- San Salvador; 1,424,000
- 21,041 square kilometers (8,124 square miles)
- Spanish, Nahua
- Roman Catholic, Evangelical
- U.S. dollar
- Life Expectancy:
- GDP per Capita:
- U.S. $4,600
- Literacy Percent:
El Salvador Facts Flag
The smallest and most densely populated country in Central America, El Salvador adjoins the Pacific in a narrow coastal plain, backed by a volcanic mountain chain, and a fertile plateau. About 90 percent of Salvadorans are mestizo; 9 percent claim Spanish descent. The rich volcanic soils brought coffee plantations—with a few, rich landowners and a subjugated peasant population. Economic inequality led to the 1980-1992 civil war; many Salvadorans, rich and poor, fled to the United States. El Salvador's democratic government shows success in adding manufacturing jobs—but faces the challenges of poverty, crime, and natural disasters.
- Industry: Food processing, beverages, petroleum, chemicals
- Agriculture: Coffee, sugar, corn, rice; shrimp; beef
- Exports: Offshore assembly exports, coffee, sugar, shrimp, textiles, chemicals, electricity
—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition
Off the shores of Costa Rica, scientists study a stronghold of whales that once hovered near extinction.
Enjoy these brightly colored textiles made on looms, virtually identical to those their Maya ancestors used some 1,200 years ago.
The saga of a civilization in three parts: the rise, the monumental splendor, and the collapse.
2014 Traveler Photo Contest
Browse all the submissions and check back for the winning images.