El Salvador is the smallest nation in Central America and borders the North Pacific Ocean between Guatemala and Honduras. In 1821, El Salvador won independence from Spain and in 1839, from the Central American Federation. A brutal civil war that cost 75,000 lives concluded in 1992 when the government agreed to establish a multiparty constitutional republic.
With a population of 6,172,011, El Salvador remains a very poor nation with an agricultural focus on coffee which makes up almost 90% of its exports. Spanish and Roman Catholicism are, respectively, the predominant spoken language and practiced religion in the region. Ethnic groups represented in the country include Mestizos, whites and indigenous peoples.
El Salvador has a tropical climate and is geographically situated in an area of tremendous climate volatility, including being susceptible to droughts and earthquakes. It also has very rich biodiversity with several species of wildlife that recent conservation efforts have been pushing to protect. The country’s most well-known culinary product is the pupusa, a hand-made corn tortilla stuffed with cheese, chicharrón, or refried beans.