El Salvador






Culture Name

Salvadoran

Alternative Names

Salvadorean, Guanaco, salvadoreño

Orientation

Identification. El Salvador "the Savior," was named by Spanish conquistadors. Guanaco, a type of bird, is a slightly derogative nickname used by other Central Americans and some Salvadorans.

Location and Geography. El Salvador is a country of 8,260 square miles (21,040 square kilometers) in Central America, between Guatemala and Honduras. Mountains separate the country into the southern coastal belt, the central valleys and plateaus, and the northern mountains. These regions have created slight cultural variations because of the different crops grown in each one. Coffee grown in the mountains and cane grown on the coast provide the rural population with paid labor; in the central valleys, corn and beans are grown for private consumption and for sale. Most industry is in the center, where the capital, San Salvador, is located. Other large cities include San Miguel in the east and Santa Ana in the west.

Demography. In 1999 the population was estimated to be 5,839,079, making El Salvador one of the most densely populated countries in the Western Hemisphere. Over a million persons have migrated, starting in the early 1980s during a civil war. Legal and illegal emigration has continued at a high rate since the end of the civil war in 1992.

Linguistic Affiliation. Almost all residents speak Spanish, which was brought in by the conquistadors. Before the Spanish conquest, the area was inhabited by the Pipil Indians. Very few Salvadorans now speak the indigenous language, which virtually disappeared after 1932, when General Maximilio Hernández Martínez suppressed rural resistance by massacring 30,000 mostly Indian rural peasants. Those who survived la Matanza ("the massacre") hid their Indian identity by changing their dress and speaking only Spanish. Some remnants of the Pipil language remain in everyday Salvadoran Spanish.

Symbolism. The flag consists of two blue horizontal stripes with a white stripe in the middle. In the center is a coat of arms inscribed "1821," the year of independence. Salvadorans in the United States often have plaques that contain the flag, as a symbol of national pride. Since independence, the blue in the flag has symbolized support for the ruling oligarchy, while the red has symbolized support for communism or resistance. Conservative political parties use blue in their banners; a liberal party, the Farabunda Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), uses red and centralist parties use blue or green. During the civil war, both sides sang the national hymn.

History and Ethnic Relations

Emergence of the Nation. Before the Spanish conquest, the area that is now El Salvador was made up of two large Indian states and several principalities. Most of the area was inhabited by the Pipil. Spain's first attempt to conquer the area failed as the Pipil forced Spanish troops to retreat. In 1525, the district fell under the control of the Captaincy General of Guatemala, a colony of Spain, which retained authority until independence in 1821. During the colonial period, the Spaniards replaced the communal property of the indigenous population with a system of private property. The encomienda system obliged Indians to work for the Spanish in order to pay a large tax. At the top of the colonial hierarchy were the Peninsulares , Spaniards born in Spain. Under them were the criollos , Spaniards born in the Americas. The mestizos were people of mixed Spanish

El Salvador
El Salvador
and indigenous descent, who had some rights but could not hold private property. The indigenous peoples were exploited and mistreated.

Independence from Spain (1821) was sought by criollos who were inspired by the American and French revolutions. They gained support from the Indians and landless peasants by promising to end the abuses committed by landowners. After the revolution, Indians and peasants remained impoverished and largely without land or legal rights.

When the Central American provinces were joined with Mexico in 1822, El Salvador insisted on the autonomy of the Central American countries. Guatemalan troops that were sent to enforce the union were forced out in June 1822. In 1823, José Manuel Arce's army was defeated by the Mexicans. However, in February of that year, a revolution in Mexico ousted the emperor, and a new congress granted independence to the Central American provinces. That year the United Provinces of Central America were formed from five Central American countries. When that federation dissolved in 1838, El Salvador became an independent republic.

The first decades of independence saw uprisings by poor mestizos and Indians to protest their impoverishment and marginalization. Before the cultivation of coffee was introduced in the late nineteenth century, indigo was the principal export crop. In 1833, an Indian rebellion of indigo sowers and cutters led by Anastasio Aquino demanded distribution of land to the poor and the just application of the penal laws, the only laws applied to the poor. The rebellion was crushed by the government. Thousands of rural peasants were displaced as new laws incorporated their lands into large "modern" coffee plantations where peasants were forced to work for very low wages. This created a coffee oligarchy made up of fourteen families. The economy is still controlled by a wealthy landowning caste (1 percent of the population still owns 40 percent of the arable land).

The civil war in the 1980s led to a huge population upheaval, with up to 40 percent of the population relocating and close to 20 percent leaving the country. Estimates of deaths in the twelve years of civil war have reached 80,000, including twelve thousand civilians killed in 1981. In 1982, mutilation killings, particularly decapitations, of adults

Motor vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians crowd a busy street in downtown San Salvador.
Motor vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians crowd a busy street in downtown San Salvador.
and children were used as mechanisms of social terror.

Much of that repression was in response to the political organization of the people in the 1960s and 1970s as workers, peasants, women, students, and shanty town dwellers developed organizations to demand political and economic rights. Many political activists felt that "legal" political organizing would not lead to political change and began organizing the clandestine guerrilla units that formed the nucleus of the FMLN in 1980. By 1979 the FMLN was perceived as a threat by the military dictatorship.

A new spirit of activism emerged within the Catholic Church. Rural peasants and church workers formed Christian "base communities" and agricultural cooperatives in the 1960s and 1970s. Progressive priests and nuns formed Bible study groups in which peasants reflected on local conditions in light of biblical texts. This organizing was considered communist and subversive and became a target of government repression.

A group of young officers staged a military coup and formed a cabinet consisting of civilians from a wide spectrum of political parties. However, the military and the oligarchy frustrated attempts at change. Three more juntas followed, but each was incapable of implementing reform and stopping atrocities.

In 1980, the archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Romero, who had become a forceful critic of military oppression, was assassinated while saying Mass. This led many people in the base Christian communities and political organizations to turn to armed resistance. Five revolutionary armies joined together to form the FMLN.

In November 1989, the FMLN launched a bloody nationwide offensive, taking parts of the capital. International coverage of the offensive increased the pressure for a negotiated settlement to the conflict. On 31 December 1991, the government and the FMLN signed an agreement under the auspices of the United Nations, and a cease-fire took effect in 1992. The peace accords called for military reforms including a reduction in the size of the military, a new armed forces doctrine stressing democratic values and prohibiting an internal security role, and the banning of paramilitary groups. The National Civilian Police was established to replace the repressive National Police. Judicial, electoral, and social reforms included land reform and government-financed loans for land purchases.

Ideological polarization between the two sides in the conflict has made reconciliation difficult, and the government has failed to prosecute human rights abusers, or address the social injustices. Many Salvadorans, especially rural peasants, do not trust the nation's political leaders.

National Identity. Salvadoran national identity is comprised of a mix of indigenous and Spanish influences expressed in food, language, customs, and religious beliefs.

Ethnic Relations. Indians were at the bottom of the social hierarchy in colonial times and subject to massacre and exploitation well into the twentieth century. Ninety-seven percent of the population in El Salvador is now "mestizo." However, those who have more indigenous features suffer some discrimination and are referred to by the derogatory terms "indios" (Indians) or "negros" (blacks).

