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El Salvador achieved independence from Spain in 1821 and from the Central American Federation in 1839. A 12-year civil war, which cost about 75,000 lives, was brought to a close in 1992 when the government and leftist rebels signed a treaty that provided for military and political reforms.


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Geography

Location
Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and Honduras

Geographic coordinates
13 50 N, 88 55 W

Map references
Central America and the Caribbean

Area World Ranking: 153
Total 21,041 sq km
Land 20,721 sq km
Water 320 sq km

Area - comparative
Slightly smaller than Massachusetts

Land boundaries
Total 545 km
Border countries
Guatemala 203 km, Honduras 342 km

Coastline
307 km

Maritime claims
Territorial sea 12 nm
Contiguous zone 24 nm
Exclusive economic zone 200 nm

Climate
Tropical; rainy season (May to October); dry season (November to April); tropical on coast; temperate in uplands

Terrain
Mostly mountains with narrow coastal belt and central plateau

Elevation extremes
Lowest point Pacific Ocean 0 m
Highest point Cerro El Pital 2,730 m

Natural resources
Hydropower, geothermal power, petroleum, arable land

Land use
Arable land 31.37%
Permanent crops 11.88%
Other 56.75% (2005)

Irrigated land
450 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources
25.2 cu km (2001)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Total 1.28 cu km/yr (25%/16%/59%)
Per capita 186 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards
Known as the Land of Volcanoes; frequent and sometimes destructive earthquakes and volcanic activity; extremely susceptible to hurricanes
Volcanism
Significant volcanic activity; San Salvador (elev. 1,893 m), which last erupted in 1917, has the potential to cause major harm to the country's capital, which lies just below the volcano's slopes; San Miguel (elev. 2,130 m), which last erupted in 2002, is one of the most active volcanoes in the country; other historically active volcanoes include Conchaguita, Ilopango, Izalco, and Santa Ana

Environment - current issues
Deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution; contamination of soils from disposal of toxic wastes

Environment - international agreements
Party to
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
Signed, but not ratified Law of the Sea

Geography - note
Smallest Central American country and only one without a coastline on Caribbean Sea


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  El Salvador (San Salvador):


  GPS points from El Salvador (San Salvador)

Eramon Departamento De Chalatenango

La Rinconada Departamento De La Union

San Ramon Departamento De Cuscatlan

Hacienda Zamoran Departamento De Usulutan

El Porrillo Departamento De San Vicente

Loma San Juan Departamento De San Miguel

Quebrada Chucahuasta Departamento De San Salvador

Playa Grande Departamento De San Miguel




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