This music includes religious songs (mostly Roman Catholic) used to celebrate Christmas and other holidays, especially feast days of the saints. Satirical and rural lyrical themes are common. Popular styles in modern El Salvador include salsa, cumbia, hip hop and reggaeton.
El Salvador lies along the Pacific Ring of Fire, and is thus subject to significant tectonic activity, including frequent earthquakes and volcanic activity. Recent examples include the earthquake on January 13, 2001, that measured 7.7 on the Richter scale and caused a landslide that killed more than eight hundred people; and another earthquake only a month after the first one, February 13, 2001, killing 255 people and damaging about 20% of the nation’s housing. Luckily, many families were able to find safety from the landslides caused by the earthquake.
The San Salvador area has been hit by earthquakes in 1576, 1659, 1798, 1839, 1854, 1873, 1880, 1917, 1919, 1965, 1986, 2001 and 2005. The 5.7 -earthquake of 1986 resulted in 1,500 deaths, 10,000 injuries, and 100,000 people left homeless.
El Salvador’s most recent destructive volcanic eruption took place on October 1, 2005, when the Santa Ana Volcano spewed up a cloud of ash, hot mud and rocks, which fell on nearby villages and caused two deaths.The most severe volcanic eruption in this area occurred in the 5th century A.D. when the Ilopango erupted with a VEI strength of 6, producing widespread pyroclastic flows and devastating Mayan cities.
El Salvador’s position on the Pacific Ocean also makes it subject to severe weather conditions, including heavy rainstorms and severe droughts, both of which may be made more extreme by the El Niño and La Niña effects. In the summer of 2001, a severe drought destroyed 80% of the country’s crops, causing famine in the countryside. On October 4, 2005, severe rains resulted in dangerous flooding and landslides, which caused a minimum of fifty deaths. El Salvador’s location in Central America also makes it vulnerable to hurricanes coming off the Caribbean, however this risk is much less than for other Central American countries.
The Santa Ana Volcano in El Salvador is currently dormant, but while it was still erupting it was very dangerous. Lago de Coatepeque (one of El Salvador’s lakes) was caused by a massive eruption.
El Salvador has a tropical climate with pronounced wet and dry seasons. Temperatures vary primarily with elevation and show little seasonal change. The Pacific lowlands are uniformly hot; the central plateau and mountain areas are more moderate. The rainy season extends from May to October. Almost all the annual rainfall occurs during this time, and yearly totals, particularly on southern-facing mountain slopes, can be as high as 217 centimeters (85 in).
Protected areas and the central plateau receive less, although still significant, amounts. Rainfall during this season generally comes from low pressure over the Pacific and usually falls in heavy afternoon thunderstorms. Hurricanes occasionally form in the Pacific with the notable exception of Hurricane Mitch.
From November through April, the northeast trade winds control weather patterns. During these months, air flowing from the Caribbean has lost most of the precipitation while passing over the mountains in Honduras. By the time this air reaches El Salvador, it is dry, hot, and hazy.
Motto: ”Dios, Unión, Libertad” (“God, Union, Freedom”)
Telephone companies (market share): Tigo (45%), Claro (25%), Movistar (24%), Digicel (5.5%), Red (0.5%).
Population: July 2009 estimate 5,744,113
National flower: Flor de Izote, nationals eat this flower.
A drink that Salvadorians love is chuco, usually made out of purple corn. Chuco is made by soaking purple corn in water, then blending it and cooking the corn over a medium fire. The thickened drink is called chuco. A toping of toasted pumpkin seeds blended into a think liquid and boiled black beans are added to the drink.
El Salvador’s most notable dish is the pupusa. Pupusas are a thick hand-made corn tortilla (made using masa de maíz or masa de arroz,( a maize or rice flour dough used in Latin American cuisine) stuffed with one or more of the following: cheese (usually a soft Salvadoran cheese, a popular example is Quesillo con loroco,or mozarella), chicharrón, and refried beans. Loroco is a vine flower bud native to Central America.
There are also vegetarian options, beans, or a combo of cheese and beans. Some adventurous restaurants even offer pupusas stuffed with shrimp or fish.
Pupusa comes from the pipil-nahuatl word, pupushahua. The pupusa’s exact origins are debated, although its presence in El Salvador is known to predate the arrival of Spaniards.
Panes rellenos (turkey or chicken sandwiches) are warm submarines. The turkey/chicken is marinated and then roasted with Pipil spices and handpulled. This sandwich is traditionally served with turkey/chicken, tomato, radish, cucumber, lettuce and watercress along with mayonnaise and mustard.
One of the most noticeable breakfast plate that El Salvador has is fried plantain, usually accompanied with beans and cream. It is one of El Salvador’s great dishes in breakfasts.This plate is really common in Salvadorian restaurants and homes extending also to the United States.
With the government of ARENA and the unsuccessful attempts of the left-wing party to win an election, they decided to change their tradition by selecting as a candidate, a journalist instead of one of their former guerrilla leaders. On March 15, 2009, Mauricio Funes, a television figure not associated with left-wing militias, became the first president from the FMLN party. He was inaugurated on June 1, 2009. One focus of the Funes government is revealing the alleged corruption from the past government.
Yuca frita, which is deep fried cassava root served with curtido (a pickled cabbage, onion and carrot topping) and pork rinds or pescaditos (fried baby sardines). The Yuca is sometimes served boiled instead of fried.