Urbanism, Architecture, and the Use of Space

Rural houses are typically made of adobe, with a large front porch ( corredor ) where people spend most of their time when at home. The insides of houses are used mainly for sleeping and storage, and families of seven or eight people may live in one or two small rooms. Urban houses built during the colonial period typically have outdoor space in the middle of the house, making family life more private. Modern urban middle-class and upper-class houses often have a small garden in front instead of in the middle, with the house and garden surrounded by a large wall that often is topped by barbed wire and glass. These houses often cannot be seen from the street. This type of architecture was used in the 1970s for security reasons. Houses for the lower classes are often less protected, with entrances onto the street. Many of the poorest families have houses made of discarded materials such as cardboard and sheet metal.

Food and Economy

Food in Daily Life. Corn is the staple of the diet and is most often made into thick tortillas that are eaten at every meal and also are served as tamales and in a thick corn drink called atol. Small red beans are the other staple. A variety of fruits and vegetables are eaten, including mango, papaya, tamarind, oranges, bananas, watermelon, cucumber, pacayao, lettuce, tomatoes, and radish. Salvadorans also eat rice, eggs, chicken, pork, beef, fish and seafood, and some game. Coffee is the most common drink, along with highly sugared fruit drinks. Elotes (new corn) are eaten in September before the corn hardens. Restaurants are most often cafeterias, comedores, where food is ordered from a menu near the kitchen or a buffet table and waitresses bring the food to the table. There are fast food restaurants in the cities which are more expensive, and expensive restaurants where food is ordered from a menu at the table.

Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. Tamales are often eaten on special occasions, as is chumpe, turkey stewed in a sauce.

Basic Economy. Corn, beans, and rice, are among the principal crops, but El Salvador relies on the importation of these staples.

Land Tenure and Property. The land reform started in the early 1980s transferred land to former combatants who were mostly the rural poor. The purchase of land was financed by a United Statesassisted land bank. However, many people find it difficult to sustain their families on small plots of infertile land.

Commercial Activities. Major commercial activities include shoe and textile production.

Major Industries. Major industries include food processing, beverages, petroleum, chemicals, fertilizer, textiles, furniture, and light metals.

Trade. El Salvador is a large exporter of agricultural products, but exports of sugarcane, cotton, and coffee have declined. The nation exports only half the quantity of goods it imports. Traditional exports include coffee, sugarcane, and shrimp. Nontraditional crops include manufactured goods, principally shoes and textiles. Textiles produced in maquilas (foreign-owned sweatshops) have replaced coffee as the leading export. However, dollars sent from Salvadorans in the United States to their families provide more income than do any exports.

Division of Labor. Professional jobs, including elementary school teaching, require a university education and are limited mainly to the middle and upper classes. Clerical or technical jobs usually require a high school diploma, which is received by only a small percentage of the population. Semi-skilled jobs such as construction and plumbing generally require a period of apprenticeship but not of formal study. Access to education corresponds to the possession of wealth, and poor families are often limited to unskilled positions in industry, agriculture, and small businesses. Others are employed in the informal economy selling candy, fruit, or tamales

A modern sculpture in front of a building in San Salvador. The Salvadoran capital features a mix of modern amenities and extreme poverty.
A modern sculpture in front of a building in San Salvador. The Salvadoran capital features a mix of modern amenities and extreme poverty.
on the streets and at bus stops. The majority of working women are employed in the informal sector, along with many children.

Social Stratification

Classes and Castes. About half the population lives below the national poverty line, able to buy food but not clothing and medicine. Over half of these families live in a situation of extreme poverty. Forty-seven percent of the population does not have access to clean water.

The difference between the incomes of the most wealthy and the poorest are extreme and increasing. The poorest 20 percent receive only 2 percent of the national income, whereas the richest 20 percent receive 66 percent. The distinction between the rich and poor is no longer ethnic, as the vast majority of the population is now mestizo (about 97 percent).

Symbols of Social Stratification. The rich have more access to American goods and typically dress like Americans. They also have access to education at home and abroad and often speak English, as well as a more grammatical form of Spanish.

Political Life

Government. The constitution provides for a representative government with three independent branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. The president is popularly elected and must receive a majority of the vote. The president is limited to a single five-year term but exercises significant authority in appointing a cabinet with the advice and consent of the assembly. This assembly has one chamber of eighty-four popularly elected deputies who serve three-year terms and may be reelected. The supreme court is the highest court of appeals, with other civil and criminal courts in each of the fourteen departments.

Leadership and Political Officials. Political parties include those of the extreme right, the left, and more central parties. The Partido Alianza Republicana Nacionalista (ARENA), founded in 1981, was associated with the death squads. It continues to have enormous influence. The party has moved from the extreme right to supporting neoliberal structural adjustment policies since the war. More extreme members of ARENA have joined the Partido de Conciliación Nacional (PCN), which was founded in 1961.

People washing clothes in a lagoon. About half the population of El Salvador lives below the national poverty line.
People washing clothes in a lagoon. About half the population of El Salvador lives below the national poverty line.

The FMLN formed a political party after disarming at the end of the war. It has gained political ground since the end of the war, winning a majority of Assembly seats and the mayor's office in San Salvador in 1997. The FMLN is considered a socialist alternative to ARENA, which is seen as protecting the interests of the rich. There has been internal dissent within the FMLN.

The Partido Democrata Cristiano (PDC), which was formed in 1960, failed to address human rights atrocities. Other parties include the Partido Convergencia Democrática, founded in 1993; the Partido Liberal Democrático, founded in 1994; the Partido Popular Laborista, founded in 1997; and the Partido Unión Social Cristiano, founded in 1997.

Social Problems and Control. The number of violent deaths resulting from crime in 1996 was greater than the number of deaths resulting from the conflict during any year of the civil war. In that same year, the murder rates in some parts of the country were among the highest in the Western Hemisphere. Many crime victims do not report crimes to the authorities because of continuing mistrust of the courts and police. The National Civilian Police have poorly trained officers and few resources to investigate crimes. Corrupt courts release criminals, who then seek revenge on those who reported them to the police. Vigilante groups have formed to fight crime by assassinating criminals. Most residents feel that these groups bear a strong resemblance to the former death squads.

Military Activity. The military and paramilitary forces have had an enormous influence on the national culture. From 1932 to 1993, every president but one was an army general. During the civil war the country was highly militarized, with 32,000 soldiers. In spite of the current demilitarization, the culture remains militarized, as evidenced by the high rate of violent crime, armed guards in front of most urban businesses, and the presence of vigilantes.

Social Welfare and Change Programs

Government expenditures on health and education programs declined during the war. The government committed to large expenditures in social welfare programs with the signing of the peace accords to end the civil war. There has been increased spending in health and education, and a number of rural schools have been opened through a special government program. Some health care is provided to students through the Escuela Saludable program. El Salvador has paid for these programs in part through generous foreign aid. The government has also tried to pay for some of these social welfare programs through more efficient collection of the value added tax (VAT).

The transfer of land back to the people at the end of the war and the implementation of agricultural loans also represent massive government and United States-supported social change programs.

Nongovernmental Organizations and Other Associations

Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) flourished during the war as a result of the civil population's desire for peace, democracy, and development. The NGOs continued to support alternative political, economic, and social projects in the areas which had been most affected by the war and have begun to coordinate their efforts on a national level.

