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EL SALVADOR

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El Salvador is the smallest and most densely populated of the seven Central American countries. Despite having little level land, it traditionally was an agricultural country, heavily dependent

upon coffee exports.

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THE FLAG

The coat of arms on the Salvadoran flag was designed by Rafael Barraza Rodriguez in 1912. The equilateral triangle represents equality, and each edge represents a governmental branch–the legislative, executive, and judicial. The 14 bay leaves that are connected with a blue and white ribbon represent the 14 government departments in El Salvador. They also symbolize human achievement that should be pursued every day. The imagery of volcanoes surrounded by water represent the natural Salvadorean landscape that is filled with volcanoes and infused with beaches. The five volcanoes and flags also represent the five nations that proclaimed independence in Central America. The overarching rainbow symbolizes peace. The liberty cap and halo are liberty, and ‘los ideales del pueblo salvadoreno’ (the ideals of El Salvador).

THE PRESIDENT

President Nayib Armando Bukele Ortez is a Salvadoran politician and businessman who is the 46th and current President of El Salvador. He has served since June 1, 2019 after winning the 2019 election.

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SPORTS & RECREATION

Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in El Salvador and is played throughout the country. Internationally renowned players include Jorge (“El Mágico”) González, who is considered one of the most accomplished footballers in the history of the Central American game, and Jaime (“La Chelona”) Rodríguez, who, with González, led the national team’s memorable run in the 1982 World Cup.

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NATIONAL FLOWER

‘La Flor de Izote’ is native to El Salvador and Guatemala. It has been the national flower since 1995. It can be eaten like a vegetable, and can also be used to make fibers for textiles.

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NATIONAL BIRD

The Torogoz bird has been El Salvador’s national bird since 1999. The bird is endangered and can be seen in areas around the Yucatan Peninsula to Costa Rica. Torogoz represents liberty and unity.

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NATIONAL TREE

The Maquilishuat is the national tree of El Salvador. Its large and majestic pink flowers, offer varying degrees of intensity in coloration. When blooming, is one of the most beautiful trees in the region.

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CURRENCY

The colón was the currency of El Salvador between 1892 and 2001, until it was replaced by the U.S. dollar during Francisco Flores's (also known as Paco Flores) Presidency. It was subdivided into 100 centavos and its ISO 4217 code was SVC. The plural is "colones" in Spanish and the currency was named after Christopher Columbus, known as Cristóbal Colón.

ETHNIC GROUPS

The intermarriage of Spanish settlers with the indigenous population of the region has resulted in a largely ethnically homogeneous

people. Almost nine-tenths of the population is mestizo (people of mixed indigenous [Indian] and European ancestry); the remainder consists of indigenous peoples (including the Izalco and, from the village of Panchimalco, the Pancho), people of European ancestry, and other small groups.

LAND

El Salvador is bounded by Honduras to the north and east, by the Pacific Ocean to the south, and by Guatemala to the northwest. Its territory is situated wholly on the western side of the isthmus, and it is therefore the only Central American country that lacks a Caribbean coast.

LANGUAGE

Spanish is the official language of El Salvador. During the precolonial epoch various indigenous dialects were spoken, the most important of these being Nahuatl, spoken in the central region of the country, and Poton, spoken in the east.

CLIMATE

The climate of El Salvador is tropical but is moderated by elevation in the interior; in general it is warm rather than hot, varying between the high 50s and low 70s F (about 15 and 23 °C). Heavy rains, known as the temporales, fall in the winter season, from May to October. The dry summer season lasts from November to April.

EDUCATION

All public and private institutions of learning are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education. Since 1968 the school system has been composed of preschool, primary, and secondary educational categories, followed by university-level education.