The Host Country
Area, Geography, and Climate Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:10 AM
El Salvador, with an area of 8,260 square miles, is the smallest
independent state in Central America. About the size of
Massachusetts, El Salvador is rectangular in shape, 60 miles wide
and 160 miles long. Guatemala lies on the western border, Honduras
on the northern and eastern, and the Gulf of Fonseca divides El
Salvador from Nicaragua on the southeastern border. The Pacific
Ocean borders El Salvador to the south.
El Salvador has 350 rivers. The largest, the Rio Lempa, flows 150
miles from northern to central El Salvador, forming one of the most
important Pacific watersheds in Latin America. It is El Salvador's
only navigable river.
The land is 90% volcanic in origin, and many places still bear
the scars. The country’'s topography is rough and irregular from
continuous volcanic activity, accounting for El Salvador’s rich
soil. Two volcanic mountain ranges, a central one parallel to the
Pacific and a northern one along the border with Honduras, run
across almost the entire length of the country. The two ranges
divide El Salvador into three distinct and progressively higher
zones. The plains along the Pacific Ocean are at sea level; the
central plateau is 2,000 feet above sea level; and the northern
highlands rise more than 3,000 feet. Although the central plateau
represents only 25% of the total area, it contains the heaviest
concentration of population and the largest cities.
El Salvador’'s tropical climate has pronounced wet and dry
seasons. The dry season, “verano” or summer, from December to April
is dusty, especially in rural areas. The hottest months of the year,
March and April, immediately precede the rainy season, “invierno”
(winter). During the May–November rainy season, mornings are usually
clear, with heavy rains in early evening and at night. Thunder and
strong winds occasionally accompany the rain, and some June and
September mornings are overcast. Occasional 2- to 3-day rainy spells
occur. The average annual rainfall is 66 inches.
The three geographic zones have distinct climatic
characteristics. The narrow coastal belt is a hot tropical savanna
with lush vegetation and temperatures that average 80ºF. The central
highlands, where San Salvador lies, are slightly cooler, with an
average temperature of 73ºF. San Salvador’s temperatures range from
50ºF to 90ºF throughout the year. Incoming polar air infrequently
causes cold nights and even frost. The highlands in the extreme
north of El Salvador are consistently cool.
Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions have littered El Salvador’s
history. Earthquakes ranging from 6.5 to 7.9 on the Richter Scale
have struck the country at least 15 times since 1700. The most
serious recent earthquakes occurred on January 13 and February 13,
2001. Although damage in San Salvador was slight, schools,
hospitals, businesses, and public buildings throughout the country
were damaged or destroyed. These two powerful quakes resulted in
1,300 deaths and left more than one million homeless. Infrastructure
damages are estimated at $1.6 billion, or 12% of the country's GDP.
Of the volcanoes located within the metropolitan area of San
Salvador, Volcano San Salvador erupted last in 1917 and Volcano
Ilopango in 1879.
Although hurricanes do not usually threaten El Salvador directly,
strong Caribbean storms can generate heavy winds and rains.
Hurricane Mitch hit El Salvador in November 1998, generating extreme
rainfall which caused widespread flooding.
Population Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:10 AM
El Salvador is the second most densely populated country in the
Americas after Haiti, with about 6.2 million inhabitants and an
annual population growth rate of 1.87%. Approximately 58% of the
population is urban, and literacy is about 78%. The infant mortality
rate is 29 per 1,000 live births. A recent UN report estimates that
over 50% of the population lives in poverty. The U.S. estimates that
about 1.5 million Salvadorans live in the U.S.
El Salvador’s population is remarkably homogeneous (90% Mestizo,
1% Indian, and 9% Caucasian). The indigenous Indian population has
adopted Spanish language and culture. Today, only two or three
Indian customs, dress, or dialects survive. Roman Catholicism is the
predominant religion, but Protestant evangelical groups are building
a growing constituency. Spanish is the national language, but the
middle and upper class increasingly speak at least some English.
Public Institutions Last Updated: 7/16/2004 1:55 PM
History. The first European contact with the area now known as El
Salvador came in 1524 when the local Indian population defeated a
Spanish military venture. The Spanish later returned to conquer El
Salvador, and it entered into a long period of neglect as a
backwater of the Spanish Empire.
El Salvador declared its independence from Spain in 1821, joined
the Mexican Empire from 1821–23 and then the Central American
Federation from 1825–38, before becoming a separate republic in
1839. For most of the 19th century, El Salvador suffered frequent
interventions from neighboring states and nearly constant
internecine political squabbling. Establishment of lucrative coffee
cultivation, and a deal between the two political parties, led to an
era of stability and growth at the turn of the century that was
broken by the onset of the Great Depression.
In 1931, a poorly organized uprising met with a swift and brutal
response that left 30,000 people dead (“La Matanza”). A long period
of military and military/civilian rule followed, characterized by
alternating periods of repression and reform. Increasing political
and economic turmoil in the 1970s led to a breakdown in traditional
political and social relationships. By 1979, radical leftist groups
coalesced into a guerrilla army and unleashed a brutal civil war.
Simultaneously, on October 15, 1979, young officers joined with
moderate civilian leaders to overthrow the government, ending five
decades of military rule. The civilian-military coalition initiated
land reform, nationalized the banks, and paved the way for free and
honest elections of the representative assembly in March 1982.
Amid intense political violence during 1980–83, first a
civilian-military junta and then an interim president began to
implement political, economic, and social reforms. In March 1982, a
Constituent Assembly was elected. The Assembly drafted a
constitution that was enacted in December 1983; this Constitution,
with amendments, remains in effect.
In 1984, El Salvador’s first freely elected president in more
than 50 years was chosen. In March 1989, the government peacefully
changed presidents. A final peace agreement ending the 12-year civil
war was signed in January 1992. Two years later, in March 1994,
former insurgents participated in presidential, legislative, and
municipal elections as a legal political party.
El Salvador is a republic composed of 14 departments, divided
into 262 municipalities. Governors who administer the departments
are appointed by and report to the president through the Minister of
Governance. Mayors are elected popularly.
There is an executive branch headed by a president, a unicameral
Legislative Assembly, and an independent judiciary. President Elías
Antonio Saca of the National Republican Alliance Party (ARENA) was
elected to a five-year term in 2004.
El Salvador has had nine free-and-fair elections since 1982. In
the 2000 Legislative Assembly elections, the Farabundo Marti
National Liberation Front (FMLN) won a plurality of the Assembly
with 31 seats — an historic event. However, the party expelled six
legislators from its ranks in April 2002, leaving it with only 25
seats. ARENA won 29 seats but retained a working majority on many
issues with the National Conciliation Party's (PCN) 14 legislators.
The FMLN also won an increased number of mayorships in the 2000
elections, and now governs more than half the population at the
municipal level. The next municipal and legislative elections will
take place in March of 2006.
The judicial system consists of a 15-member Supreme Court, Second
Instance Chambers (appellate courts), First Instance Courts (trial
courts), and Justices of the Peace. The Assembly appoints Supreme
Court magistrates for 3, 6, and 9-year terms. The Supreme Court
appoints other judges from among candidates recommended by the
National Council of the Judiciary.
Arts, Science, and Education Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:14 AM
The Ministry of Education oversees the country’s school system
and formal and informal education programs. It also fosters art and
cultural activities. The Ministry is divided into two program
directorates. The National Director of Education is responsible for
public and private primary, secondary, tertiary, and adult/informal
education. For universities, the Ministry accredits institutions and
approves curriculum but is not involved in operations. Primary
education is universal and free. Economic constraints, exacerbated
by the aftermath of the civil war and the recent earthquakes,
however, have inhibited the country’s ability to provide quality
primary education to all children.
Given the intense demand for higher education, there are numerous
private universities. At one time, El Salvador had more than 50
universities, many of them diploma mills. Thanks to an aggressive
accreditation program by the Ministry of Education, however, the 27
remaining universities all meet basic professional standards.
The oldest (25 years of operation) and second largest of these
private institutions is the Jesuit-administered Central American
University (UCA). It offers courses in engineering, economics,
administration, and the humanities and has over 150,000 volumes in
the library. The largest private school, Universidad Tecnológica (UTEC),
has some 17,000 students; the Jose Matias Delgado University, has
about 6,000 students. Both offer courses in the humanities, law,
economics, and communications. The only public school, the
University of El Salvador (UES), which was disrupted during the
civil war, has some 30,000 students distributed among campuses in
San Salvador, Santa Ana, and San Miguel.
The Ministry of Education’s National Council for Culture and the
Arts (CONCULTURA), is responsible for cultural preservation,
development, and education. It maintains the National Library, a
small national arts school, and several museums. A new museum of
anthropology and history, to replace the one destroyed in the 1986
earthquake, was opened officially in 2001.
CONCULTURA’s Office of Cultural Patrimony operates and maintains
numerous archeological sites throughout El Salvador. Two of the
easiest to visit, and the most developed for tourism, are Joya de
Ceren and San Andres, both of which are an easy 45-minute drive from
the Embassy. Joya de Ceren, a village dated back to 800 A.D., was
discovered completely preserved in volcanic ash. Joya de Ceren has
been designated a UNESCO world heritage site as it is the only Mayan
habitational site (as opposed to ceremonial site) yet discovered in
the world. It was perfectly preserved by volcanic eruption hundreds
of years before the arrival of Europeans. Nearby is San Andres, a
Mayan ceremonial center. In 1996, a colonial indigo processing plant
was discovered during preliminary diggings for a modern site museum
for San Andres. The processing plant was buried by volcanic eruption
in 1658, but is now almost completely unearthed. The museum opened
in July 1997.
The Council also sponsors the National Symphony Orchestra, the
National Chorus, and the National Theater in San Salvador. The
symphony and chorus perform a full season, generally from July to
November. The annual ballet season offers opportunities for students
and professionals to perform.