Since the signing of the peace accords, NGOs have grown in importance and experience, particularly in rural zones. They often are connected to the FMLN and have helped distribute land to former combatants, and have represented rural communities politically. They are often involved in rural education, various development projects, agricultural or small business loans, technical assistance, veterinary services, and health services.

Gender Roles and Statuses

Division of Labor by Gender. During the civil war, many women began to take leadership positions outside the traditional domestic sphere, becoming leaders in popular organizations and base Christian communities. While women were often placed in "supportive roles," cooking for the troops and sewing, many became combatants and held key military and political leadership positions in the FMLN.

Although women often work outside the home generating income, they are exclusively responsible for housework and child care.

The Relative Status of Women and Men. Women also began to realize that the revolution could not end the inequalities in society without addressing inequality between men and women. Each of the five branches of the FMLN has its own women's organizations. In those organizations women have fought for women's rights to work outside the home; loans for women's cooperatives and small, women-owned businesses; education; medical care; and economic support for children.

Fathers' abandonment of families increased after the war, and economic support for children is still rare. Families headed by single women often live in extreme poverty, and women are forced to work for low wages. Women's mean salary is 28 percent lower than men's and almost one-third of girls under age sixteen work to support the family. Women are also under-represented in politics.

Violence toward women occurred during the war, and has continued at an alarming rate. Violent crime including murder and rape increased after the signing of the peace accords. Domestic abuse, along with alcohol abuse, is said to be prevalent.

Marriage, Family, and Kinship

Marriage. Among the poor, marriage is the decision of the couple. The most common kind of marriage is informal: a man and a woman set up a household and have children without a civil or church service. These unions are recognized under law but can be dissolved easily. However, men are now required to support children conceived in common law marriage as well as with women with whom they have no formal relationship.

A marriage performed in a church is considered irreversible, and many people wait until they have children to marry. Couples must be 18 years old to marry unless the woman is pregnant or already has children. In both civil and religious marriages, divorce law requires a separation and a cause. The Catholic Church and many Evangelical churches never condone divorce.

Domestic Unit. The domestic unit generally consists of a couple and their children, although other relatives also may live in the household. The man is nominally the head of the household, but women, especially in poorer families, often provide economic support for their children. A large proportion of families are headed by single women.

Kin Groups. The extended family is very important in the national culture. A woman can count on her cousins, uncles, aunts, and grandparents on both sides for support. The Family Code recognizes the importance of the extended family and requires various categories of kin to support their relatives with food, clothing, housing, health care, and education. Either spouse may be required to pay support to the other. Grandparents may be asked to support grandchildren, and vice versa. Parents must support their children, and brothers and sisters may be required to pay support to their siblings.

A road through the village of El Jocotal. Rural housing is typically built of adobe and features a large front porch.
A road through the village of El Jocotal. Rural housing is typically built of adobe and features a large front porch.

Socialization

Infant Care. Infants in poor families are cared for by their mothers, who take them along on their daily tasks. They sleep in a room with their parents, in a crib or hammock of their own or in the parents' bed. People are affectionate with babies and play and talk with them often. They are breast-fed on demand and are not weaned until eighteen months or two years of age. In the upper middle and upper classes, child care often is delegated to a nanny.

Child Rearing and Education. Children are expected to show "respect" to their elders, which involves using respectful greetings and terms of address. They are expected to be obedient and comply with requests from adults immediately. Children may be hit or reprimanded after age six or seven years for not complying with adults' requests, complaining, or answering back. Shaming is another method used to discipline children. Parents loudly complain about a misbehaving child to another adult or child, within earshot of the offending child. Shaming most often occurs in regard to completing assigned tasks, school performance, and propriety in matters such as dress.

Basic education is compulsory until age thirteen, but half the children ages six to sixteen in the poorest families do not attend school. Nine of ten children of the richest families attend school, and a quarter go on to study at a university. Poor families often cannot afford to pay school fees or pay for shoes and school supplies.

Higher Education. Higher education is not emphasized and accounts for a small part of the government budget. Professors and students at the Universidad Centramericana and the National University were killed in the war, and neither university has been given the resources to recover. There has been an explosion of private colleges offering professional and technical degrees, but these schools are not respected and prepare students badly.

Etiquette

Respect is due to older persons from younger person, and to higher-status persons from lower-status individuals. This includes using titles of respect before people's names and using the formal "you" (" usted "). Women must show respect to men, should not raise their voices to them, and must serve them food on demand. Greetings are necessary upon entering a store or, in small towns and communities, passing someone on the street. Failure to greet a person is considered offensive.

A Salvadoran man works on his fishing net. Many Salvadorans are employed in low-paying, "informal economy" jobs.
A Salvadoran man works on his fishing net. Many Salvadorans are employed in low-paying, "informal economy" jobs.

Religion

Religious Beliefs. El Salvador is 75 percent Roman Catholic but has a growing Protestant movement. The Catholic Church returned to its traditional conservative stance after the end of the civil war. Among Protestant denominations, Pentecostal and fundamentalist sects—called evangelical churches—have had the largest growth. There are a number of reasons for the growth of evangelical churches in the last two decades of the twentieth century. First, Catholics were often targets of government repression for their "subversive" involvement in base Christian communities, while evangelicals were safe from government repression. Second, the evangelical emphasis on personal conversion is considered apolitical. Finally, small evangelical churches provide their members with a strong sense of community and family.

Religious Practitioners. While the Catholic Church has allowed greater participation of religious lay workers, the possibilities for leadership in the laity are restricted. There are more possibilities in the evangelical churches for nonspecialists to rise to leadership positions. Such positions are restricted to men.

Death and the Afterlife. Catholics devote nine nights of prayer for deceased persons so that the souls of the dead can be purified and they can rise from purgatory to heaven.

Medicine and Health Care

Most Western-trained doctors who work in clinics and hospitals are located in the metropolitan areas. In the rural zones, most health issues are dealt with by health promoters or midwives who receive some training through the Ministry of Health, a foreign organization, or a local NGO. Salvadorans often treat themselves with modern medicine bought in pharmacies or from ambulatory salesmen. There are traditional remedies for some folk illnesses. The ojo , or "evil eye," is said to affect babies with fever. It is cured when the person who gave the eye chews various herbs and spits them into a liquid that is rubbed on the baby's body. Traditional healers are called curanderos .

Secular Celebrations

Independence is celebrated on 15 September with parades. It is the only secular holiday, although many religious holidays have become secularized. Many people spend Holy Week, the week preceding Easter, at the beach.

The Arts and Humanities

Literature. Salvadoran literary production in the latter twentieth century has been concerned with a re-examination of the national history. Notable works include the novels and poetry of Manlio Argueta, the poetry of Roque Dalton, and the short stories of José Marie Mendez. The country suffers from a lack of publishing facilities.

Graphic Arts. The village of LaPalma has become famous for a school of art started by Fernando Llort. Images of mountain villages, campesinos, and Christ are painted in bright colors on a variety of wooden objects. The town of Ilobasco is known for its ceramics, while San Sebastián is known for its textile art.

Performance Arts. Most of the music on Salvadoran radio is standard pop fare from the United States, Mexico, and various Latin American countries, but there is a small underground movement of folk music which draws its inspiration from current events in El Salvador.

