62 Interesting Facts About El Salvador

Last updated on March 18th, 2020

Tourism in El Salvador

29. It gets half as many visitors annually as Costa Rica.

30. The country is also becoming a hub for eco-tourism.

31. The country is one of the most popular surfing destinations in the world. Many surfing competitions are hosted there every year.

32. National Park Cerro Verde in El Salvador is the home to 500 different species of birds and a rare species of black hawk-eagle. In the 505-hectare area of the national park, you can explore three volcanoes.

33. There are a total of five national parks in the country. Their names are Montecristo, El Boqueron, Conchagua, El Impossible and Cerro Verde.

The challenges

34. The majority of El Salvador’s poor population lives in the countryside. These people face challenges related to the availability of running water and electricity in their homes. However, the wealthy people of the country live in apartments and houses.

35. Rural people are prone to malnutrition, which is also a leading cause of death among the poor in the country.

36. Sadly, the country has the lowest birth rate and the highest death rate in all of Central America.

Economy of El Salvador

37. The country’s minimum wage is US $100-250 a month.

38. The white colored stripes on the country’s flag symbolize peace, and the Blue stripes symbolize unity. The country officially adopted its flag in 1910.

Flag of El Salvador

Flag of El Salvador
The National flag of El Salvador. Image credit – CIA

39. The United States houses approximately three million Salvadorans. These people live in the U.S. for work and send money back home to support their families.

40. Coffee exports accounted for 90% of the country’s earnings by the early 20th century. However, the country has diversified its income sources by establishing a manufacturing sector in its territory, and building trade and financial links with other countries.

41. Do not be surprised to learn that it is the third-largest economy in Central America, only outranked by Costa Rica and Panama.

Associated People

42. The parents of Tennis Hall of Famer Rosie Casals emigrated from El Salvador to the United States.

43. American supermodel Christy Turlington also has roots in El Salvador.

44. Pope John Paul II also visited the country many a time prior to his illness.

45. The civil war in the country took place from 1980 to 1992. During the period, almost 75,000 lives were lost. Economic inequality was the reason for the war.

Tazumal is a Pre-Columbian Maya archeological site in Chalchuapa, El Salvador. Tazumal means, "the place where the victims were burned," in K'iche'.
Tazumal is a Pre-Columbian Maya archeological site in Chalchuapa, El Salvador. Tazumal means, “the place where the victims were burned,” in K’iche’. Image credit – Otto (Rodriguez)

Facts that make El Salvador stand out among other Central American countries

46. San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador, has the biggest shopping center in all of Central America. It is also famous for its many museums and cultural sites.

47. The country also houses the largest airport in all of Central America.

48. Salvadoran countrymen were involved in an infamous “100 Hour War” with neighboring Honduras in 1969, after a soccer game.

49. It is estimated that Qatar’s 2022 World Cup will take more lives than 9/11 due to horrible working conditions for migrant workers building stadiums and infrastructure.

50. El Salvador is also known as “the land of Volcanoes.” It has more than 20 volcanoes, and the Chaparrastique is considered to be the most active volcano in the region. It has erupted 26 times in the last 500 years.

The most active volcano in the region – Chaparrastique.
The most active volcano in the region – Chaparrastique. Image credit – Victor Castro

51. The only UNESCO World Heritage Site in El Salvador is Joya de Cerén. The remains of a prehispanic farming village that was covered by a volcanic eruption in the seventh century AD can be found on the site. It is also called the “Pompeii of the Americas.”

52. The film Salvador was also released on the subject of the 12-year civil war. Interestingly, the movie was also nominated for Oscars.

Interesting facts about El Salvador’s culture

53. The people of El Salvador are friendly, warm and hospitable.

54. It is a tradition in El Salvador for women to often pat each other on the right forearm or shoulder instead of shaking hands.

55. This is how they greet each other depending on the time of the day: “buenos dias”(good morning), “buenas tardes” (good afternoon) or “buenas noches” (good evening).

56. The use of first names is usually reserved for family and friends.

57. The 15th birthday of a young girl is widely celebrated and is an important event in her — and her family’s — life.

Tasty vegetarian pupusas recipe served with curtido.
Tasty vegetarian pupusas recipe served with curtido.

58. El Salvador’s most notable dish is the “Pupusa,” a thick handmade corn flour or rice flour tortilla.

59. Tortillas, rice, and beans are the main foods in El Salvador.

60. Salvadorans like to receive perfumes as gifts.

61. Food is always eaten with utensils. Yeah, they use forks for eating fruits, too!

62. Salvadorans have a strong sense of personal pride, honor, and dignity.

Learn more about trade and craft in El Salvador with this link.

El Salvador – country at a glance

Independence15 September 1821 (from Spain)
Capital CitySan Salvador
(13°40′N 89°10′W)
Largest CitySan Salvador
(13°40′N 89°10′W)
Total area21,041 sq km
Population6,481,102 (July 2020 est.)
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Literacytotal population: 88.5%
Life expectancy at birth 74.8 years (2018)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
Official LanguageSpanish
Government typepresidential republic
PresidentNayib Armando Bukele Ortez
National anthem"Himno Nacional de El Salvador" (National Anthem of El Salvador)
National symbolturquoise-browed motmot (bird)
National colorsblue, white
BordersGuatemala and Honduras
CurrencyUSD (US Dollar)
ReligionChristianity and others
Climatetropical; rainy season (May to October); dry season (November to April); tropical on coast; temperate in uplands
Terrainmostly mountains with narrow coastal belt and central plateau
Mean elevation442 m
Lowest pointPacific Ocean 0 m
Highest pointCerro El Pital 2,730 m
Natural resourceshydropower, geothermal power, petroleum, arable land
Agricultural land74.7%
Birth rate18.6 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Death rate5.9 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Sex ratio0.923 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Industriesfood processing, beverages, petroleum, chemicals, fertilizer, textiles, furniture, light metals
Exports$4.662 billion (2017 est.)
offshore assembly exports, coffee, sugar, textiles and apparel, gold, ethanol, chemicals, electricity, iron and steel manufactures
Imports$9.499 billion (2017 est.)
raw materials, consumer goods, capital goods, fuels, foodstuffs, petroleum, electricity
GDP - per capita (PPP)$8,000 (2017 est.)
Internet country code.sv
Time ZoneCST (UTC−6)
Calling Code+503
Drives on theRight
Table last updatedMarch 25, 2020