El Salvador
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El Salvador factlets

  • A civil war raged in El Salvador from 1980-1992: an estimated 75,000 were killed.
  • El Salvador is prone to many natural disasters, including volcanoes, earthquakes and hurricanes.
  • El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America and the only one that does not have a coast on the Caribbean.
  • Approximately 80% of the population of El Salvador is literate: this is up from 26% in 1930.
  • In 2001, the government of El Salvador adopted the U.S. dollar as its official currency, joining Panama and Ecuador in Latin America.
  • In 1969, the “soccer war” broke out between El Salvador and Honduras. It lasted five days. Although there were many factors contributing to hostilities, it was a series of three World Cup qualifying matches between the two teams that resulted in riots that provided the “spark.” The disputes between the two nations were not decisively worked out until 1992.
  • One of the victims of the civil war in El Salvador was Archbishop Oscar Romero, a noted advocate for the poor. His story is dramatized in two American-made films: Romero (1989) and Salvador (1986).
  • In 1998, Hurricane Mitch destroyed or damaged 20% of the country’s homes, and killed over 200 people.
  • El Salvador wrote and enacted new constitutions in 1824, 1841, 1864, 1871, 1872, 1880, 1883, 1885, 1886, 1939, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1950, 1962 and 1983, for a grand total of 16 (so far).
  • El Salvador has good surfing.

By Christopher Minster
I am a writer and editor at V!VA Travel guides here in Quito, where I specialize in adding quality content to the site and also in spooky things like...
27 Apr 2009

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