The State of the Physical and Social Sciences

Academia has suffered much from the war and has not been given the resources to recover. However, there has recently been increased social science research on social problems such as crime, violence, and social and economic inequality. There has also been increased interest in research on the environment. Much of this research is being conducted with funds from foreign agencies.

Bibliography

Aguayo, S., and P. Weiss. Central Americans in Mexico and the United States , 1988.

Argueta, Manlio. Cuzcatlan: Where the South Sea Beats ,1987.

Berryman, P. Stubborn Hope: Religion, Politics and Revolution in Central America , 1994.

Binford, Leigh. The El Mozote Massacre: Anthropology and Human Rights , 1996.

Clements, C. Witness to War: An American Doctor in El Salvador , 1984.

Craft, Linda Jo. Novels of Testimony and Resistance from Central America , 1997.

Dalton, Roque. Miguel Marmol , 1982.

A Dream Compels Us: Voices of Salvadoran Women , 1989.

Dickson-Gomez, J. "Lessons of the War: The Psychosocial Effects of the War in El Salvador." Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles, 1999.

Farias, P. "The Socio-Political Dimensions of Trauma in Salvadoran Refugees: Analysis of a Clinical Sample." Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 15:167–192, 1991.

Garaizabal, C., and N. Vazquez. El Dolor Invisible: Una Experiencia de Grupos de Auto-Apoyo con Mujeres Salvadorenas , 1994.

Golden, R. The Hour of the Poor, the Hour of Women: Salvadoran Women Speak , 1991.

Grande, L. Our Own Backyard: The United States in Central America , 1990.

Lindo-Fuentes, Hector. Weak Foundations: The Economy of El Salvador in the Nineteenth Century 1821–1898 , 1991.

Mahler, Sarah J. American Dreaming: Immigrant Life on the Margins , 1995.

Marenn, Lea. Salvador's Children: A Song for Survival , 1990.

Martin-Baro, I. "La Violencia Politica y la Guerra como Causas del Trauma Psicosocial en El Salvador." Revista de Psicologia de El Salvador 28: 123–141, 1988.

——. "Guerra y Trauma Psicosocial del Niño Salvadoreno." In Psicologia de la Guerra: Trauma y Terapia , 1990.

Suarez-Orozco, M. "Speaking of the Unspeakable: Toward Psychosocial Understanding of Responses to Terror." Ethos 18:335–383, 1990.

United Nations. Report of the Commission on the Truth , 1993.

United States Department of State. Background Notes: El Salvador , 1993.

Williams, Philip J. Militarization and Demilitarization in El Salvador's Transition to Democracy , 1997.

—J ULIA D ICKSON -G OMEZ



User Contributions:

jetty Sibrian
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Jul 18, 2006 @ 4:16 pm
Wow I loved your article its amazing, I am Salvadorean I came to the U.S. when I was 3 years Old and I wanted to understand more about the country that I came from, you have helped me understand alot of it. Thank you for publishing articles like this one.


Thanks
Jetty Sibrian
Tannya
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Nov 29, 2006 @ 8:08 am
I really enjoyed reading this article.My parents ae from El Slavador,I however was born here in the US but i love learning anything that has to do with El Salvador. I really enjoy going there to,but i really appreciate that facts that you publish articles such as this to help me learn more about my country.
Christine
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Nov 30, 2006 @ 7:19 pm
this is awesome becuase i have to do a projet and speach on this country and everything i needed to know is on this page. thanks a ton!
Joseph Keogh
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Jan 21, 2007 @ 7:19 pm
Great article Julia, thank you!

My mother is from El Salvador and my father is Irish. I live in Dublin, Ireland and work as a photographer. I have alot of family in El Salvador which I have never met. I would love to go there one day.

I heard there is alot of kidnappings: Is this true?

Best Regards,
Joe.
Douglas
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Feb 20, 2007 @ 9:09 am
Unfortunately, now a days anyone is a target for kidnapping. It used to be that only the wealthy, or at least the well to do got kidnapped and held for ransom.

Just this year, two family friends have been kidnapped, one was released after paying the ransom, the other one was killed even AFTER the ransom was paid. Neither family is reach or even well-to-do. They are average middle class people.

To illustrate further, last year there were several kidnappings of people who own small businesses, like ROAD-SIDE SHOE STANDS or similar.

Unfortunately, it seems like no one is immune anymore.

