbill, the Galapagos green turtle and the olive ridley sea turtle.
It is estimated that there are 500 species of birds, 1,000 species of butterflies, 400 species of orchids, 800 species of trees, and 800 species of marine fish in El Salvador.
There are 4 national parks in El Salvador: El Imposible, Los Volcanes, Montecristo, and San Diego y San Felipe Las Barras.
El Salvador is divided into 14 departments (departamentos). These are divided into 262 municipalities (municipios).
Department names and abbreviations for the 14 Salvadoran Departments:
|Departments of El Salvador|
| Western El Salvador
Santa Ana (Santa Ana)
| Central El Salvador
La Libertad (Santa Tecla)
San Salvador (San Salvador)
La Paz (Zacatecoluca)
San Vicente (San Vicente)
| Eastern El Salvador |
San Miguel (San Miguel)
Morazán (San Francisco Gotera)
La Unión (La Unión)
|Note: Departmental capitals are in parentheses.|
- ↑ "UNdata El Salvador". UN. 2008. Retrieved 2010-07-04.
- ↑ Gob.sv Archived 2013-08-22 at the Wayback Machine (in Spanish)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "El Salvador". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 2011-04-21.
- ↑ "Human Development Report 2010" (PDF). United Nations. 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 November 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Hart, Robert (9 June 2021). "El Salvador Makes History As World's First Country To Make Bitcoin Legal Tender". Forbes. Retrieved 9 June 2021.
- ↑ "Monetary integration". Government of Ecuador. Archived from the original on 28 April 2007.
- ↑ World's Forests Rebounding, Study Suggests. News.nationalgeographic.com (2010-10-28). Retrieved on 2012-07-28.
- ↑ "Fear and excitement in El Salvador as Bitcoin becomes legal tender". BBC News. 6 September 2021. Retrieved 6 September 2021.