Several private art galleries exhibit the work of Salvadoran
artists, and semiprofessional theater groups offer several plays a
year. The Central American Theater Festival takes place each year in
San Salvador. Several private museums, including one dedicated to
science and one focused specifically on children, are open to the
public and offer both permanent and visiting exhibits.
The Salvadoran Institute of Tourism (ISTU) also sponsors cultural
events, which include folklore productions, music and dance
festivals often held outside the capital, and annual crafts
festivals in Panchimalco, Nahuizalco, and Juayua. The Salvadoran
Cultural Center has a modest library of Spanish and English books.
The Center offers English and Spanish classes, sponsors frequent
painting, sculpture, and ceramics exhibits, and stages occasional
concerts and recitals by local and visiting artists. Parks,
recreational areas, and a zoo complete the city's public leisure
Commerce and Industry Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:15 AM
El Salvador, historically, was the most industrialized nation in
Central America, though 12 years of civil war eroded this position.
Over the past decade El Salvador’s economy has experienced a period
of high growth (1990–1995) followed by economic deceleration
(1996–1999). In 2000, manufacturing accounted for 22% of GDP. The
industrial sector has shifted since 1993 from a primarily domestic
orientation to include free-zone (“maquiladora”) manufacturing for
export. Maquila exports have led the growth in the export sector and
make an important contribution to employment in the Salvadoran
economy. Encouraged by textile maquilas, the manufacturing sector,
performed well in 2001, exhibiting a 4.5% real growth.
The growth of the overall economy continued to slow in 2001, with
gross domestic product (GDP) expanding only 1.8%.
Construction—spurred by rebuilding after the earthquakes—expanded
10%. The financial sector grew by 1.6%. El Salvador has the second
and third largest banks in Central America. All major Salvadoran
banks have relationships with U.S. banking institutions.
In 2001, El Salvador’s agricultural sector continued its decline,
dragged down by declining world coffee prices. The sector overall
contracted by 2.1%. Exports of sugar—the second largest agricultural
product—increased, but amounted to a small part of overall exports.
Before 1980, a small economic elite owned most of the land in El
Salvador and controlled a highly successful agricultural industry.
The civilian-military junta that came to power in 1979 instituted an
ambitious land reform program, and more than 22% of El Salvador’s
total farmland was transferred to those who previously worked the
land but did not own it. The 1992 peace accords made provisions for
additional land transfers to all qualified ex-combatants of both the
FMLN and Salvadoran armed forces, as well as to landless peasants
living in former conflictive zones. Coffee and sugar remain the most
important agricultural export commodities. Small producers and
cooperatives sell to or collectively operate their own processing
facilities. Marketing assistance is provided by both private sector
organizations and, to a limited extent, by the government.
Per capita GDP was $2,148 in 2001, a small increase over the
previous year. El Salvador’s unemployment rate in 2000 was 6.9%.
Underemployment, however, is much larger. It was measured at 31.9%
in 1999, the most recent figure available. Economic assistance is
much less than in the 1980s. Family remittances from Salvadorans
abroad are the biggest source of foreign income. In 2001 the
remittances amounted to almost 14% of GDP.
Other positive business climate features included the
introduction of the U.S. dollar as legal currency on January 1, 2001
(as of mid-March 2002, approximately 65% of the total money in
circulation was in dollars, with a rate fixed at 8.75 colones per
one U.S. dollar), a stream-lined customs procedures; the conclusion
of the tariff reduction program; and the successful completion of
almost all the privatization program of telecommunication, energy
distribution/ generation, and pension funds administration.
Automobiles Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:17 AM
El Salvador’s principal roads are paved and in fair condition.
Two branches of the Pan American Highway pass through the country,
one along the Pacific Coast and one farther to the north. The
Government of El Salvador continues to make significant investments
in infrastructure. Of note is the ongoing project to pave 200 miles
of rural roads, as well as the negotiations with the Japanese
Government to finance the construction of the Cutuco Port in eastern
El Salvador. Poor local driving habits, badly maintained roads, and
missing road signs make driving on secondary roads hazardous,
particularly at night. Within San Salvador, no satisfactory system
of public transportation exists, so most personnel choose to import
personally owned vehicles. Left-hand-drive vehicles are used. It is
strongly recommended that cars have air-conditioning.
Most American, European, and Japanese auto manufacturers have
dealerships in San Salvador. Labor costs for competent mechanics are
moderate. The general rules on importing personally owned vehicles
Ambassadors may import two automobiles. Accredited diplomatic
officers may import one automobile. Administrative and technical
personnel may import one automobile. Contractors are authorized
duty-free importation as stated in their contract under the Umbrella
Agreement between the U.S. and El Salvador. Temporary duty personnel
are not authorized duty-free importation. For those who will drive
to San Salvador, obtain a 60-day permit at the Salvadoran border;
this document is mandatory for the duty-free process.
Unleaded gasoline and diesel are available in El Salvador. The
Foreign Ministry grants Salvadoran drivers licenses upon
presentation of a valid U.S. or other drivers licenses (except
international). Diplomatic-list employees receive CD license plates.
All other personnel receive MI (International Mission) plates.
Employees should keep U.S. or other drivers licenses current to
avoid any difficulty in obtaining a replacement or renewed
Embassy policy stipulates that each U.S. citizen employee must be
locally insured. Auto insurance is sold through the American
Employees Association and by local brokers. Local policies have
certain limitations, so examine coverage carefully if you use a
local broker. Bring a “no claim” report, if available, from your
previous insurance company. Some Mission personnel buy
theft/collision coverage from U.S. firms and buy only the required
third-party-liability insurance locally.
Local Transportation Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:17 AM
The use of radio-dispatched taxis or taxis from a stand at a
reputable hotel is encouraged. Hailing taxis from the street is
dangerous. Taxis do not use meters but operate on zone charges. An
average intra-city trip costs about $4.57 (40 colones). Taxi drivers
are rarely tipped. Frequent bus service is available to all parts of
the country, but current security concerns limit the use of buses by
Regional Transportation Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:18 AM
Most people travel to El Salvador by air. American, Continental,
United, Delta, Iberia, the Salvadoran airline TACA (Transportes
Aereos Centro Americanos), and COPA (Compañía Panameña de Aviación)
provide service to the U.S. and Central American countries. El
Salvador has two main seaports. Acajutla is the more important
because of its all-weather facilities. Port Cutuco in La Union is
sometimes used. The Atlantic port generally used for surface freight
shipments originating on the U.S. east coast is Santo Tomas de
Castilla, Guatemala. Cargo is then trucked overland to the
Salvadoran customs warehouse.
Telephones and Telecommunications Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:18
Telephone service in El Salvador has recently undergone a major
upgrade. The national telephone company has been privatized; the new
owners (CTE-TELECOM) have added additional lines and improved
service throughout the city. Each leased residence has a single line
telephone installed. Post will install a second instrument in the
“safe haven” wherever possible. Personnel should bring additional
instruments if they require phones installed in other locations.
Post can recommend local vendors who will perform this type of
Direct dialing is available to the entire U.S. and most of the
world. Various long-distance services offer direct dial per minute
rates that are similar or lower than comparable U.S. offerings.
Currently, AT&T, Sprint, and MCI provide long-distance services at a
higher than U.S. rate.
Internet Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:19 AM
Internet service is widely available. Telephone companies as well
as cable TV providers (Cablevisa and Integra) offer excellent and
affordable service. Specific information on software requirements
can be obtained from post’s Information Management (IM) Section.
Post has full Internet service installed throughout the Chancery.
Each agency and all sections have full access to the www and
complete e-mail service. Once added to the post database, personnel
can receive Internet e-mail at the following address:
Post’s web site is accessible through: www.usinfo.org.sv
Mail and Pouch Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:19 AM
International Mail. Although post does not recommend using
international mail, the specifics follow. International mail is
dispatched daily, except weekends and local holidays. Mail not fully
addressed is often misrouted to Salvador, Brazil, and San Salvador
Island, Bahamas. The international mail rate to the U.S. is 4.00
Colones (about 0.46 cents) a half ounce. The complete mailing
Name Embajada Americana Final Boulevard Santa Elena Sur Antiguo
Cuscatlan La Libertad, San Salvador El Salvador, Central America
Airpouch Facilities. San Salvador is a category A post with
access to APO facilities. Post adheres to the category restrictions
on pouch usage and only dispatches them when necessary. The pouch
address for incoming material is:
Name Department of State 3450 San Salvador Place (or PL.)
Washington, D.C. 20521–3450
APO Facilities. APO mail is dispatched Monday through Friday at 9
a.m. Letter mail is 34cents first ounce and 23cents each additional
ounce. Packages require customs declarations, and should not exceed
108 inches, measuring length and width. Weight allowance is 70
pounds. APO is not authorized to send or receive registered mail,
only certified or insured. Each section has a unit number. The APO
Name U.S. Embassy Unit 31__, APO AA 34023
Radio and TV Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:20 AM
El Salvador has at least 75 FM and 85 AM radio stations; most
operate from 5–6 a.m. until 11 p.m. or midnight. Radio formats
include classical, rock, salsa, easy listening, religious, and talk;
all FM stations broadcast in stereo. Four million daily radio
listeners and 2.5 million radio receivers are estimated. Shortwave
reception is good for English and Spanish Voice of America (VOA)
broadcasts. Portions of VOA Spanish programming are also used by
about 20 commercial radio stations. El Salvador has one state-owned
and 6 commercial TV channels which are seen throughout the country,
plus several commercial UHF channels (including some religious
channels) which are seen only in the capital. TV stations generally
transmit only 20 hours daily. All stations transmit in color and
four support stereo sound. TVs and VCRs use the U.S. system (NTSC).