Douglas
Flor
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Apr 25, 2007 @ 9:09 am
Hi, thanks a lot for this article. I have to do a project and this article is the one that has helped me more. I'm from El Salvador and came here when I was 13 yrs old. I has there in July 06' and I had soooooo much fun, it's awesome to get together with the family and friends. where is your family from Joe? If you want you can contact me at frivera310@yahoo.com
Bye and thanks a lot Julia
Wendy
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Apr 30, 2007 @ 6:18 pm
Great Artical!!
It's helping me in my studies because most of the things you covered in this artical is the research that i needed!!
Thanks,Wendy
Wendy
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Apr 30, 2007 @ 6:18 pm
Great Artical!!
It's helping me in my studies because most of the things you covered in this artical is the research that i needed!!
Oh yea another thing i forgot to mention was i am also half El Salvadorean..my mom came to this country when she was 12 years old!And its amazing how much more you know than i do!!
Thanks,Thanks,Thanks,Thanks,Thanks,Thanks, Wendy
Twanda
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Jun 9, 2007 @ 5:05 am
Helpful information:
I am in a relationship with a beautiful man from El Salvador; of course there is a race issue with my race as well as his. To me people are people regardless of your race, financial status, or religious beliefs. I guess for me I’m looking for answers to questions I may never find. God is good in any culture, why can’t we as human take heed to his words and love each other unconditionally.
ebay
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Oct 4, 2007 @ 6:18 pm
all of this info bout El Salvador is tight. And its realy helping me to get info about El SAlvador for a report I have to do. So It ROCKS!!!
nancy
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Nov 13, 2007 @ 11:11 am
thank for this info it really help me to undarstand my past. thank u so much!!!
Yen
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Nov 15, 2007 @ 7:19 pm
i am a nursing student and i had to do a small presentation about this country's culture...because of the increase hispanic population in my town, and surrounding areas, we see many hispanic patients....so i was asked to do research about El Salvador...this site is great because it gave me a lot of good information...information ,health practices and such, i didnt think i was able to find...thanks alot!!!
Joe
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Nov 20, 2007 @ 9:09 am
I also have to do a report, and this page was a nice addition ;)
cristina
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Feb 26, 2008 @ 4:16 pm
THANK YOU FOR THE INFORMATION ABOUT MY COUNTRY. I CAME WHEN I FIVE YEARS IN 1979, WENT BACK IN 1996, AND I WANT TO LEARN THE MOST, BEACUSE NO MATTER WHAT I PLAN TO RETIRE IN MY COUNTRY. I TRY TO TEACH MY KIDS ABOUT EL SALVADOR BUT IT HARD WHEN YOU DON'T KNOW A LOT OR YOU HAVE NOT LIVE OVER THERE. BUT ONE THING I AM PROUD TO BE A SALVADOREAN, WE ARE SO FULL OF POSTIVE ATTITUDE.
THANK YOU AGAIN.
Eric Gonzalez
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May 3, 2008 @ 1:13 pm
hEY THIS IS REALLY INTERESTING READ PLEASE IS SO IMPORTANT IS ABOUT THE EL SALVADOR HISTORY YOU CAN TELL ME ABOUT THIS RIGHT BYE TAKE CARE AND SEE YOU LATER YOU CAN TELL ME ABOUT THIS
Michelle
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May 28, 2008 @ 10:10 am
Iappreciate this article. Ihave a friend from their who just lost his Mother & this has helped me understand his culture better. Can you tell me what is correct when showing respect to the family? As a Christian we send flowers to the funeral, I don't want to disrespect the family by doing the same if they concider it to be wrong?.Thank you.
Kimberly O.
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Sep 15, 2008 @ 12:00 am
i really enjoyed reading this article. half of my family is from el salvador and i'm writing a paper comparing life there to life here in the US.
it really helped!
thanks a bunch!
Mauricio
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Nov 25, 2008 @ 1:13 pm
For anyone unfamiliar with the Salvadorean culture, this article provides an accurate depiction of Salvadorean life, for the most part. I was made in El Salvador and born in New York, when my mother fled the war torn country while pregnant with me back in 1979-80. Although an American, I am, without a doubt Salvadorean. "Puro Guanaco" like we say. Articles such as these revive the sense of who I truly am and always will be. On behalf of the Salvadorean people, "Muchas gracias por este articulo."
Alma Hernandez
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Jan 5, 2009 @ 1:13 pm
this was a very good article it helped me understand more about the country where both my parents are from even though i have not gone to el salvador i am going to go this summer and i plan to learn a lot more thank you
Mary
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Feb 9, 2009 @ 5:17 pm
Great article..my kids' dad was from El Salvador..last name Gomez..and I am trying to find out what I can as he passed away when they were young. They were from a wealthy coffe family I believe, and he even spoke of an aunt or grandmother who was a political figure. Thanks
osmin gomez
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Apr 16, 2009 @ 10:22 pm
I love your article a lot of history that I didn't know a bout.
P J Sinclair, PhD, JD, MD
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Sep 4, 2009 @ 7:19 pm
Julia, the information you have outlined above seems like it was taken from some Encyclopedia. Unfortunately I see many individuals claiming to be Salvadoreans but yet born outside the country. Many have not even visited El Salvador. They, "the want to be Salvadorenos", find your findings helpful. However, this information is not even first hand documentation. I would have to imagine that many of them are in high school or early years of university education. My suggestion is to get them to conduct reserch for themselves and use your above information as secondary sources!!
kev
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Nov 15, 2009 @ 5:17 pm
I appreciate this article,it really gave me insight on my culture and heritage.I was born in The U.S but of Salvadorean decent,its great to know more about the land and tradition of my people thanks a lot,god bless.
Christian Clarke
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Dec 9, 2009 @ 2:14 pm
this source of information was great i used it to help me complete a project i did on el salvador all the information i needed was on this page so it made things easier..thanks for writting this julia
jose v.
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Dec 9, 2009 @ 6:18 pm
good article but i want more detail information like were did the parties came from who form then like F.M.L.N or A.R.E.N.A more information of the civil war who started and why.who are they descent from.
Elena
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Jan 24, 2010 @ 3:15 pm
i think this is very useful informantion. its states everything clearly and gives facts you also used pictures and that is very helpful.
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Mar 5, 2010 @ 11:23 pm
great amount of info. i was wondering if anyone would happen to know how to find out about ones' family history, as most of us salvadorenos in the states lack the resources to do so. any clues?
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Mar 30, 2010 @ 4:16 pm
The article is generally informative and I think it opens up discussion for the "remittance culture" that I believe is a more accurate representation of El Salvador than what the article depicts. I have been doing business over the past 10 years in El Salvador and married a local lady from San Miguel.

I have been to the most remote "canton" and have yet to see anyone who did not have an I-phone, mini notebook computer or the latest X-box game. I have yet to really meet kids greet me respectfully. Most of the ones I have seen run around in little groups, imitating the maras. From pueblo to pueblo, the names change but the situation is the same: Low population of men between the ages of 20 to 40; high population of children, teens, elderly and women.

Many men have migrated to the USA and elsewhere to earn competetive wages to help out with bills at home in El Salvador. I do believe the article's description of the extended family assistance is accurate. I will also add that there is also a culture of dependence forming which is eroding Salvadorean culture. The country's dependence on foreign remittances has created an unnatural class of the "temporary rich" who are in reality the "permanent poor". Without the skills of administering and investing money, the temporary injection of remittance money is quickly spent on gadgets such as I-phones, X-box games and poverty returns.
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Jun 28, 2010 @ 3:15 pm
What is their clothing styles? How do the men dress? and How do the women dress? This is for a project on them. Im also learning the language, spanish lol. Hmmm can someone answer these questions please? Joanne :)
El-Invitado
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Aug 7, 2010 @ 7:19 pm
great article!!!

I would like to advise people who travel to el salvador to stay away from dangerous places like soyapango, people are being killed everyday, murder rates are extremely higher than Los Angeles or New York. Its a shame but we have a incompetent government thats does nothing to stop all the violence...if you can afford to stay in the many wealthy neighborhoods please do...take care
pretty'npink
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Aug 18, 2010 @ 6:18 pm
i am so glad that i found this web site. i am having to do a presentation of this country in my spanish class. not only do i need to know the culture, but i need to sing the national anthem from memorization. fun fun. but i am very glad that is was so easy to find info for my paper. just a suggestion mayb you should have the national flag posted on here along with the national song. just another piece of this wonderful country to learn.
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Aug 20, 2010 @ 12:12 pm
A very complete and accurate article. Very informative.

Good Job!!
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Aug 21, 2010 @ 4:16 pm
I really learned a lot in this article. I am in a Spanish I class and we had to pick a country and my group picked El Salvador. To learn so much about a country in just one article just amazes me... our group, well me and one other person in this group did the research on this project and we both were amazed to see what really happens out of this country. Thank you for the information on El Salvador...!
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Sep 20, 2010 @ 12:00 am
I enjoyed reading about this country, I have been with a man from this country for about 15 years and we have a son. I am american and really didn't know much about this country. thanks for all the great information.
Mari
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Sep 20, 2010 @ 9:21 pm
hi. i am looking for the day you pluplished the article to write down the APA format. i m doing a presentation for my claas and need to write down the authors name and also the date published.
Thank you
Mari Diaz M.D
Aracely
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Sep 27, 2010 @ 12:00 am
I completely agree with most of the comments praising you on an outstanding history summary of El Salvador. Thank you so much for taking the time to inform others of this country.

My mother was 6 months pregnant with me when my parents fled El Salvador in 1980. I grew up hearing of a poor but peaceful country up until when the civil war began.

I always wanted to know more of the history and culture we came from especially since my features were very different than most of my Mexican American friends (I am light complected with middle eastern features). I grew up with my father telling me stories of my Spanish & Indian ancestors and always wanted to know what type of Indian I am mixed with. Thank you for shedding some light on that for me.

For those of you who would like to know what it was probably like during the civil war, I encourage you to watch a movie called "Voces Inocentes (Innocent Voices)". The director was born in El Salvador and its basically an autobiography of his childhood during the beginning of the civil war and up until he escaped to avoid being recruited by either the "military" or the "guerilla".

