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Official Name: Republic of El Salvador
Population: 6.2 million
Currency: Colón (SV¢)
Independence Day: September 15
Official Language: Spanish
World Time: GMT -06:00
Ports: Acajutla, La Libertad, Cutuco and El Triunfo
Gross Domestic Product (GDP): Mill. US$13,217
Capital City: San Salvador
Area: 21,040.79 square kilometers (8,400 square miles)
Exchange rate: ¢8.75 colones per US$1 dollar. Since January 1st, 2001, the US dollar is also officially accepted as legal tender in El Salvador
Government: Democratic Republic
Religion: 75% Roman Catholics, 25 % others
Airports: El Salvador International (at Comalapa) Ilopango International
Principal Exports: Coffee, Textiles, Cotton, Sugar, Shrimps.
GDP growth rate: 2.0%
is one of the Republics
of the American continent located on the isthmus called Central America. And Central America is the territorial strip that connects North America with South America.
The geographical location of El Salvador is the following: it is included in the tropical septentrional zone which determines it’s more or less warm climatic conditions during the entire year. It is the part of the Northern Hemisphere for the geographic latitude, as well as the Western Hemisphere for the geographic longitude.
The countries that border it are Guatemala on the west, Honduras on the north and east and Nicaragua in the southeast in the Gulf of Fonseca region.
To the south of the continental territory 200 marine miles of territorial waters expand and connects it with Pacific Ocean international waters.
The climate of El Salvador is warm
during most of the year. It is common to listen that El Salvador has two seasons, winter and summer; and through custom, people erroneously call the rainy season, winter, and the dry season, summer. The correct thing is that in El Salvador, from the meteorological viewpoint
, there are two seasons and two transitions during the year: dry season and rainy season; and transitions dry-rainy and rainy-dry.
The dry season is 157 days and takes place from November 14 to April 19. The rainy season is 149 days and is estimated from May 21 to October 16. The transitions between these seasons take place as follows: transition of dry-rainy seasons from April 20 to May 20 and transition of rainy-dry season from October 17 to November 13.
In general, climate in El Salvador is warm or tropical. Average annual temperature is 28°C, varying between 25 and 28 degrees Centigrade. However, as a result of El Salvador’s beautiful contrasts, when traveling through this small country’s territory one can experience pleasant temperature variations. In the coastal areas maximum temperatures of up to 41°C and humidity can be experienced, while in the mountainous and volcano areas it is possible to feel temperatures as low as 10°C.
During the warmest times of the year, in the coastal plains minimum temperatures are between 18°C and 29.5°C and maximums between 35°C and 37.5°C. In the capital city, maximum temperatures reach 35°C and in the eastern part of the country 41°C. However, according to the latest statistics, during the hottest season maximum temperatures in San Salvador can rise up to 38°C and in the eastern area up to 45°C. However, during the cold season, generally December and January, influence of cold air masses from North America cause a decrease in temperatures, especially in valleys and hills. During this season, the capital city can record temperatures as low as 12°C and even 5°C in the low valleys.
With the exception of Central America, there is no other region in the tropics, at the same geographic latitude, where there is the possibility of such extreme chilliness as in El Salvador.
According to meters above sea level measurement (m.a.s.l.), in El Salvador there are three distinguish climate zones, based on definitions by Köppen, Sapper and Lauer:
-Hot tropical savannas or hot land (0-800 m.a.s.l.)
-Warm tropical savannas or temperate land (800-1,200 m.a.s.l.)
-Tropical Climate of the highlands or Cold land (1,200-2,700 m.a.s.l.)
El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America. It consist of valleys, high plains, volcanoes, a plain coastal area, Sierra Madre mountain chain and the Pacific Coast that stretches out 320 Kilometers (200 miles). Administrative Political Division El Salvador is divided into 14 departments, grouped into three geographic areas: Western Zone, Central Zone and Eastern Zone, which include 39 districts and 262 municipalities.
The 14 Departments are: Ahuachapán, Santa Ana, Sonsonate, Chalatenango, La Libertad, San Salvador (capital city), Cuscatlán, La Paz, Cabañas, San Vicente, Usulután, San Miguel, Morazán, La Unión.
Spanish is the official language, but English is very common among the business community. A very small portion of the population speaks Nahuatl, a native Indian dialect.
El Salvador’s population is divided in three ethnic groups. Mestizos, whose descendance is a result of European and Indian combination, represent 91 %. Inhabitants of European descendence represent approximately 6 % of the population. The rest represent 3% of the population.
The country’s economy greatly depends from its agriculture. Principal agricultural products are coffee, cotton, sugar cane, cereals, vegetables, fruits, and spices. In addition, El Salvador is the only producer in the world of Balsam that is erroneously called “Bálsamo del Perú” (Balsam from Peru), used for the manufacturing of pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.