Local TV stations broadcast only in Spanish; any U.S. programs are
dubbed. Excellent cable service is also available throughout the
country. Cable companies rebroadcast mostly U.S. programming,
including the major networks: CNN, ESPN, HBO, CINEMAX, and others.
Some programs and some channels (Discovery, Animal Planet) are
dubbed. Many sports games are broadcast live in season. Installation
and subscription fees for the first year of service average $300.
TVs are widely available but more expensive than in the U.S. VHS
cassette recorders are widely used, and many video rental clubs
exist in the main cities (in English with subtitles). The commissary
also has a video rental club.
Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals Last Updated:
1/14/2004 12:21 AM
Local newspapers are readily available, and San Salvador’s five
leading newspapers offer home delivery. The Miami Herald, New York
Times, Wall Street Journal, and international editions of Time and
Newsweek are available locally, but newspapers generally arrive at
least 1 or 2 days after publication. You may order subscriptions of
U.S. publications through the APO.
English-language books and magazines are available at large
hotels and local bookstores, but prices are higher than in the U.S.
The Community Liaison Office (CLO) operates a small library and used
paperback library for Mission members. A small selection of books
suitable for a child of any age and a World Book Encyclopedia are
Health and Medicine
Medical Facilities Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:22 AM
The Mission maintains a Health Unit staffed by a regional medical
officer (RMO), one full-time registered nurse practitioner and one
part-time registered nurse to provide medical care to Mission staff
and their dependents. The regional psychiatrist in Mexico visits
The Health Unit has some medications for acute illnesses. Some
brands of U.S. and other foreign pharmaceuticals are available in
local drugstores or pharmacies. Bring an adequate supply of
prescription drugs and regularly used over-the-counter medicines.
The Embassy commissary usually has a few vitamins, stomach remedies,
and cold preparations.
Medical laboratories in San Salvador can perform x-rays and most
necessary laboratory studies. The Hospital de Diagnostico y
Emergencias Escalón, at Paseo General Escalón and 99 Avenida Norte,
is a new hospital used by Americans at post. More complicated or
serious illnesses are referred to U.S. facilities. All obstetrical
cases should plan for delivery in the U.S. Nearly every medical
specialization is represented in San Salvador by English-speaking,
U.S.-, or European-trained physicians. Satisfactory dental and
orthodontic care costs much less here.
The following agencies participate, by formal agreement, in the
Department’s medical and health program and are therefore eligible
for Health Unit services as well as complete medical and
hospitalization coverage under the State Department medical program:
Department of State; U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID);
Peace Corps; Department of Justice (ICITAP, INS and DEA); and the
U.S. Marine Security Guards. USAID contract personnel may receive
Health Unit services for an annual fee. Defense attaché and U.S.
Military Group personnel receive Health Unit services, but should
check with their commander regarding hospitalization, other health
care services, and medevac coverage.
Community Health Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:23 AM
Plumbing and sanitation facilities in rented houses are adequate
and modern. Many houses are equipped with water storage tanks and
pumps due to unreliable water supplies. Contractors not provided
government-leased housing should obtain the lessor’s assurance that
the water supply is adequate before signing a private lease and
follow up by checking with other neighbors or with previous
occupants. San Salvador has no water purification plant and local
water is not potable.
Although most of the water comes from deep wells or springs and
is chlorinated, contamination is common because of defects in the
water distribution system. Potable bottled water is delivered to
homes inexpensively. Filtered tap water that has been boiled rapidly
for 10 minutes is also safe.
Although modern supermarkets have refrigeration facilities, most
meat is not refrigerated either at slaughter or in distribution.
Poultry processing has improved control of sanitation, slaughtering,
San Salvador experiences frequent power failures, and
refrigerated items are not always kept at the proper temperature.
Use caution in buying foods the day after a power failure. Avoid
shellfish during the rainy season.
The country has no rabies control program similar to that in the
U.S. Laws do not require anti-rabies vaccine or leashes for dogs. At
intervals, the Salvadoran Ministry of Health attempts to eliminate
street dogs. Vaccinate pets and keep them on a leash when outside
the yard. For employees working outside the city or with animals,
have a pre-exposure rabies vaccine. M/MED, Washington, has further
information on pre-exposure rabies vaccine.
Preventive Measures Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:23 AM
The most common health problems in San Salvador are intestinal
diseases, including typhoid fever, and amoebic and bacillary
dysentery. Careless handling of food and food contaminated by flies
and water normally cause these diseases. Other diseases present are
influenza, malaria, dengue fever, and leptospirosis in the coastal
regions; frequent colds; and hepatitis.
Before arrival, ensure typhoid, yellow fever, diphtheria-tetanus
immunizations, and oral polio boosters are current. The Embassy
Health Unit stocks the hepatitis A and has DNA hepatitis B vaccine
available for persons at risk. Most Americans stay quite healthy by
observing simple precautions.
Clean vegetables well before cooking. Fruits and vegetables eaten
raw should be washed thoroughly and soaked in a Clorox solution for
15 minutes and then rinsed thoroughly with bottled water before
Employment for Spouses and Dependents Last Updated: 3/21/2005
Occasionally clerical, secretarial, and other professional level
jobs become available to Eligible Family Members (EFMs) with the
Department of State and other agencies represented at post. As a
matter of policy, qualified EFMs competing for a position are given
priority consideration over non-EFMs. The EFM hiring policy
establishes a minimum age of 18 years for employment consideration.
Spanish language proficiency and computer skills are helpful and are
required for most positions. Applicants for these positions must be
U.S. Citizens able to obtain an appropriate security clearance in a
reasonable period of time. Spouses interested in working inside the
mission should be sure to hand carry employment records, or mail a
copy prior to arrival to the Human Resources Officer. All internal
job announcements are published on the mission's intranet web site:
Within budgetary limits, the Embassy sponsors an annual Summer
Hire Employment Program from May 1 through September 30 each year.
This program is intended to provide EFMs who are currently enrolled
in a course of study an employment opportunity while visiting their
parents at post. The Summer Hire Program requires applicants to be
between the ages of 16 and 21 (up to age 24, if attending college).
Dependents wishing to work in El Salvador will find the knowledge of
Spanish a decided asset, and, if possible, should make every effort
to study Spanish before arriving at post. The Embassy has negotiated
a Bilateral Agreement with the Government of El Salvador, which
permits dependents of U.S Government employees to work on the local
economy. Any employment of family members under this agreement must
be approved in advance by the Chief of Mission and the family member
must obtain a work permit from the Salvadoran government.
Employment Situation: Local employment outside the Mission is
limited due to high local unemployment levels, Spanish language
requirements and pay scales that are significantly below those in
the U.S. Opportunities for teachers with current credentials may be
available at the international schools and some teach at the local
universities. Salary and benefits vary depending on whether the
contract is negotiated in El Salvador or in the U.S. Family members
interested in teaching are encouraged to contact the schools
directly at the addresses listed below under Dependent Education.
Opportunities also exist for teaching English as a foreign language
and tutoring. Some EFMs have found employment with local companies,
international NGOs, donor organizations or consulting firms.
The US mission in El Salvador is part of the regional Strategic
Networking Assistance Program (SNAP), which currently operates out
of El Salvador and covers the Embassies in San Salvador, Guatemala
City, Managua and Tegucigalpa. SNAP is a pilot initiative of the
State Department designed to support family members in their search
for employment in the host country economy and assist interested
spouses in finding opportunities within the local economy or
developing home-based businesses. For more information regarding the
SNAP program, please contact Ann Greenberg, Regional Employment
Advisor, at email@example.com.
In addition, the FLO also is piloting a new spousal employment
initiative, the Global Employment Strategy (GES), aimed at creating
a network of career-enhancing employment opportunities with U.S.
corporations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for
professional spouses of foreign service employees on assignment to
U.S. missions around the world. GES works at the headquarters level
with multinational organizations and NGOs to develop relationships
and identify employment leads for embassy spouses. Spouses
interested in participating in the GES should send their resumes
directly to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
American Embassy - San Salvador
Post City Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:27 AM
San Salvador, capital and principal city of El Salvador, is
located south and west of the country's geographical center (19
miles from the sea) in the Valley of the Hammocks, so called because
of the frequent tremors and earthquakes. The over 2 million
metropolitan area population includes the nearby cities of Soyapango,
San Marcos, and Santa Tecla. Like the rest of the country, San
Salvador enjoys a tropical climate with a dry season from December
to April and a rainy season from May to November. The average
temperature is 73ºF. The coldest months are December and January,
with a median temperature of 65ºF. April is the hottest month, with
a median temperature of 80ºF. Founded in 1525 by Diego de Alvarado,
the city was moved to its present site in 1545. From 1835–39, San
Salvador served as the capital of the short-lived Central American
Federation. As El Salvador’s economic, political, and cultural
center, the city has a fairly modern appearance with supermarkets,
several up-to-date shopping centers, and modern residential suburbs.
Repeatedly destroyed by earthquakes, fires, and floods, little
remains of San Salvador’s colonial architecture. Many middle- and
upper-class Salvadorans speak English; however, business
representatives and officials prefer to conduct business in Spanish.
Little English is spoken in the city’s stores or at open-air
The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:28 AM
U.S. Government personnel in El Salvador are under the direction
of the Ambassador. Heads of the following agencies report to the
Ambassador: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID),
Regional Inspector General (RIG), Defense Attaché Office (DAO), U.S.
Military Group (USMILGP), Corps of Engineers (COE), Centers for
Disease Control (CDC), Peace Corps (PC), and the International
Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP), the
Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and the Drug
Enforcement Administration (DEA) from the Department of Justice. The
Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is represented by an attaché,
resident in Guatemala. The Embassy Chancery, located on a 26-acre
compound, was completed and occupied in May 1992.