Julia, thank you again for a remarkable article.
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Oct 4, 2010 @ 9:21 pm
i really liked reading this article i am doing a school project and i am doing it on this country and it has really helped me do my project
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Oct 5, 2010 @ 3:15 pm
this was all the research I needed. I needed a whole paragraph on family and couldnt find any other website with any thing i could use. GREAT ARTICLE
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Oct 5, 2010 @ 5:17 pm
This is great!!! I came to u.s. when I was little and don't know much history of my country,now i am learning and teaching my nices and nephews their back ground history thanks soo much for doing this.
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Oct 10, 2010 @ 9:21 pm
can you believe it im from el salvador i was born there. and brought over to the US by my parents when i was seven which was in '92, I have gone back only once since and that was in '05 I loved it i have childhood memories because i grew up with my grandparents in a small adope house with cousins and everything... I wish i could go back agian and my familiy tree got lost along the way and im trying to figure out where i come from family wise and country i dont know anything about it which is why i came to this site it helped alot thanks
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Oct 12, 2010 @ 3:03 am
we came to australia when i was 5 year old from el salvador and your site has helped me heaps on understanding where i came from and my countries history! Thanks again and G'day from australia!
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Oct 13, 2010 @ 9:21 pm
Thank you so much for these I got to finish my Hispanic Heritage project and I didn't know anything about El Salvador until I came to this site and I hope I get and A+ on it so ya thanks anyway and if I get a B or so thanks anyway again Thanks.
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Nov 7, 2010 @ 3:15 pm
Hi, um i love your article. It was cool! But i think you should include the clothing of El Salvador and not giving sites that sell Salvadoran Clothing
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Nov 8, 2010 @ 4:16 pm
I have a quick question to anyone who has lived or has parents. Well hell if your Salvadorian you could help me out here. I am trying to impress my girlfriends father who is 100% Salvadorian. She tells me he likes to have a couple drinks and he smokes. So I figured I could get him a bottle of liquor that comes from Salvador. However the dilemma is that I have been looking and looking. The closest liquor I found comes from Nicaragua. Which is close however I not the right country.

