Before the arrival of the Spaniards to America, the current Salvadoran territory was inhabited by different indigenous ethnic groups, highlighting the Pipiles, a population of Nahuatl origin that occupied the western and central region of the territory and the Lencas that populated the eastern part of the country. But the most extensive domain until the Spanish conquest was that of the kingdom of Cuscatlán (El Salvador).
Conquest, colony and independence
According to Payhelpcenter.com, the Spanish conquerors, led by Pedro de Alvarado, together with his brother Gonzalo, crossed the Paz River between the years 1524 – 1525. They arrived from the area that includes the current Republic of Guatemala after participating in the conquest of Mexico. During the colony, El Salvador was part of the Captaincy General of Guatemala, also known as the Kingdom of Guatemala. The Salvadoran territory was divided into the Mayor’s Offices of Sonsonate and San Salvador, the latter being erected as Intendancy at the end of the 18th century.
In 1811 and 1814 there were important uprisings against Spanish rule that expressed the independence concern of the Creoles. Finally, the Central American nations achieved their independence from Spain, on September 15, 1821. From the 5 of January of 1822, the provinces of Central America, except the opposition of the elite sansalvadoreña and Guatemalan intellectuals, joined to the First Mexican Empire until the 19 of March of 1823, when Agustin de Iturbide abdicates before Congress.
Central American Federation
In the period following independence, El Salvador and the other Central American countries tried to maintain the union inherited from the colony and created the Federal Republic of Central America, a federation that was dissolved in 1839.
In 1851 El Salvador suffered its most significant military defeat since its independence, the Battle of La Arada. After the dissolution of the Union, there was a period of fighting between liberals and conservatives that lasted until 1871. During this period, indigo cultivation declined and coffee was introduced. Between 1871 and 1931 governments succeeded one another that favored the interests of the nascent elite linked to the cultivation of coffee.
In 1882, during the presidency of Rafael Zaldívar, the Legislative Assembly decreed the abolition of communal and ejido lands, which were sold to individuals, which caused a sudden change in land tenure.
It is the smallest country in Central America and the only Central American country without a coastline on the Caribbean Sea. The terrain is mostly mountainous with a narrow coastal belt and central plateau. Its coastline extends from the mouth of the Paz River, to the southwest, to that of the Goascorán River, to the southeast.
El Salvador is known for its volcanoes, among which the Ilamatepec (Santa Ana), the Chichontepec (San Vicente), the Quetzaltepec (San Salvador), the Chaparrastique (San Miguel) and the Izalco stand out, called until very recently. «The lighthouse of the Pacific».
El Salvador is located in the tropical climate zone and offers similar thermal conditions throughout the year. However, due to its coastal strip along the Pacific Ocean, important annual oscillations occur related to the sea breeze that carries humidity and heat.
The average annual temperature (period considered: 1950 – 1990) is 24.8 ° C, with the lowest average temperature occurring in the months of December (23.8 ° C) and January (23.9 ° C), while the warmest month is April (32.0 ° C). Average annual rainfall is 1823 mm.
El Salvador has two seasons: the dry (November-April) and the rainy (May-October). In addition, the country is affected by the Caribbean hurricane season (June-November). Frequent tropical storms and hurricanes increase the flow of local rivers, affecting some of the areas with floods. The most destructive hurricanes that have affected El Salvador are: Fifi (1974), Gilbert (1988), Andrew (1992), Mitch (1998), Stan (2005), Félix (2007) and Ida (2009).
After the signing of the 1992 peace accords, the economic elite drew up a plan to appropriate most of the public companies through the privatization of state assets, leaving the respective liabilities (national and international debt) in the hands of the government. state. These companies included the nationalized banking before the war, the telephone, the opening and conversion of pension funds to the private sector, vehicle registration and driver’s licenses. They also proceeded to dismantle the productive capacity of the state, and then go to tender for those services among the private business community that offered them. The privatization of health services did not succeed due to strong opposition from medical organizations and other workers in the country’s health sector. By reducing the army, a huge number of private security agencies were created that were quickly hired by public institutions run by the operators of the economic elite. With major privatizations, the dismantling of the state, and the tapping of the nation’s general budget, the economic elite have created a private welfare state that is enjoyed by a few thousand people. Currently, the economy is more oriented towards manufacturing and services, rather than agriculture (coffee growing). Its main industries are food and beverages, products of the dismantling the state and taking advantage of the nation’s general budget, the economic elite has created a private welfare state that is enjoyed by a few thousand people. Currently, the economy is more oriented towards manufacturing and services, rather than agriculture (coffee growing). Its main industries are food and beverages, products of the dismantling the state and taking advantage of the nation’s general budget, the economic elite has created a private welfare state that is enjoyed by a few thousand people. Currently, the economy is more oriented towards manufacturing and services, rather than agriculture (coffee growing). Its main industries are food and beverages, products of the oil, tobacco, chemicals, textiles and furniture.
There are currently fifteen free trade zones in El Salvador. The largest beneficiary has been the textile maquila industry, which provides 88,700 direct jobs, and consists mainly of cutting the clothes that are assembled for export to the United States.
El Salvador was the first country to sign and implement the Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Central America, and the Dominican Republic (CAFTA), as well as free trade agreements with Mexico, Chile, the Dominican Republic, and Panama, and has increased its exports to those countries.