Located at Boulevard Santa Elena, Colonia Santa Elena, Antiguo
Cuscatlan (a San Salvador suburb), telephone (011- 503) 278-4444,
fax (011-503) 278-6011; AMB fax (011-503) 278-3345; ECON/COMM fax
(011-503) 298-2336; GSO fax (011-503) 228-6553; ADMIN telephone
(011-503) 228-2860, fax (011-503) 289-4591; Peace Corps telephone
(011-503) 263-8517, fax (011-503) 263- 8420. The Embassy compound
houses the offices of all sections/agencies at post with the
exception of Peace Corps, the Ambassador’s residence, the Marines’
house, the commissary, and a recreational area that includes a large
swimming pool, kiddy pool, snack bar, two tennis courts, a soccer
field, and a children’s playground. USAID offices are located in the
USAID building next to the Chancery in the Embassy compound. USAID
offices may be reached by calling (011- 503) 298-1666, fax (011-503)
Temporary Quarters Last Updated: 7/15/2004 5:23 PM
The Mission’s Inter-Agency Housing Board (IAHB), whose members
represent various agencies, makes every attempt to assign employees
to permanent housing prior to arrival. In instances, when an
employee arrives without being assigned permanent housing, the
employee and dependents stay in temporarily vacant Mission-leased
quarters (houses or apartments). Temporary duty personnel can find
quarters in either the Princess-Hilton Hotel in the Zona Rosa, the
Radisson Hotel Plaza in Colonia Escalon or Holiday Inn Hotel in
Santa Elena, near to the Embassy compound. All of three hotels offer
restaurant service, coffee shops, conference areas, and swimming
Permanent Housing Last Updated: 11/23/2005 12:00 AM
The Ambassador’s residence is located on the same compound as the
Chancery. The residence has a yard enclosed by an 8-foot masonry
wall. The first floor houses the servants quarters, with 5 bedrooms
and toilet and shower facilities, and a general servants lounge.
The second floor consists of a library, sitting and reception
rooms, guest bathrooms, and the main dining room, plus a large porch
The third floor houses the family living room and service pantry,
a master bedroom with study, walk-in closet and private terrace.
Each family bedroom has a bathroom, a closet, and terrace access.
Two guest bedrooms are located in a separate area on this level.
Each contains a bathroom, closet, and individual terrace. The house
is centrally air-conditioned and has wall-to-wall carpet. An
elevator services all three floors. The residence is also connected
to the compound’s emergency electrical and water supplies.
The Deputy Chief of Mission’s (DCM’s) home, located in Colonia
San Benito, was purchased in July 1965 and served as the
Ambassador’s residence until 1992. In September 1996, a complete
renovation of the home was finished. The ground floor contains a
reception area, drawing room, living room, dining room and guest
room with full bath. A garden and patio-dining area are located at
the rear of the residence adjacent to the swimming pool. The second
floor comprises a master bedroom and bath, sitting room/suite and
bath, and three bedrooms with individual bathrooms. All bedrooms
have sliding glass doors that lead to an outside balcony that
overlooks the garden. The servants quarters, kitchen, laundry area,
and garage are located in a separate wing. The house is completely
furnished and equipped with a 12,000-gallon cistern that provides
ample water supply.
All other Mission employees are provided government-leased and
-furnished quarters. The Mission’s Housing Board (IAHB) attempts to
assign employees to permanent housing prior to arrival by strictly
adhering to A-171 guidelines. Proposed assignments are presented to
the IAHB by the Embassy representative (for personnel from State and
other serviced agencies), and by the AID/EXO representative for
USAID personnel. Assignments are based on grade of position held by
the employee (not the personal rank), size of family as authorized
by the travel orders, and information acquired through e-mails,
cables, and telephone calls received by the sponsor, or the agency
representing the employee.
San Salvador has leased properties that are very pleasant,
modern, and located in specific residential areas in the suburbs of
the city. Most houses have three to four bedrooms, dining room,
family area, kitchens with built-in cabinets, garage, patio,
servants quarters, and gardens. Homes are provided with DS-approved
window grills and alarm systems for security. Most families employ
domestic servants. Some (optional only) also hire gardeners and
neighborhood night guards to deter burglary. In addition to single
family homes, the Embassy leases 3 bedroom apartments in the Monte
Alto complex in Colonia Escalon.
Post has initiated a residential housing maintenance program for
all STL residential housing under the purview of the Housing Board.
This program includes oversight of landlord maintenance works, as
well as, a preventive maintenance program. Under the landlord
maintenance oversight, occupants fill out Facilities.
Department Work Order Request Forms, found as an icon on all
computer desktop screens. Facilities will contact the landlord and
schedule the requested repairs, and as required, oversee the
landlords actions. It should be noted that this step is for repairs,
and not improvements (additions) to the structure.
Under the Preventive Maintenance program, the Facilities section
conducts checks and repairs to embassy installed items, such as fire
extinguishers, smoke alarms and other specific equipment. During
these inspections, notices are sent out in advance to occupants to
both schedule the visit, and, note any existing problems which need
to be addressed.
If you have any questions concerning housing or assignments,
please contact the post’s administrative officer who will answer any
of your housing concerns.
Furnishings Last Updated: 7/16/2004 1:47 PM
Household furniture is provided to State, DAO, and USAID
personnel. Personnel from these agencies are also provided
appliances, carpets, and curtains. Air-conditioners are provided for
occupied bedrooms. A limited shipment of personal effects is
authorized for employees who are entitled to U.S. Government-leased
and -furnished quarters.
Bring only personal favorites (i.e., easy chair, desk, microwave,
etc.) to complement Mission-provided furnishings. Garden equipment,
bridge tables and chairs, a portable grill, microwave, entertaiment
center, dehumidifiers, and electric fans are most useful. Local
furniture is difficult and expensive to rent. Most Americans use
upholstered furniture that, with care, can be kept in good condition
despite seasonal mildew and dust. Softwood furniture, however, is
susceptible to termites unless it is well treated with a solution
available here. Since most houses have tile floors, rugs are not
essential, but useful. San Salvador has satisfactory rug cleaning
Salvadoran homes have more of an outdoor character than those in
the U.S. Some houses have windows with Venetian blinds, but most
have louvered windows and French sliding doors. Window sizes vary,
so defer decisions on curtain and drapery material until you are in
permanent housing. The selection of upholstery material is limited.
If you plan to have furniture reupholstered here, bring material.
Labor costs are less expensive than in the U.S., and workmanship is
Cockroaches, grasshoppers, crickets, and other insects can damage
clothing and upholstery. Moths can also do damage, so bring cedar
blocks and shavings for closets and drawers. Post has several
companies that provide State Department approved pesticide
Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:33 AM
Showers, toilets, and water heaters are standard in all houses
rented by Americans. In areas of the city where water can be a
problem, houses are equipped with cisterns and pumps.
Electricity is adequate for all types of electrical equipment.
Local power is the same as in the U.S.: 110v, single phase,
60-cycle, AC. Frequent current fluctuations and brownouts occur, but
damage to computer equipment can be minimized by voltage regulators
or line conditioners. However, while wall outlets do accept the flat
blade U.S. plugs, they generally are not grounded and will not
accept the U.S. standard three-prong grounded plugs. Mission
personnel should bring adapters for all their domestic appliances
with 3-prong plugs. Once at post, personnel can submit a Facilities
Work Request to modify any wall outlet to add a ground wire and
three-prong outlets, on a cost-reimbursement basis.
Food Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:34 AM
The Mission’s American Employees Association (AEAES) operates a
commissary open to all U.S. Government employees. All members pay a
deposit ($100 for families, $50 for singles) that provides working
capital. The deposit is refunded upon membership withdrawal. The
commissary stocks a limited supply of toiletries, cosmetics, pet
supplies, paper products, frozen foods, canned goods, cheeses,
luncheon meats, and juices. Prices are higher than in the U.S. due
to shipping costs. (Although some items can be bought locally at
lower prices, the quality is not always comparable to U.S. goods.)
Duty-free tobacco products and alcoholic beverages, including
several varieties of wine, are also available. Special orders may be
placed by individuals for caselot items.
Fish, chicken, and eggs of good quality are sold locally. Beef
and pork are available, but cuts often differ from those in the
U.S., and quality meat costs more here. Pork should be well cooked.
Turkey and lamb are generally unavailable. Fresh vegetables (some
seasonal) are available throughout the year. Locally grown
vegetables include potatoes, tomatoes, beets, carrots, string beans,
radishes, corn, eggplant, lettuce, and cauliflower. Many vegetables
are imported from Guatemala. Thoroughly wash, soak, and peel or cook
A variety of tropical and semitropical fruit such as pineapple,
papaya, watermelon, cantaloupe, and banana are available. Temperate
zone fruits such as peaches, grapes, pears, and apples are imported
and expensive. Wash fruit thoroughly before eating.
Fresh pasteurized milk and cream are available, but quality is
fair. Many Mission members prefer to buy shelf or powdered milk.
Limited varieties of local and imported cheeses are available.
Powdered and canned milk are also sold locally. Imported butter and
good locally produced butter and margarine are available. Buy these
items by known brand names and in places usually frequented by other
Americans or by home delivery.
A variety of local seafood is sold, but be sure it is fresh
before buying. Pacific Ocean shrimp are large and tasty, and
lobsters are available in season. Raw oysters are suspected of
causing some cases of hepatitis.
Tap water is not potable. Local firms weekly deliver bottled
drinking water, as well as beer, carbonated soft drinks, soda water,
and tonic by the case.
Clothing Last Updated: 11/23/2005 12:05 AM
Except for slightly cooler mornings and evenings during November,
December, and January, little temperature change occurs in San
Salvador. A lightweight wardrobe, however, should be augmented with
clothing suitable for travel to cooler areas such as Guatemala or
the U.S. during winter.