I am hoping that someone here could help me out with some names or ideas on how I can get my hands on something like that. Thank you so much for your help!!!
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Nov 17, 2010 @ 12:12 pm
I am Sicilian and my new girlfriend has been here from El Salvador for about 3 years. Her family only about a year. It is easy enough to converse with her family as our languages are very similar. the problem i am having is finding some cultural similarities to make conversation more stimulating for them. If anyone has some significant information for me it would be greatly appreciated. and this article was very informative and touching. thank you
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Nov 25, 2010 @ 10:22 pm
I'm not Salvadorian but I married a girl from there. Her family moved to Australia during the Civil War. She ended up moving to California where I met her. She was beautiful and we fell in love. We got married but there was always this longing to go back to El Salvador. i went with her many times but eventually she wanted to return for good and left me. So I have good memories of this country but it also broke my heart.
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Dec 15, 2010 @ 12:00 am
WOW!! Can't say how much this article helped me out! WOW!! EVERYTHING that I needed for my research about El Salvador I found here, made simple and easy! Thanks a TON!! :) My parents ares also from El Salvador and now I feel like I actually understand the history and culture!!
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Dec 20, 2010 @ 6:18 pm
I like el salavdor but they are in a bad stage right as we are talking.
:D
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Jan 7, 2011 @ 4:16 pm
this is a great page i needed to do a report and it helped me alot thank you
Greg
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Jan 21, 2011 @ 12:12 pm
i love it.it helped me learn a lot of my culture.love it so much i had my children read it .Thanks bye
Susie
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Feb 1, 2011 @ 9:21 pm
My mother was born in El Salvador. She is very pretty. She's a nurse and has an American (John) who's been in love with her for about 15 years but she just cares about my sister, her cats (Juanito and Mega), and I. I'm helping him learn more about my mother's culture and country. Your article was of great help. Thanks.
Calicol
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Feb 9, 2011 @ 3:15 pm
Im really glad to read an article like this about El Salvador. the research the author did is defenitly great, but, let me explain certain issues that can help you understand the country from the point of view of someone who has live in El Salvador for more than 20 years.
1- All the pictures in the article were taken beetween the 1950´s - 1960´s. the street on the first picture is in the old downtown San Salvador, I can tell what street it is just because of the National Palace in the background, now the street looks like an open market. Second picture, the building showed in there was destroyed by the 1986 earthquake! (oct, 10 1986)
2- All the data was taken from sources that date more than 10 years back. The country has changed a lot during that time, it doesnt even mention the impact caused by the adoption of american dollar as the national currency on local economy and culture.
3- Culture is allways chanching, Salvadorans does NOT have an especific "clothing" since the traditional clothing was only used by native "indians". Other thing is that most of the people in urban areas does speak fluent english due to constant arrival of deported salvadorans that emigrated to the US during civil war.
4- Politics have changed too, nowadays the official party is the FMLN (left guerrillas during civil war).
5- San Salvador was mentioned as the "fastest growing and most modern city in central america" by wikipedia. Also, its the "capital iberoamericana de la Cultura 2011" (Iberoamerican culture capital 2011"
Well, hope it helps.
Calicol
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Feb 9, 2011 @ 9:21 pm
Im really glad to read an article like this about El Salvador. the research the author did is defenitly great, but, let me explain certain issues that can help you understand the country from the point of view of someone who has live in El Salvador for more than 20 years.
1- All the pictures in the article were taken beetween the 1950´s - 1960´s. the street on the first picture is in the old downtown San Salvador, I can tell what street it is just because of the National Palace in the background, now the street looks like an open market. Second picture, the building showed in there was destroyed by the 1986 earthquake! (oct, 10 1986)
2- All the data was taken from sources that date more than 10 years back. The country has changed a lot during that time, it doesnt even mention the impact caused by the adoption of american dollar as the national currency on local economy and culture.
3- Culture is allways chanching, Salvadorans does NOT have an especific "clothing" since the traditional clothing was only used by native "indians". Other thing is that most of the people in urban areas does speak fluent english due to constant arrival of deported salvadorans that emigrated to the US during civil war.
4- Politics have changed too, nowadays the official party is the FMLN (left guerrillas during civil war).
5- San Salvador was mentioned as the "fastest growing and most modern city in central america" by wikipedia. Also, its the "capital iberoamericana de la Cultura 2011" (Iberoamerican culture capital 2011"
Well, hope it helps.
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Feb 17, 2011 @ 9:09 am
THIS PAGE HELPED ME IN MY STUDIES A LOT. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
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Mar 8, 2011 @ 2:14 pm
I really enjoyed reading this article.I BORN IN EL SALVADOR i love learning anything that has to do with El Salvador. I really enjoy going there to,but i really appreciate that facts that you publish articles such as this to help me learn more about my country.
and vivia en ahuachpan :)
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Mar 15, 2011 @ 9:09 am
i was born in el salvador and came to canada 3 years ago!!!
this article has alot of good imformation,cause im also doing a project about EL SALVADOR.!
lupe lola
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Mar 15, 2011 @ 8:20 pm
this is a great article. i really ejoyed reading. i have a spanish project and this helped me alot. lets hope i get an "A". thak you.
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Apr 13, 2011 @ 10:10 am
I am looking to gain the attention of a very beautiful El Salvadorian woman. I know that she speaks little english, and I speak little spanish. I am not seeing a big deal about that due to we both are willing to learn the other language. I do how ever am really interested in learning more about the El Salvadorian culture, and what the women like to raise me chances to have a great relationship with her. Where would be the best place to get the information? How would be best to aproch her about my fellings, and would it be best to try to get to ask her family first? Any help that I can get would be greatly apprecated.
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May 13, 2011 @ 10:10 am
this is very good information thank you for doing this it is very helpful to me my mom is from Usulutan, El Salvador. so i have this blood in me thanks again
Lorie Chavez
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Jul 11, 2011 @ 10:10 am
Where can I find caliche words and their meanings?
Thank you
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Aug 3, 2011 @ 12:00 am
id like to find out my grandpapas history between 1910-1987 in the capitol of el salvador as sgt. if anyone around that time can enlighten me thank you...
Ed
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Aug 11, 2011 @ 8:20 pm
What happened to the Africans? Every country in Latin America that had Spanish people, had Africans also. That includes Argentina, and Mexico, which were no different than Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Columbia. Even if the Africans mixed in, mention them, it's 2011!
Holly
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Aug 12, 2011 @ 10:10 am
I really enjoyed this article! Thank you!! My boyfriend's family is from El Salvador and I wanted to learn more about his culture!! I love it!!
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Aug 30, 2011 @ 5:17 pm
I really enjoyed this article as well.I am mexican and el salvadorian. I really didnt know much about my el salvadorian culture but this was very informative.My father came here to the states illegally from el salvador and abandon my brother and I at a very young age so I was never truly learned anything about my culture but again this article gave me some information about my history. thank you
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Sep 4, 2011 @ 11:11 am
HELPED ON MY SPANISH PROJECT AND POSTER EVERY-THING WAS ON THIS PAGE AND I GOT AN A ON BOTH PARTS AND EL SALVADOR IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE
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Sep 20, 2011 @ 10:22 pm
this is a very good artical and im using it on my project about hispanic heritage month. this is very good information from the place i come from i know some of the history but i dint know this much.i guess its good to learn more everyday.
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Oct 16, 2011 @ 4:16 pm
I love my country,and is very important to know this
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Oct 21, 2011 @ 8:20 pm
help me how to speak salvadorans please, I need to know it for my project
kayla
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Nov 7, 2011 @ 10:10 am
thank you for making this site because i have to do a project and it has helped a lot
thanks a lot :)
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Nov 13, 2011 @ 11:23 pm
Hi my name is Lizette I was born in El Salavdor I was brought to this country when I was 2 years old lived in California ever since. I am the oldest of 5 and my parents have been together since they were 18 years of age and still together. I am the lightest in my family red brown hair curly frowie hair, brown eyes and light skinned with very slanted eyes and pointy nose, ny brother is light with black hair, my sister after him has very slanted eyes asian look long straght drk brn hair and not some what drk skin tall and with a big but and big lips, my sister after her is very short realy dark skin black very curly hair she looks like she would be mixed with black but looks like me except oposite colors, and my youngest brother is drk skin short straght drk hair and very slanted eyes he looks very asian. Talk about being mixed. My father is my color and has afro brown hair he is light and tall. My mother is short a lil drk straght black hair asian looking. I want to know who my ancestor's were because we are so different but yete brothers and sisters flat noses long noses short or tall drk or light we must realy have had alot of mixed culture in our blood. Talk about being meztizo's. Lizette
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Nov 20, 2011 @ 11:11 am
I FOUGHT THIS WAS GREAT AS IT HAD A LOT OF INFO AND IT HELPED ME WITH MY SCHOOL WORK.
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Nov 25, 2011 @ 9:21 pm
Wow! I love the fact that there are people interested to know about my beautiful countryy! that makes me feel appreciated!! :D
Thanks!
Yasmine
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Dec 2, 2011 @ 2:14 pm
This would have been helpful if it explained about the lives of families and what the families are costumed to.
Johnson
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Dec 8, 2011 @ 3:15 pm
Good information...just not exactly what i am looking for. No doubts. Peace out.
Ramon
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Dec 16, 2011 @ 9:09 am
all of my family is from el salvador the tinyest country in world. my dad serves in the war in el salvador , he knows what happened there in 1987.
simone
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Jan 19, 2012 @ 7:07 am
thanks but you could have helped me more by puting clothing but it still helped me
md
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Jan 23, 2012 @ 12:12 pm
Gracias por publicar este articulo. Parece tener infromacion bastante exacta y puede servir de guia a muchas personas que no conocen la cultura y costumbres de El Salvador. Ademas la informacion esta presentada de una manera muy clara y concisa.
reina
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Jan 24, 2012 @ 1:13 pm
think you for the info n helped me look for the culture love EL SALVADOR.
eduardo
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Jan 28, 2012 @ 3:15 pm
great article! i was born in el salvador and moved to the uk with my mum and brother when i was a small boy. i always have a sense of pride whenever i read anything about my country and have many happy childhood memories along with family there
Reina
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Feb 16, 2012 @ 6:06 am
I was adopted from El Salvador when I was 5 years old. I came to the US in 1990 and have kept a look out for any info about my country. Someday I will go back.
Albert Quiñonez C.
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Mar 21, 2012 @ 10:22 pm
Is great when you are a proud Salvadorean and hear something positive about your Country. I was only fifteen years old when I came to this Country. I still miss my hometown Aguachapan and some places that I used to visited when I was letle. El Salvador is a very small Country but the people is very nice, their are rich in culture that not many countries has and they olso have a very nice Beaches all over the Country and finaly El Salvador is the most Beautiful Country in Central America.
Jennifer
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Mar 26, 2012 @ 12:12 pm
Hello, My Fiance is from EL SALVADOR, I try very hard to learn as much as I can about his country, customs, and foods etc.. Sites like this help me to learn a lot which allows me ask have conversations about EL Salvador with my fiance to let him know I am interested in the place he was born and raised. We plan to be married next March and I am now trying to learn marriage traditions and some special dishes I can surprise him with to be served at our wedding. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Also, can anyone help me with a great pupusa recipe? I have been trying to master this for him for 3 years now, I think i come close, but not exact. Lastly, are there certain spices I can incorporate in my cooking that are frequently used in EL Salvador? Thank you!
adrianne
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Apr 18, 2012 @ 9:21 pm
I used to visited when i was letle. El Salvador is a very small country but the people is very nice ,their are rich in culture that not many conutries his and they olso have a very nice Besches all over the countey and finaly el slavador is the most beautiful country in centrica america.


i am adrianne rodriguez im 12 year old
Andreina
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May 23, 2012 @ 8:08 am
This is a great article I have learned even more than anything I have ever read about El Salvador. My father is from El Salvador and my mother is from Portugal I was born in Boston and only went to El salvador once. Reading this information is very important because I am learning about my roots.

