El Salvador

El Salvador Kelly Pire 2/15/01 World Geography report El Salvador Here are historical facts on El Salvador. The history of El Salvador revolves around land. It is the smallest country in Central America. Agriculture defined the economic life of the country well before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in the early 1500s. The unequal distribution of land in El Salvador can be traced directly to the Spanish colonial system, under which land title was invested in the crown.

The individuals that got to control areas of land acted, as slaves over the lands. Although the Indian population gradually was diminished through disease and abuse, it eventually went into a growing mestizo (mixed Caucasian and Indian) population, its position was at the base of society was assumed by the rural lower class. Until the mid-twentieth century, the patterns of landownership and income distribution ran unequally throughout the population. As elsewhere in Latin America, those with more got more, those with less got less. Under the model of monoculture export that came to prevail in El Salvador, the concentration of land into large units, or haciendas, made for greater overall efficiency of production. The other side of the economic coin, however, was engraved with images of worsening poverty, illiteracy, and disease as the single-minded pursuit of wealth by a little percent of the population denied the vast majority of Salvadorans access to more than a subsistence level of income.

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Here are todays facts on El Salvador. El Salvador is located in Middle America, it borders the North Pacific Ocean, and its between Guatemala and Honduras. Its geographic coordinates are 13 50 N, 88 55 W, it is referenced to be in Central America and the Caribbean. The total area of El Salvador is 21,040 square kilometer, but 320 square kilometers is water. That total area is a little smaller than Massachusetts. El Salvador has a total coastline of 307 kilometers.

Since it is in the Caribbean it experiences a tropical climate. Its terrain is mostly mountains, and a central plateau. Its lowest elevation is sea level and the highest point is Cerro El Pital at 2,730 meters. El Salvador has a few natural resources, hydropower, geothermal power, and petroleum. It land use goes for only 8% crops, 5% forest, 29% pastures and 27% of the land is arable.

There is 1,200 square kilometers of irrigated land. El Salvador is known as the land of Volcanoes; there are many earthquakes and volcanic activity. Many problems exist in El Salvador like; deforestation, soil erosion, water pollution, contaminations of soils from toxic wastes, and damage from Hurricane Mitch. There are many different peoples in El Salvador. It has a total population of 5,839,079. In the age group of 0-14 only 38% are males, 15-64 years old 58% are males and 65 years and older only 5% are males.

The birth rate exceeds the death rate by 20%, but there are 28.38/1000 deaths in babies. The life expectancy is 67 years old for a male, and 74 years old for a female. There are about 3 kids per family. There are 3 major ethnic groups, mestizo 94%, Amerindian 5%, and whites, which makes up 1% of the population. 75% of the population is of the Roman Catholic religion.

The people speak either Spanish, of Nahua. Most of the people over 15 can read and write. 72% of the population is literate. The population of El Salvador increased from 1.9 million inhabitants in 1950 to 4.1 million in 1975 and 4.7 million in 1984. It was projected to increase to 8.8 million by the year 2000.

In other words, the populations would have doubled in each quarter century since 1950. Birth rates show that total fertility rates ranged from 6.1 to 6.3 in the mid-1970s down from 6.7 in 1961. Analysts projected that this rate would drop to 4.4 in 1995-2000. The decrease in the level of fertility since 1961 was seen in the 20-39 year old age group. The Republic of El Salvador is a republic country.

Its capital is San Salvador. There are 14 administrative divisions in El Salvador. It is Ahuachapan, Cabanas, Chalatenango, Cuscatlan, La Libertad, La Paz, La Union, Morazzan, San Miguel, San Salvador, Santa Ana , San Vicente, Sonsonate, and Usulutan. It gained its independence from Spain on September 5, 1821. El Salvadors legal system is based on civil and Roman law, with traces of common law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court. You can have the right to vote when you are 18 years old.

The Executive branch of the government goes with chief of state, the head of government, the cabinet, elections, and the election results. In recent years, El Salvadors economy has been stabilizing. Inflation has fallen to unprecedented levels, and exports have increased. The trade deficit has been offset by remittances from the large number of Salvadorans living abroad and from external aid. As a result of Hurricane Mitch, inflation and the trade deficit are expected to rise. El Salvador gains its money from agricultures: 15%, industry: 24%, and service which makes up for 61% of total income.

Just about half of the total population is below poverty level. The inflation rate is at 2.6%. The Salvadorian total work force is 2.26 million people. El Salvador has many different industries: food processing, beverages, petroleum, chemicals, fertilizer, textiles, furniture, and light metals. Occupations for the Salvadorian people are agriculture; 40%, commerce; 16%, manufacturing; 15%, government; 13%, financial services; 9%, transportation; 6%, and other occupations make up the last 1%. The unemployment rate is at a low 7.7%.

Its budget for revenues is 1.75 billion dollars and for expenditures is 1.82 billion dollars. Electricity plays a big role in the economy of El Salvador. The country produces 3.575 billion kilowatts, 22.38% is from fossil fuel, and 61.54% is from hydro. Agriculture products are: coffee, sugarcane, corn, rice, beans, oilseed, sorghum, beef, dairy products, and shrimp. Exports total $1.96 billion in coffee, sugar, shrimp, and textiles, to the US, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Germany, and Honduras.

Imports total $3.5 billion dollars in raw materials, consumer goods, capital goods, and fuels, to the US, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Venezuela, and Japan. El Salvador is in debt 2.6 billion dollars. Salvadorian currency is 1 salvadoran colon (C) = 100 centavos. The Salvadorian calendar year is a Fiscal year. Transportation in El Salvador is limited. It has 602 kilometers of railroad.

They have 10,029 kilometers of highway except 8,043 kilometers is unpaved. The Rio Lempa is partially navigable. There are only 5 ports; Acajutla, Puerto Cutuco, La Libertab, La Union, and Peurto El Triunfo. There are 86 airports, only 4 of those have paved runways. The Salvadorian Military is made up of the army, navy, and air force. When males reach the age of 18 they can join an armed force. The Salvadorian government spends over 105 million dollars on the armed forces.

El Salvador has a problem with illegal drugs. It is a shipping point for cocaine, and they produce marijuana for local consumption. Although Authorities have tried to take action against this lethal academic, El Salvador still has problems with illegal drugs. As a Hispanic country, El Salvador has always had a strong Roman Catholic identity. The majority of Salvadorians in the late 1980s were at least nominal Roman Catholics, and church rituals permeated the nation’s culture and society.

Church attendance, especially for women, remained important, church sacraments and ceremonies such as baptism and confirmation were observed, and fiestas were held to celebrate patron saints of villages, towns, and cities. Nevertheless, El Salvador tended to be somewhat more secular than its Central American neighbors. Although the Roman Catholic Church, as typified by its hierarchy, was conservative in its approach to doctrine, a strain of reformist Catholicism called social Christianity emerged in El Salvador, as elsewhere in Latin America, in the 1930s in response to the hardships, uprisings, and repressions of that period. Social Christianity, which continued to have some appeal until the early 1960s, stressed the duty of lay persons to remedy social ills without waiting for the religious hierarchy, represented by its priests, to act. Although this movement did not advocate change in the basic social and political structure of the country, it called for improvements by working within the existing political order.

I think that El Salvador is a very interesting country even though it is retched in poverty. I dont know if I would ever want to go there because I wouldnt like to see everyone living in poverty. I think Latin America is a very interesting place, and I would love to visit some countries there because it is warm. Geography.


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