Bring an adequate supply of clothing. APO mail orders are used to
replace clothing, and delivery takes 4–6 weeks. International parcel
post is expensive and involves customs clearances. Certain Central
American readymade garments such as shirts, underwear, some
children’s clothing, and casual trousers are available and
satisfactory. Several local firms make acceptable quality shoes, but
sizes do not follow the U.S. scale. Larger and special sizes can be
difficult to find, but there are several Payless Shoes stores in the
city. ADOC Shoes, a local shoe factory, makes good-quality shoes of
all types that are sold in the U.S. under more expensive labels.
Local shoemakers can make made-to-measure leather boots well below
U.S. prices. Imported shoes are sometimes available but at higher
than U.S. prices.
Bring an umbrella for the rainy season. A warm robe and slippers
are useful. Clothing, especially leather, can mildew during the
rainy season. Do not use light bulbs in closets to counteract
mildew, as they are a fire hazard. Electric dehumidifier rods are
fireproof, more effective, and sold locally. Portable dehumidifiers
are useful for home storage areas.
Men Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:36 AM
Men wear lightweight clothing, such as tropical worsted, all
year. During cooler months, heavier suits of lightweight worsted are
suitable for evening outdoor parties. Officers, including the
Ambassador and DCM, rarely wear black dinner jackets. Officers
generally wear dark suits for cocktail parties and informal,
official receptions. Military officers wear both class B and BDU or
equivalent uniforms for normal duty and class A for evening
functions. For formal functions, officers wear dress mess or dress
Women Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:37 AM
Salvadoran society quickly reflects U.S. women’s fashion trends.
Simple cocktail dresses (long and short) are suitable for most
evening functions. Conservative, washable, cotton knits, and
synthetic-blend dresses should be made of durable material, as the
strong sunlight and frequent laundering make even good fabrics look
drab quickly. Good dry cleaning service is available through the
commissary. Boutique prices in San Salvador are higher than in the
U.S. Dresses are usually worn for official calls, luncheons, and
afternoon teas, even when an invitation suggests casual dress.
Slacks and pantsuits are worn extensively in the city and for
parties. Salvadoran functions are more formal, with Salvadoran women
wearing dresses or skirts. Hats and gloves are rare, since protocol
does not require them. Sweaters and woolen or synthetic stoles are
worn on cool evenings. Fur stoles are seldom worn. Polyester,
synthetic knits, and dresses with jackets are practical for
air-conditioned Chancery offices. The selection of accessories
available locally is limited, with prices slightly higher than in
A sewing machine is useful. Imported fabrics are more expensive
than good quality fabrics available locally. Although 100% cotton
fabric is hard to find and selection is limited, many dressmaker’s
supplies are available, but imported items are expensive. Bring
patterns, threads, zippers, buttons, and other sewing accessories.
Dressmakers of varying quality and price are available. Some can sew
from pictures rather than patterns and will sew in the purchaser’s
home. Prices are comparatively inexpensive.
Children Last Updated: 11/23/2005 12:05 AM
Bring children’s clothes in washable fabrics. Boys and girls wear
clothing similar to that worn in summer in the U.S. Satisfactory
children’s shoes are available locally, but the quality is below
that of the U.S. and replacements are required more often. An
adequate selection (mostly imported) of children’s clothing is
available locally, but sizes for tall or overweight children are
hard to find. Uniforms are required for all students attending the
American School (Escuela Americana), International School (Colegio
Internacional), or British School (Academia Británica). Children and
teenagers are invited to many parties.
Supplies and Services
Supplies Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:38 AM
A selection of toiletries such as toothpaste, deodorant,
hairspray, aspirin, shaving supplies, and personal feminine products
is available at the commissary. Eye care products (contact
solutions, cleaners) are sold locally. Name brand cosmetics, such as
Elizabeth Arden, Max Factor, Revlon, Helena Rubinstein, Lancome,
Clinique, and Christian Dior, are available but at much higher
prices than in the U.S. Bring special or preferred brands, or make
arrangements for additional shipments. U.S. brands sold here are not
always of the same quality as in the U.S. since they may be made in
Cribs, blankets, rubber sheeting, scales, bassinets, carriages,
feeding bottles, prepared foods, and diapers are available, but at
higher prices. Many employees prefer to ship these to post.
The commissary carries baby foods and supplies and disposable
diapers. The commissary also carries pet and housekeeping supplies
and paper products. Local stores have nearly all miscellaneous items
at slightly higher than U.S. prices.
Update all shots on pets before arrival, as some vaccines may not
be available locally.
Veterinary services abound; some veterinarians even make house
calls. Large clinics offer excellent services, including neutering
and emergency care. Many carry a large supply of pet products,
including leashes, airline carriers, and toys. Oral medications to
treat against fleas are available locally without a prescription, at
slightly lower than U.S. prices.
In addition, Price Smart, similar to Sam's Club, carries a wide
range of U.S. products.
The commissary offers members good dry cleaning and excellent
photo developing services. Color film is available at the
commissary; other photo supplies are available locally at higher
Other Commissary Services. The commissary video club, open to all
employees, offers VHS movies in English. The commissary also runs a
snackbar and provides a lifeguard at the swimming and kiddy pool on
the Mission compound. It is a popular place for Mission events, and
a weekend hangout for Mission families.
Basic Services Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:38 AM
Local tailors are reasonably competent, and the city has many
good dressmakers. Many city dry cleaners do acceptable work at
reasonable prices. Shoe repair facilities are also good.
Radio and TV service and parts and electrical appliance repairs
are available, but service is slow, expensive, and often
Several good hairdressers and barbershops operate locally with
imported products at below U.S. prices. Some personnel may prefer to
bring their own supplies, such as permanents, hair-coloring
Automobile repair service is satisfactory, but delays are likely
if spare parts must be imported. Poor road conditions may lead to
frequent tire problems, and local service stations may have
difficulty removing tires that have been mounted by air pressure.
Texaco, Shell, and Esso service stations in San Salvador sell
unleaded regular and unleaded premium gasoline along with diesel
fuel. The American Employees Association of El Salvador (AEAES)
operates a gasoline pump on the compound at a lower cost than
available in the city.
Domestic Help Last Updated: 11/23/2005 12:28 AM
Domestic help is available and usually found through personal
referrals. The prospective worker must provide letters of
recommendation from previous employers. Employers are responsible
for ensuring that any prospective worker secures a medical and
security clearance. Medical exams should include x-rays, blood,
urine, and stool tests, and should be performed every 6 months.
Employers should provide domestic workers with adequate room and
board. To the extent possible, the Mission recommends employers
abide by local labor laws. It is recommended that Mission employees
provide adequate training and supervise their domestic workers
closely. The welcome kit includes a Personnel Announcement
containing information on domestic employment conditions, wages, and
benefits. Single personnel generally employ one live-in cook/maid.
Depending on the family size, some personnel employ two domestic
workers, one to cook and one to clean. Live-out rates are usually
higher than live-in rates. The current average salary for a live-in
maid is $163 per month, with monthly salaries ranging from $126 to
$205. The average salary for live-out domestic help is $167 per
month, with monthly salaries ranging from $126 to $204. Personnel
living in houses usually also employ a gardener for 1 or 2 days a
week depending on the size of the garden. The cost of gardening
services varies widely, with some Mission members paying $9 for 1
day and others paying $10 for 2 days.
In addition to salary, the employer provides food or a food
allowance, uniforms, and lodging for live-in maids. A legally
required Christmas bonus is paid on December 12 of each year,
depending on the length of service. After a continuous year of
service in the same household, domestic workers are entitled to a
15-day paid vacation period, in accordance with the Salvadoran labor
laws. Domestic workers are entitled to 75% of base pay when sick and
unable to work up to a maximum of 60 calendar days, depending on
years of service. Employers should pay medical expenses at very
reasonable fees. These medical services can be obtained through the
public medical units of the Salvadoran Ministry of Health located
throughout the city. Domestics must be enrolled in any of the
private pension funds. Some Mission members elect to pay the
employee’s share of their retirement contributions as well. Specific
contribution rates are contained in the Personnel Announcement on
The CLO maintains a database of domestic help (day maids, live-in
maids, gardeners, and drivers) that are recommended by Mission
families. The list can be e-mailed by request.
Religious Activities Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:40 AM
El Salvador is predominantly Roman Catholic, with many Catholic
churches in San Salvador. Many Baptist and evangelical churches also
conduct services in Spanish. In addition, Seventh-day Adventists,
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon), and
Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations exist. An orthodox/conservative
Jewish group in the city conducts services on Friday evenings and
A Catholic priest conducts a regular mass in English at a
centrally located church, which is attended mostly by Mission
The Episcopal Church conducts Sunday services in English, and
interdenominational Protestant services in English are held weekly
at the Union Church of San Salvador. The Union Church also sponsors
a Sunday School.
At Post Last Updated: 11/23/2005 11:49 AM The local education
system contains both public and private schools. The
Spanish-language curriculum prepares students for entrance into
Salvadoran universities. Few children of U.S. Government employees
attend these schools.
The majority of Embassy students attend the Escuela Americana.
Other schools attended by Embassy Children include the Academia
Britanica Cuscatleca (ABC), Colegio Los Robles, and Colegio
Internacional. There are excellent French and German Schools in the
area; however, no embassy children currently attend these schools.
The Escuela Americana in San Salvador is a coeducational,
bilingual, college preparatory school and is accredited by a US
regional accrediting agency (Southern Association of Schools and
Colleges). The school (K-12) follows the semester system. Classes
begin in mid-August and end in early June. There is a two-week break
for the holidays in December. There are advanced placement classes
offered at school. A copy of the school survey is on the file in
Department's overseas briefing center. Though the school gives
admission preference to children of US Mission personnel, all
children are required to take an admission test and meet minimum
entrance requirements. The testing requirement cannot be waived. The
embassy asks that parents respect the school's policy and scheduling
of these exams. This school is K-12 and has approximately 1600
students, largely Salvadorans. The US Embassy currently has around
50 students attending.
