El Salvador Facts
El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America.
The highest point in El Salvador is Cerro El Pital (2,730 m).
El Salvador is known as the "land of volcanoes".
Ancient Olmec scupltures have been found in Chalchuapa, in western El Salvador.
The Maya people were early inhabitants of El Salvador. They also lived in southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras.
The Maya were advanced in subjects such as mathematics and astronomy.
El Salvador is Spanish for The Saviour.
The Spanish arrived in El Salvador around 1520 and remained in the country for three centuries.
El Salvador gained independence from Spain in 1821.
Jose Simeon Canas proposed the abolition of slavery in Central America (1823).
Between 1823 and 1840 El Salvador was a member of the United Provinces of Central America. Other members were Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
The University of El Salvador was founded in 1841.
Coffee became the mainstay of the economy of El Salvador.
The ownership of El Salvador's coffee plantations, and the wealth of the country, was in the hands of a minority of people.
A peasant's revolt, led by Agustin Farabundo Marti, took place in 1932; around thirty thousand people were killed.
In 1969 a war with Honduras began at a football match. This was known as the "Soccer War". The war lasted less than a week but a peace treaty was not signed until many years later.
The opposition group in El Salvador, FMLN (Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front), intensified its activities towards the end of the 1970s. By the 1980s the country was engaged in a civil war which left over seventy thousand people dead.
In 1991 a United Nations sponsored peace agreement was signed between the FMLN and the government of El Salvador.
Over three hundred and seventy people in El Salvador were killed by Hurricane Mitch in 1998.
Over twelve thousand people died in earthquakes in El Salvador in 2001; many more were left homeless.
Ilamatepec (Santa Ana), El Salvador's highest volcano, erupted in October 2005. At least two people were killed and thousands of people were forced to leave their homes.
Days after the eruption of Ilamatepec, it is estimated that over seventy people [in El Salvador] were killed by Tropical Storm Stan.
In November 2009 over one hundred and forty people were killed and thousands left homeless in mudslides and floods.