Portal:El Salvador

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The El Salvador Portal

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The Salvadoran coat of arms
The administrative divisions of El Salvador

El Salvador is a country in Central America with a population of 7,066,403 according to July 2008 estimates <ref:The WorldFactook>. It is bordered to the west by Guatemala, to the north and east by Honduras, and to the south by the Pacific Ocean. It is the most densely populated nation on the American mainland (especially in its capital, San Salvador), and also the most industrialized country in Central America. Its official name is Republic of El Salvador (Spanish: República de El Salvador, IPA: [re'puβlika ðe el salβa'ðor]). The country was named after the Spanish word for "The Saviour", in honor of Jesus Christ, and its territory was known prehispanically as Cuscatlán.

El Salvador is located in the coordinates 13 50 N, 88 55 W, enjoying tropical weather, with a rainy season that runs from May to October and a dry season that goes from November to April. The weather is tropical on the coast and moderate temperate in uplands. The area of the country is about 21,040 km2, comparing to a USA area it is slightly smaller than Massachusetts. Of the total area, 20,720 km2 is land and 320 km2 is water. El Salvador has a total of 545 km of boundaries, of which 203 km are in the border with Guatemala, and 342 km are in the border with Honduras. The coastline is 307 km long.

El Salvador claims a territorial sea of 12 nm, a contiguous zone of 24 nm and an exclusive economic zone of 200 nm for the commercial exploitation of marine life.

The country is formed by mountains with narrow coastal belt and central plateau. It is known as the Land of Volcanoes, with frequent and sometimes destructive earthquakes and often volcanic activity.

El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America and the only one in that area without coast access to the Caribbean Sea.

Selected article

La Prensa Grafica, sometimes called simply La Prensa, is a daily newspaper published in El Salvador by David Escobar Galindo. One of the largest metropolitan newspapers in El Salvador, it is owned by Grupo Dutriz.

On May 10, 1915, the first edition was published under the name La Prensa and the only editors were the Hermanos Dutriz (Dutriz brothers). This edition had four standard-size pages. It talked about "Una de las manifestaciones más espléndidas del progreso cultural de los pueblos la constituye el grado de perfección, llamado con justicia el cuarto poder del Estado, o sea la prensa, que encarna el alma compleja y batalladora de las colectividades civilizadas y conscientes" (One of the greatest manifestations of the cultural progress of the towns...) This edition also says that they will work daily to try to have peace and bring information to every Salvadoran.

The first publisher of La Prensa was Jose Dutriz, who served in that post from 1915 to 1934, when he passed the office to his sons Jose and Roberto Dutriz.

Then on August 10, 1939, La Prensa merged with another newspaper that had been created a few months earlier, El Grafico, and became known as La Prensa Grafica. La Prensa Grafica became one of the first newspapers in Central America to use color in its printing.

La Prensa Grafica costs US$0.50 and is one of the two largest newspapers in El Salvador, the other one being El Diario De Hoy. The newspaper currently uses the Goodnews publishing system.

Selected picture

ElSalvadorslide.jpg

A landslide caused by one of the 2001 El Salvador earthquakes.

Quotes

"May this Body immolated and this Blood sacrificed for Mankind nourish us also, that we may give our body and our blood over to suffering and pain, like Christ - not for Self, but to give harvests of peace and justice to our People."-Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero

"Yesterday, today and for all times, Domingo is a patriot."-Rev. Manuel Vega on Lt. Colonel Domingo Monterrosa Barrios, one of the heads of the Atlacatl Battalion responsible for El Mozote.

"May we keep hauling up the morning."-Roque Dalton

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Did you know...

  • ...that El Salvador is one of the most densely populated countries in Latin America, and also one of the most industrialized?
  • ...that El Salvador uses the U.S. Dollar as its currency?
  • ...that the department of Sonsonate is known for its coconuts?
  • ...that Roque Dalton, one of El Salvador's most beloved writers, was imprisoned and persecuted by the Salvadoran Communist Guerrilla?
  • ...that El Salvador and Honduras fought a war in 1969?

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Selected biography

Schafik Jorge Handal (October 14, 1930 – January 24, 2006) was a Salvadoran freedom fighter who later became a politician. Born in Usulutan, he was the son of Palestinian immigrants.[1]

Between 1973 and 1994, he was the general secretary of the Communist Party of El Salvador. As GS of the PCS, Handal embraced elections and rejected armed struggle to conquer political power in El Salvador. Later on, after two allegedly fraudulent elections in 1972 and in 1977, and despite the intervention of the Communist Party of Cuba (History of the FMLN, newspaper "Frente"), Handal became convinced that the defeat of the military dictatorship would not be possible through elections. As a guerrilla leader in the late 1970s and early 1980s, he was a member of the group that brought five opposition forces together to found the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN).


Following the signing of the Chapultepec Peace Accords in 1992, the FMLN converted itself from a guerrilla army into a political party, and Handal served as its general coordinator. In 1997, he was elected to the Legislative Assembly, serving as the leader of the FMLN's party bloc in the legislature.

He was the FMLN's candidate in El Salvador's 2004 presidential election, held on March 21, running on a leftist platform that called for a friendly relationship with the United States (according to his own pamphlet for the campaign), renegotiation of free trade treaties and a closer relationship with socialist-oriented countries in Latin America, including Cuba, Venezuela and Brazil. Opponents accused Handal of exploiting anti-American sentiment while FMLN supporters accused the United States of corrupting the electoral process, because several high ranking U.S. officials stated that American relations with El Salvador would be seriously threatened if Handal won the elections. This opinion was strengthened by the fact that the opposing ARENA stated that the United States might deport Salvadorans who live in the US after a leftist election victory. Handal was defeated by the candidate of the ruling conservative ARENA party, Antonio Saca, who was also of Palestinian descent, by a margin of 58% to 36%. The election saw a turnout of 90% at the polls.

Handal died less than two years after his failed presidential bid, on January 24, 2006, of a heart attack. He collapsed at Comalapa Airport upon his return from Bolivia where he had attended the inauguration ceremony of President Evo Morales; he was flown by helicopter to a San Salvador hospital but doctors were unable to revive him.

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