The Trojan Learning Center is available for children with mild
learning disabilities. The center is located on the grounds of the
Escuela Americana and accommodates children who need additional
instruction in classes. The CLO would like to inform families that
children with severe learning disabilities would be a disadvantage
in San Salvador 's learning environment. Parents of children with
anything more that a mild learning disability should contact Post
and the local schools to determine if your child can be accomodated.
Medications and other types of support systems needed for these
children are not readily availabe in country.
The school does not have boarding or cafeteria (hot lunch)
facilities; however, hotdogs, hamburgers, and some other foods are
sold. Most children take their lunches. Bring a good supply of
soccer or tennis shoes for children interested in participating in
soccer. The school has no swimming pool.
The International School (Colegio Internacional-CISS) offers an
American education at the elementary and secondary levels. American
education methods are used from kindergarten through grade 12. The
school is headed by an American director and American principal and
is staffed by American and Salvadoran teachers. The school, housed
on an acre, averages 325 students. The education allowance provides
for tuition for kindergarten through grade 12. Some programs are
available for children with special learning problems. The high
school curriculum is college preparatory.
Each child must pass an entrance exam before actual enrollment.
Uniforms are required for all grades. The school does not have
boarding or cafeteria (hot lunches). Most children take their
lunches. The school has a swimming pool, and offers an extensive
after-school program that includes soccer, basketball, riding
lessons, piano lessons, sign language, cooking, and arts and crafts.
The Christian Academy, which has a total enrollment of about 45
students, serves grades kindergarten through grade 8. School
sessions run from mid-August to the end of May, with a month’s
recess over Christmas. The school offers an American curriculum and
has the advantage of having small classes and is popular for
offering individualized teaching. Students are mostly Canadian and
American. Uniforms are not required. The school offers tennis and
swimming twice a week. It does not have a cafeteria. The school is
located in Colonia Escalon in a large converted house with a
swimming pool. Ms. Hazel Brownlie, a New Zealander, is the director
and can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone
(011–503) 263–0388. The majority of Embassy elementary-age children
attend the Christian Academy.
American children attend three or four private Salvadoran
preschools. Costs usually include basic initiation and monthly fees.
These schools have bilingual (English/Spanish) staffs, but most
activities are conducted in Spanish. These schools are heavily
attended by Salvadorans and some have waiting lists.
Away From Post Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:43 AM San Salvador is
authorized an away-from-post educational allowance for grades 9 to
12. No boarding schools are available nearby. The only schools away
from post used by children of U.S. Government employees posted to
San Salvador are in the U.S.
Higher Education Opportunities Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:43 AM
Special educational facilities in El Salvador are limited.
Americans rarely attend local universities.
The Instituto Superior Americano, a private nonsectarian,
coeducational institution, offers a liberal studies curriculum,
leading to a B.A. or local Licenciatura degree after 4 or 5 years.
The Instituto, while approved by the Ministry of Education, is not
accredited in the U.S., but more than 50 U.S. universities have
accepted its credits.
Local teachers offer private lessons in painting, crafts, ballet,
tae kwon do, and music. The American School offers ballet in its
Recreation and Social Life
Sports Last Updated: 11/23/2005 11:51 AM
El Salvador's climate make outdoor recreational activities
possible year round. The Embassy compound offres many recreational
options including a large, heated, swimming pool complex (with kiddy
pool and a snack bar), a gym, two lighted tennis courts and a soccer
field with an Embassy soccer league. The Embassy also fields a
softball team that plays other Salvadoran teams. Most private sports
facilities in San Salvador are affiliated with social clubs.
Membership costs vary from expensive to moderate. Some clubs in El
Salvador have limited memberships, and others require applicants to
be sponsored by a member in good standing. Keep in mind costs,
facilities, and security considerations before deciding on a club.
The World Gym, conveniently located near the Embassy, is an
American franchise inaugurated in 2000. They have modern equipment,
professional trainers, aerobic classes, and parking. They offer very
reasonable prices to Embassy personnel, including discounts on
memberships. Costs include a $30 registration fee and $58 monthly
fee. A quarterly fee of $130 can be paid in advance, avoiding the
registration fee. This includes use of all facilities (Gym, Squash,
Sauna, etc.) for indefinite periods and they also have Aerobics,
Yoga, Pilates, etc.
Club Salvadoreño maintains clubhouses at two out-of-town
locations: Corinto at Lake Ilopango and a Pacific beach pavilion
west of La Libertad, El Zunzal. Both have restaurant facilities,
swimming pools, and cabins that will accommodate at least four
people (two double bedrooms). The cabins are furnished with
refrigerators, stoves, and bathroom with shower, but no linens or
dishes. Some are air-conditioned. Corinto is the only 18-hole golf
course in El Salvador, and has an excellent layout. The club is also
building a driving range and restaurant complex near the Embassy.
The cost to Embassy members is about $100/month plus an additional
$35/month for unlimited golf. Caddies are an additional $15 per
round and are mandatory. Your membership grants access to both
facilities and you can play Club Campestre twice a month for an
additional $15/round charge.
Club Maya is located close to the Embassy in Ciudad Merliot and
is primarily a tennis club. It has 10 clay courts, squash and
racquetball, swimming pool, gym, and restaurant and bar. Members may
arrange for private parties. The club costs about $85/month plus a
biannual $690 registration fee.
The Club Campestre Cuscatlan has a 9-hole, in-town golf course, a
swimming pool, four tennis courts, two squash courts, and a
restaurant. Campestre is expensive with special Embassy rate is
$3,000.00 per year and $90/month for unlimited golf. Caddies are an
additional $15 per round and are mandatory.
The Circulo Deportivo Internacional has a restaurante, large
banquet hall, nightclub,card room, 2 swimming pools (one Olympic
size), five tennis courts, four squash courts, basketball courts,
volleyball court, and a children's playground. It also has a
facility, Balsamar, on one of the Pacific beaches. The club requires
a $2,285 one time registration fee and $115 monthly fee (Quarterly
payments can be made).
Private clubs provide instruction in many sports, including
swimming, tennis, squash, and golf. San Salvador has several flying
schools that offer year-round flying. Riding lessons are available
at the Jockey Club and at Tres Marias Riding school.
Motorboating, small-boat sailing, wind surfing, and water skiing
are popular sports on Lake Coatepeque, but you need to have a
contact with access to the lake or rent one of the many houses for
the weekend. Club Salvadoreño has a dock and access to Lake Ilopango
and offers sailing and water skiing options if you have your own
boat. Surfers use Pacific Ocean beaches and Club Salvadoreño has
access to one of the favorite spots for surfing.
Soccer, El Salvador’s most popular spectator sport, is played
nearly every Wednesday and Sunday in a local stadium. The Mission
has several soccer teams, with both FSN and Mission members. The El
Salvador National Softball League welcomes Mission members to assist
with coaching, and there is a Softball League for men over 50.
Most sports equipment and clothing are available locally, but
prices are high and selections is limited. You should plan to bring
most or all equipment and clothing to post with you.
Touring and Outdoor Activities Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:46 AM
San Salvador is an R&R post. In accordance with revised
regulations, employees and EFMs may select any city in the
continental U.S. as their R&R destination. If the employee chooses a
U.S. destination outside the 48 contiguous states or other
destination abroad, cost constructive travel to the designated
relief point will be used in this case. For San Salvador, the
designated relief point is Miami, Florida.
El Salvador has several interesting scenic and recreational
areas, but few have attractive overnight accommodations. Public
parks in various parts of the country have picnic and swimming
facilities. These are often overcrowded on Sundays and Salvadoran
The most frequently visited places are Lake Ilopango, a large
crater lake about 10 miles east of San Salvador, with both public
and private recreational facilities; Lake Coatepeque, a similar lake
about 40 miles to the west; and Cerro Verde, a mountaintop park with
a spectacular view of the Volcano Izalco and surrounding
countryside. All are accessible for a day’s outing.
The beaches near La Libertad, about 23 miles west of San Salvador
on the Pacific, are popular but can also be treacherous because of
the strong undertow, unpredictable currents, and the possibility of
sharks near the shore. The Costa del Sol is on a spit of land with
the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Jaltepeque Estuary on the
other. Some hotels located in Costa del Sol such as Hotel Tesoro
Beach, Suites Jaltepeque, and Bahia del Sol are about 1½ hours from
the capital. The hotels offer restaurant facilities, freshwater
pools, marina, and overnight accommodations. Certain beaches have
private clubs where Mission personnel are members. Other personnel
share the cost of renting a beach house for weekend recreation. The
topography of El Salvador’s beaches stretches from flat white sands
to cliffs with private coves to volcanic rock.
Deep-sea fishing is gaining popularity with the Salvadorans.
Several entrepreneurs charter small very basic boats, complete with
equipment and bait, at the port of Acajutla, which is frequented by
Mission members. Mission members have started the tag-and-release
program for sailfish. With increased popularity, the cost has
increased, but remains reasonable compared to U.S. prices. A fishing
license is not required.
For tennis, swimming, squash, and golf, Mission members join one
or more of the local clubs. Services and facilities vary, with some
clubs offering only squash or tennis courts and others offering a
full range of amenities (restaurants, tennis, golf, swimming, and
fitness rooms). Entry prices and monthly dues vary from expensive to
reasonable. Private gyms, which offer Nautilus equipment and
aerobics classes, are also scattered in residential areas.