Many thanks,
Andreina
helen
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Jun 18, 2012 @ 9:21 pm
I was brought to the states by my grandmother at the age of 5 in 1979 to flee the civil war. It makes me proud to hear about the customs and history of my country. Though I have much family in the states, I still feel a big part of me missing because I've never met my father. From what I've been told he wanted a relationship with me but for reasons I am unsure of it didn't happen. I now am married to a british-norwegian man and we have a beautiful daughter with light skin, light hair and blue eyes. I've been told that my father was half anlgo and he has light features/complexions. I wish so badly to be able to tell my daughter her complete background. I'm in the process of trying to locate my father. From what I've been told he long ago moved to the states with his own family and lives either in New Jersey or L.A. I have half sisters and brothers. I really hope to meet one day or at least know of so I may have answers for my daughter where she comes from. Wish me luck.
Cuscatlan
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Jun 19, 2012 @ 8:08 am
Guanaco is not considered derrogatory at all! Guanaco is another term used to identify a person native to El Salvador. Guatemalans, also referred to as Chapines, at least the ones I know and have known before, do not get offended when referring to them as such. Women are not required to bow to men or to serve them food on demand. This never happened in my family nor the families I knew. This practice is perhaps a bit more common in the country side; however, I was not exposed to it in the late '70s. The importation of slaves from Africa to El Salvador was not substantial as it was for other Central American countries such as Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras. I think the geographic location of El Salvador prevented slave traders from bringing Africans in to the country. El Salvador does not have access to the Atlantic Ocean or Caribbean as some people may identify this part of the Atlantic ocean. One place where one may find natives speaking Nahualt is probably in Panchimalco, a small town south of the capital, San Salvador. Other than this place, I believe, unfortunately, the language is almost extinct. Men and women dress just like any westerner. Outsiders may be surprised when visiting El Salvador and see how much it has been influenced, especially by American culture. The majority of the people who left the country during the war ended up in the U.S. As such, the Salvadorans that live in the U.S. have had lots of influence in shaping the economy, culture, language, etc. Anyone, especially the young conducting research for high school projects will be advised to do additional research as the research presented here is very general. By the way, I am a native Salvadoran who left El Salvador 31 years ago.
Danny
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Aug 29, 2012 @ 3:15 pm
"Death and the Afterlife. Catholics devote nine nights of prayer for deceased persons so that the souls of the dead can be purified and they can rise from purgatory to heaven."

yeaaah, while this may or may not be true, during my trip to El Salvador i saw none of this for the deceased. they mourned and grieved like any other country(or person for that matter), but I saw not one person pray or mention prayer that lasted for more than a night. I don't know where you got these facts, but as someone like me who's half Salvadorian, I would really appreciate a link or source of where you got this information.
thank you
Erica
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Sep 24, 2012 @ 1:13 pm
thank you very much you have helped me on my report for my cooking class but it would help more if you could put a little more of the food
Jacky
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Oct 8, 2012 @ 12:00 am
Thanks for the information, it really help me a lot to understand more about my home country.
Maria
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Oct 15, 2012 @ 2:14 pm
My boyfriend is salvadorean and I wanted to know more about his culture! this helped!
Maria
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Oct 15, 2012 @ 2:14 pm
My boyfriend is salvadorean and I wanted to know more about his culture! this helped!
David Diaz
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Nov 10, 2012 @ 12:00 am
I thank you for your efforts to put this article together and helping educate the rest of us.

I think some items need to be updated. In general the article is a great tool to learn about El Salvador.

Raisins children has changed in many ways, the approaches you described were accurate a few years ago, with legislation passed, police and anyone else can report beating a child as a violation of child protection laws.

As for women, they no longer serve the food to their husbands and they do challenge men. I would argue that women role has changed in many ways since the end of the civil war.

In terms of governance, some agencies of the state fail to be independent and fail to enforce the laws that already exist. Impunity continues to be a problem, we have hoped for a more consistent enforcement of the law.

The crime rate is part of so many soldiers and former guerrilla that could not find a job after been demobilized. This has been covered extensively by authors such as Jon Lee Anderson.
David Diaz
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Nov 10, 2012 @ 1:01 am
" El novenario" or the nine days after someone's death,in the Catholic faith is accurate.

This article is not a first source , but certainly is a good second source- see all reference sources listed.

"Guanaco" is not derogatory literally speaking, however, know that is a mammal ( animal that looks like a deer) since perceptions are like " beauty in the eyes of the beholder", I would say some Salvadoreans do find it derogatory.
maria gonzalez
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Dec 28, 2012 @ 11:11 am
thank you so much for your help. you really help me.
Sonia
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Feb 18, 2013 @ 1:01 am
Thanks for completing the dissertation on El Salvador. I was flattered to know that someone took an interest to conduct a research of El Salvador. I am also interested in becoming a psychologist. Thanks, Sonia.
Alyssa
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Mar 14, 2013 @ 6:18 pm
I HAVE A SCHOOL PROJECT ON THIS

BUT WHAT DO THE KIDS 10 - 13 DO

SCHOOL

WORK

HOW DO THEY HAVE FUN
Rebecca
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May 1, 2013 @ 7:07 am
This article is very informative, and helped me a lot with my Spanish Project! Thank you for the info. Great article! Keep it up, Julia! -Rebecca
Ruby
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Jun 25, 2013 @ 2:14 pm
I am Mexican-American and my boyfriend is Salvadorean-American. I never knew about their culture. And would love to know more about my babys culture so thank you. Helped a lot!
Bessy
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Aug 25, 2013 @ 3:15 pm
Well done!! thanks for taking the time in providing this valuable information of the history of El Salvador; ofcourse more detail can always be added as people remember events specially the origin of the original families and its decendents.
Lauren
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Sep 18, 2013 @ 5:17 pm
I am doing a project and this article helped a lot, thank you
manuel aguilar
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Sep 29, 2013 @ 6:18 pm
i am from el salvador i was in the army guardia national from 1985 to 1988
sara Grandos Martinez
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Nov 21, 2013 @ 6:18 pm
wow thaks for writing tis cause my parents
are from el Salvador but im from new York but my gramparents are from hondouras so I just wanted to know a little bit of more about my country
Aubrey V
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Dec 8, 2013 @ 6:18 pm
This is really interesting information. I am also writing a paper on El Salvador, specifically on the interpersonal communication patterns along with social and gender roles. How can I cite your work? or website? I see all the bibliographies but is there an author that I can use for the website?
Linda
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Jan 3, 2014 @ 1:13 pm
My son recently became engaged to a girl whose parents came from El Salvador. As parents of the groom are there things we should be doing . We want to be respectful of their heritage.
tomas
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Jan 24, 2014 @ 5:17 pm
Great and accurate information. Just want to let every person who is abroad and has not seen El Salvador.
to go and experience and enjoy our culture, people and country. Do not get discourage by negative news that
you may hear or see in TV or Radio. There is a lot of good things and great people in El Salvador.
Athesius
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Jan 28, 2014 @ 9:09 am
Thanks For The Article! It Helped A lot, Now I Have Some Answers For My Report.

-Athesius
kourtney
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Feb 3, 2014 @ 10:10 am
thank you! this helps so much!i needed this for a report, and i got just the right imformation!
.Emma
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Mar 30, 2014 @ 12:12 pm
Thanks for the great article! I have to do a project and presentation on El Salvador and I was having difficulty finding reliable information about contemporary life there, but this article provided everything I needed to know!
Ann
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Apr 19, 2014 @ 12:00 am
Thanks for the great article! I have to give a presentation about the wedding of this country. I will appreciate if anybody can give more imformation about the wedding?

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