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Tuesday 27th June
El Salvador Information - Page 1
Geography
The Republic of El Salvador is in Central America. It is bordered by Guatemala, Honduras, the Gulf of Fonseca and the North Pacific Ocean.

The capital is San Salvador. Other major cities include Santa Ana and San Miguel.

The terrain is very mountainous. There is a narrow coastal belt and central plateau. The Rio Lempa is the major river.

The climate is tropical along the coast; it is temperate at higher elevations. The rainy season is from May to October.

Environment
Protected areas in El Salvador include Los Volcanes National Park (Cerro Verde, Izalco and Santa Ana volcanoes) and El Imposible National Park. The Montecristo National Park is on the border with Honduras and Guatemala.

Animals are anteaters, iguanas, jaguars, spider monkeys, ocelots and pumas. Over five hundred species of birds live in El Salvador. These include hummingbirds, parakeets and quetzals.

Architecture
One of the most important archeological sites in El Salvador is Tazumal. The site, near Santa Ana, was an early Mayan settlement, later inhabited by the Pipil people.

Another pre-Colombian site is the Joya de Ceren Archaeological Site. Like Pompeii and Herculaneum in Italy, the Mayan village was buried by a volcanic eruption (600 AD). The houses, buildings, equipment and possessions provide an insight into the lives of the inhabitants. Joya de Ceren is on the World Heritage List.

San Salvador, the capital was founded in the early sixteenth century. Examples of the city's Spanish Colonial architecture include a number of Roman Catholic churches. The country has a history of seismic activity and today's public buildings are designed to be resistant to earthquakes.

Population
The population of El Salvador was estimated at 6,071,774 in 2011.

Languages
Spanish is the official language in El Salvador. Nahuat (the language of the Pilpil people) is spoken among some Amerindians.

Religion
The majority of the people are Christians.

Food
Staple foods in El Salvador are beans, rice, tortillas and tamales. Pupusas are tortillas with fillings, such as meat, cheese, and refried beans. Pasteles, meat filled turnovers, are also eaten.

Soups and stews are prepared with meat, fish and vegetables. Maize, cassava, peppers, plantains, sweet potatoes and tomatoes are available.

Favourite desserts are custard flan and rice pudding. Fruits include bananas, coconuts, mangoes, melons, oranges, papayas, pineapples, tamarinds and watermelons.

Coffee and fruit drinks are available. Beer is brewed locally and the traditional alcoholic drink is aguardiente, made from sugarcane.

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