The National Archeological Museum has a collection of
pre-Columbian artifacts. An Indian pyramid at Tazumal is located
near Santa Ana; another is near San Andres. The most prestigious
recent archeological find is Joya de Ceren, an entire city preserved
in volcanic ash. The site is still under excavation.
Entertainment Last Updated: 11/23/2005 11:54 AM
The Zona Rosa is a popular local and tourist attraction, located
in Colonia San Benito and frequented by the younger set. The wide
avenue running through the Zona Rosa has antique street lamps
providing ample lighting and atmosphere. Small boutiques and shops
carry imported inventories, catering to U.S. tastes. Restaurants and
the majority of discotheques are located in this area. Salvadorans
go out late in the evening, and most restaurants are not crowded
until after 8 p.m. At times, it may be hard to be served at 6 p.m.,
as restaurants are not yet ready for the evening crowd.
Other entertainment facilities in San Salvador include several
new U.S.-style multiscreen cinemas, such as Cinemark, that show
American, Latin American, and European films (with Spanish
subtitles). A growing schedule of cultural events (concerts and
theater) is also available. The larger hotels, with dinner clubs and
discotheques, are popular.
The Teatro Presidente, a large theater in the Colonia San Benito
area of San Salvador, is popular for concerts.
There are good restaurants throughout San Salvador, including
around the Embassy. Among those patronized by Americans are Alo
Nuestro, Paradise, Tony Roma’s, La Pampa, and El Bodegon, for local
specialties and continental-style dining. For more informal dining,
Guadalajara Grill, Los Cebollines, and Ay Jalisco offer Mexican
food; Cuatro Gatti, El Rosal, Tre Fratelli, offer Italian food; for
Japanese, there’s Sushi Itto; Dynasty, Chinatown, Restaurant Asia,
and Hunan offer good-to-excellent Chinese food. Fast food options
include Pizza Hut, Little Caesar’s Pizza, Domino’s Pizza, Burger
King, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, KFC and Biggest. Bresslers, I Can’t
Believe It’s Yogurt, and POP’s Ice Cream offer ice creams; Subway
and Submarine's serve good deli sandwiches, and Pollo Campero has
Blockbuster video rental has several locations, and other local
video clubs offer a large selection of VHS titles available in
Spanish and English.
Among Americans Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:48 AM Social
activities among Americans are informal and consist mainly of
private parties, dinners, cocktail parties, and picnics.
The American Women’s Association has been active in various
charitable activities; all English-speaking women in San Salvador,
including dependents and employees associated with the U.S. Mission,
are eligible for membership.
International Contacts Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:48 AM
Third-country nationals are met informally through friends and on
social occasions. Opportunities for charity work in San Salvador may
be coordinated through the American Women’s Association. Various
churches also participate in charity work. The American Society is a
charitable organization that renders assistance to orphanages and
stranded U.S. citizens. This group sponsors a popular community
Fourth of July recreational event.
Nature of Functions Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:49 AM
Socially, San Salvador is an informal post with few “must”
occasions for American personnel except for higher ranking officers.
Officers and staff personnel below the section chief level
receive few invitations to national day receptions or to Salvadoran
Government official functions. Official and semiofficial parties
range from small dinners to larger receptions. Dress for men is
usually a dark business suit. Women wear either short or long
Mission Members are expected to support higher ranking officials
at formal social functions.
Standards of Social Conduct Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:49 AM
The standards of conduct at official and social events in San
Salvador are similar to those in the U.S. The Embassy provides
specific guidance on local social customs on arrival. Business cards
and invitations may be printed here at reasonable rates. Only
members of the Mission at the counselor level and above are notified
to other diplomatic missions and to the Foreign Office by diplomatic
note. Other diplomatic-list personnel are introduced through section
Special Information Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:50 AM
Military personnel should wear civilian clothing on entry into
and departing El Salvador. Duty uniform is required in conducting of
temporary duty missions. Exceptions are granted by MILGP Commander.
Post Orientation Program
The Human Resources Office (HRO) assigns an official sponsor to
introduce new employees to their working colleagues. The CLO
provides a social sponsor to help new family members acquaint
themselves with the city. An annual general orientation program and
weekly security briefings provide additional information on the
functions and programs of the Embassy in El Salvador. A welcome
package, which includes a Health and Information booklet and Housing
booklet, is provided to newly arrived personnel. School and
additional information is provided by the CLO in a welcome letter
sent to Mission members upon assignment. The CLO also administers
the post’s annual orientation program, which usually takes place in
September, upon completion of the summer transfer cycle.
The HRO is the Post’s Language Officer. The Post’s Language
Program is administered by USAID. Classes start in September and end
in June of the following year. Priority is given to employees who
have not reached the language designation of their positions.
Depending on space and funding availability, eligible family members
may also be enrolled in the Spanish Language Program. Private
Spanish tutors are available in the community. All employees and
dependents should obtain Spanish language training, if possible,
before arrival. Some knowledge of Spanish is essential for managing
domestic staff, shopping, and enjoying local cultural and sporting
Notes For Travelers
Getting to the Post Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:51 AM
San Salvador can be reached by commercial airline (the most
common mode of travel to post) from any part of the U.S. via
Washington, D.C., Miami, New Orleans, Houston, Los Angeles, and
Atlanta. Be sure that travel complies with the Fly America Act.
Unaccompanied baggage shipped via air from the U.S. takes about 2–4
weeks to arrive at post. Pack belongings either in trunks or other
heavy-duty, waterproofed, banded containers. It usually takes less
than 1 week to clear a shipment of unaccompanied baggage through
customs. Observe normal shipping and packing precautions when
shipping effects to El Salvador. Consign effects as follows:
American Embassy Name of Employee San Salvador, El Salvador,
Send the original airway bill or bill of lading and a packing
list for all shipments to the Embassy in advance. Without an
original document the Embassy will be unable to arrange duty-free
entry or customs clearance. The original airway bill or bill of
lading used is the one received locally by the airline.
Use liftvans for surface shipments. Most shipments originating in
the U.S. are sent to Miami, usually by truck, where they are
containerized for shipment via Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala,
and then overland to San Salvador. Combined truck and sea shipment
(sea from Miami) requires 6–8 weeks from Washington, D.C. Local
storage for air and surface shipments is limited; therefore, plan
your arrival to coincide with the arrival of your HHE.
Any car imported for personal use by U.S. Government personnel
must be inconspicuous and unostentatious. If you are shipping a car
with tinted windows, please contact post first to confirm that your
car complies with local law. Ship all cars through the U.S. Despatch
Agent in Miami in containers. Consign bills of lading as follows:
American Embassy Name of Employee San Salvador, El Salvador,
If not so consigned, employees may encounter difficulty with
registration. All Embassy and USAID employees may import one car
duty free. An original bill of sale or invoice must be submitted for
customs clearance. Be sure to bring original bills of sale or
invoices to post.
The original title or certificate of origin is required to obtain
license plates. Hand carry it. If there is any problem obtaining the
original document, contact the GSO or Customs unit by phone, fax,
telegram, or e-mail.
Customs, Duties, and Passage
Customs and Duties Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:52 AM
U.S. Government employees pay no import duties on HHE or personal
property; effects are released from customs on presentation of a
custom’s clearance document (“poliza”) processed by the Embassy.
Temporary duty employees do not have duty-free entry privileges.
Contract employees serving less than 2 years may not be
authorized to ship HHE or a car to post. Housing and other
allowances are furnished according to the contract. Contract
personnel with regular passports may be required by local law to pay
duties on new articles purchased by them and imported into El
Salvador, but this is unusual.
Customs regulations are currently being updated and procedures or
regulations are subject to change on short notice.
Passage Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:53 AM
The Salvadoran Ministry of Foreign Affairs requires a Salvadoran
visa of all foreigners who wish to enter El Salvador. U.S. personnel
entering with diplomatic or official passports must have a valid
visa. Personnel entering with tourist passports must have either a
Salvadoran visa or may purchase a tourist card. Tourist cards, valid
for 90 days, are available for a $10 fee from Salvadoran consulates
in the U.S., from airlines serving El Salvador, or may be purchased
upon arrival at the El Salvador Airport or at any land border
crossing. The departure fee via commercial airlines is $27 for
ordinary or official passports. Bearers of diplomatic passports are
exempt. The Human Resources Office will request multiple entry visas
for employees and their eligible family members upon arrival at
post. Bring at least six pictures of yourself, three of your spouse
and dependents over age 2. The size of the pictures should be 1”x1”.
Regular U.S. passport-size photos are too large and only delay
processing until smaller pictures can be obtained. The Human
Resources Office will arrange for an identity carnet from the
Salvadoran Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The GSO assists employees in
getting Salvadoran drivers licenses, automobile license plates, and
car insurance, as well as customs clearance of personal effects and
HHE. Third party liability insurance can be obtained through the
American Employees Association of El Salvador (AEAES).
No plant or animal products from countries infected with
hoof-and-mouth disease may be imported.
Pets Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:55 AM
Requirements for the importation of pets include:
Certificate of Health issued by an authorized veterinarian in
which it is stated that the pet has been clinically examined and
that it is apparently healthy and free of any infecto-transmissible
disease and parasites. This certificate must be issued no more than
8 days before the shipment takes place.
Certificate of Vaccination (for dogs and cats): The animal must
be vaccinated against rabies no more than 365 days and no less than
30 days before shipment; this must be stated in a special
certificate or in the health certificate.
For dogs: infectious hepatitis vaccination certificate, dated no
more than 365 days and no less than 30 days before shipment.
Leptospirosis vaccination certificate, dated no more than 365 days
and no less than 30 days before shipment. Parvovirosis
gastroenteritis vaccination certificate, dated no more than 180 days
and no less than 30 days before shipment. Distemper vaccination
certificate, dated no more than 365 days and no less than 30 days
before shipment. Certificate stating that the dog has been treated
against ecto- and endoparasites, dated no more than 180 days and no
less than 30 days before shipment.
For cats: A health certificate signed by a veterinarian dated 8
days before shipment. Feline panleucopenia vaccination certificate
dated no more than 180 days and no less than 30 days before
shipment. Certificate stating that the cat has been treated against
ecto- and endoparasites, dated no more than 180 days and no less
than 30 days before shipment.
For birds: A health certificate signed by a veterinarian dated 8
days before shipment. Birds under threat of extinction cannot be
brought into El Salvador unless they were born in authorized
captivity. The above-mentioned documents must be obtained from an
authorized veterinarian and they must be certified by USDA/APHIS. If
you have any questions regarding shipment, contact the Embassy’s
Shipping and Customs Section at (011–503) 278–4444, ext. 2817.
Shipping and Customs can also be reached through APO or e-mail. The
APO address is: American Embassy San Salvador, Shipping and Customs,
Unit 3102, APO AA 34023.
Firearms and Ammunition Last Updated: 1/14/2004 12:56 AM
Opportunities for sporting/recreational use of firearms are
severely limited. No big game exists here, and small game, even
doves and ducks, is rare. Only personnel who can demonstrate that
they receive regular firearms training from an accredited government
institution will be authorized to import a firearm. Firearms
approvals are normally granted to U.S. law enforcement personnel and
U.S. military personnel on a case-by-case basis. However, any
Mission member may request firearm authorization in accordance with
the Mission’s firearm policy (submit a request in writing to the
Ambassador through the RSO). No firearms should be shipped to post
that have not been specifically approved, in writing, by the
Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures Last Updated:
1/14/2004 12:57 AM
The monetary unit of El Salvador is the colon, but in January
2001 the U.S. dollar was made legal tender and the exchange rate was
fixed by law at 8.75 colones= US$1. Both currencies (bills and
coins) now circulate freely with all prices denominated in both.
Payment within the country can be made in colones or in U.S.
dollars. While the colon may eventually disappear, it is still
preferred by many small vendors. Like the U.S. dollar, the colon is
based on the decimal system. Bills are issued in units of 200 (the
highest), 100, 50, 25, 10, and 5 colones and coins are denominated
in 1 colon and 50, 25, 10, 5, and 2 centavos.
Exporting colones is subject to exchange control laws and
requires the permission of the Central Reserve Bank for statistical
purposes. Several commercial banks provide the usual banking
services, such as checking and savings accounts, charge cards, and
cashier checks. Dollar savings accounts may be established locally;
ATM machines are common. Personnel arriving from abroad may import
up to $500 per trip.
El Salvador officially uses the metric system of weights and
measures, but because of its proximity to the U.S. and the amount of
trade between the two countries, U.S. standards are also used.
Gasoline, for example, is sold by such outlets as Esso, Shell, and
Texaco in U.S. gallons, rather than in liters. Foodstuffs are
generally sold by the pound.
Taxes, Exchange, and Sale of Property Last Updated: 1/14/2004
El Salvador has no duty-free restrictions on imported items, but
all imported items, particularly those of high resale value, must be
for the employee’s use and cannot be imported solely for sale. In
accordance with post’s internal procedures, the intended sale of
personal property must be approved by the administrative counselor
prior to the sale.
Sales of automobiles are restricted by Salvadoran law and the
Ambassador. One duty-free vehicle may be imported per tour. A tour
is considered to be the length of time an employee is in the
country, regardless of whether the assignment is interrupted by home
leave. Tandem couples may import two vehicles; however only one
vehicle may be sold at the end of both tours. Employees must request
permission to sell vehicles and must report the sale of their
El Salvador permits the sale of a vehicle imported duty-free
under the following conditions:
To another person entitled to duty-free entry on receipt of
vehicle; no time limitation involved.
To a person without duty-free privileges 6 months after the
vehicle clears customs if the owner is permanently transferred from
the country; the 6- month period is not excepted.
After the car has been in the country and cleared by customs for
2 years, it can be sold duty-free. Exemption to the Value Added Tax
(VAT). Effective December 1993, the Office of Internal Revenues
through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador authorized
the issuance of the IVA tax (VAT) exemption card for diplomatic
personnel of all accredited missions in El Salvador.
This card is given to accredited personnel (diplomatic,
administrative, and technical staff) of the U.S. Embassy in El
Salvador upon arrival at post, and must be returned to the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs upon departure. This card permits the local 13%
IVA tax exemption when acquiring goods and services within El
Salvador (supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations, etc.) at point of
This IVA card is not transferable; it is issued in the employee’s
name, and includes his/her photograph and signature.
This does not apply to USAID employees and contractors (with the
exception of the Mission Director and Deputy Director). USAID has
its own mechanisms for VAT exemption.
For official purchases and/or payment for official services, post
utilizes the official purchaser's IVA tax exemption card.
Drivers License. The Carnet of Identity, obtained for all
personnel by the Embassy, contains a page designated as a Salvadoran
drivers license. After the Carnet is issued by the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, the Transit Police will validate the license page
upon presentation of a valid U.S. or other drivers license.
Salvadorans under the age of 18 are not issued a drivers license.
Thus, although Mission dependents under 18 may have a U.S. drivers
license, they cannot be issued a Salvadoran license except by
special arrangement with the Transit Police.
All personnel are strongly urged to establish and maintain a
checking account in a bank in the U.S. Those traveling to El
Salvador should have sufficient funds to cover expenses during the
first month after arrival. Personal checks (no third-party checks
are accepted) drawn on U.S. banks are cashed free for either dollars
or Salvadoran colones by a branch of the Banco Cuscatlan located in
the Chancery and USAID buildings. The Bank also sells travelers
checks without commission.
Recommended Reading Last Updated: 1/14/2004 1:00 PM
These titles are provided as a general indication of the material
published in this country. The Department of State does not endorse
Adams, Richard N. Cultural Surveys of Panama, Nicaragua,
Alexander, Robert J. Communism in Latin America. Rutgers
University Press: New Brunswick, 1957.
Anderson, Thomas P. Matanza: El Salvador's Communist Revolt of
1932. University of Nebraska Press: 1971.
Politics in Central America: Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras,
and Nicaragua. Praeger: New York, 1982.
The War of the Dispossessed-Honduras and El Salvador 1969.
University of Nebraska Press: 1981.
Bacevich, A.J., et. al. American Military Policy in Small Wars:
The Case of El Salvador. Pergamon-Brasseys: Washington, D.C., 1988.
Baloyra, Enrique. El Salvador in Transition. University of North
Carolina Press: Chapel Hill, 1982.
Blutstein, Howard L., Elinor C. Betters, John Cobb, Jr., Jonathan
A. Leonard, and Charles M. Townsend. El Salvador: A Country Study.
(Foreign Area Studies—The American University). U.S. Government
Printing Office: Washington, D.C., 1979.
Booth, John A. and Mitchell A. Seligson. Elections and Democracy
in Central America. University of North Carolina Press: Chapel Hill,
Browning, David. El Salvador: Landscape and Society. Oxford
University Press: New York, 1971.
Chomsky, Noam. Turning the Tide: U.S. Intervention in Central
America and the Struggle for Peace. South End Press: Boston, 1985.
Dalton, Roque. Miguel Marmol: Los Sucesos de 1932 en El Salvador.
Universidad Centro Americana: San Salvador, 1965.
Devine, Frank. Embassy Under Attack. Vantage Press: 1981.
Dunkerley, James. Power in the Isthmus: A Political History of
Modern Central America. University of California Press: Berkeley,
The Long War: Dictatorship and Revolution in El Salvador. Verso:
Falcoff, Mark and Robert Royd (editors). The Continuing Crisis:
U.S. Policy in Central America. Ethics and Public Policy Center:
Karnes, Thomas L. The Failure of Union: Central America,
1824–1960. University of North Carolina Press: Chapel Hill, 1961.
Krauss, Clifford. Inside Central America: Its People, Politics,
and History. Summit Books: 1991.
Leiken, Robert and Rubin Barry (editors). The Central American
Crisis Reader. Summit Books: New York, 1987.
Montgomery, Tommie Sue. Revolution in El Salvador: Origins and
Evolution. Westview Press (2d ed.): Boulder, 1988.
Munro, Dana G. Intervention and Dollar Diplomacy in the
Caribbean, 1900–1929. Princeton University Press: Princeton, 1964.
Parkman, Patricia. Nonviolent Insurrection in El Salvador: The
Fall of Maximillian Hernandez Martinet. The University of Arizona
Press: Tucson, 1986.
Perez-Brignoli, Hector, trs. by Ricardo B. Sawrey and Susana
Stettri de Sawrey. A Brief History of Central America. University of
California Press: Berkeley, 1989.
Sheehan, Edward R. F. Agony in the Garden: A Stranger in Central
America. Houghton-Mifflin Co.: Boston, 1989.
Stephens, John Lloyd. Travels in Central America, Chiapas and
Yucatan. Rutgers University Press: New Brunswick, 1981 (reprint of
Weber, Stephen. Jose Napoleon Duarte and the Christian Democratic
Party in Salvadoran Politics, 1960–1972. Louisiana State University
White, Alistair. El Salvador. Praeger: New York, 1973.
Woodward, Ralph Lee, Jr. Central America: A Nation Divided.
Oxford University Press (2d ed.): New York, 1985.
Local Holidays Last Updated: 9/19/2005 11:35 AM
New Year’s Day Jan1 Holy Thursday Thursaday before Easter Good
Friday Friday before Easter Easter Saturday Saturday before Easter
Salvadoran Labor Day May 1 Feast of San Salvador Aug. 3, 4, 5, 6
Salvadoran Independence Day September 15 All Soul’ Day November 2
Christmas Holiday December 25