SAN SALVADOR

Introduction

SAN SALVADOR WEATHER

Info San Salvador

introduction

San Salvador is the capital city of El Salvador, and the capital of the San Salvador department.

It is the country's most populated municipality as well as its most important political, cultural, educational and financial center.

Due to destruction caused by earthquakes, original Spanish colonial period structures are almost non-existent in the city; instead Gothic- and Modernist-style cathedrals have taken their place. Architecturally, San Salvador's noteworthy structures have distinct Modern, Googie and Populuxe influences, similarly to those of Los Angeles, a city San Salvador is influenced by.

As a gamma global city, San Salvador is also an important financial center hub within Central America. The city is home to the Concejo de Ministros de El Salvador (Council of Ministries of El Salvador), La Asamblea Legislativa (The Legislative Assembly of El Salvador), the Corte Suprema de Justicia (The Supreme Court), and other governmental institutions, as well as the official residence of the president of the Republic.

San Salvador lies in the "Valle de las Hamacas" (literally "Valley of the hammocks", as it was called by the Pipil, due to its intense earthquake activity) at the foot of the San Salvador volcano. It covers an area of 600 square km and is home to nearly 2 million people.

It is home to one-third of El Salvador's population and one-half of the country's wealth. 

info
POPULATION : City: 567,698 / Metro: 2,442,017
FOUNDED :  1525
TIME ZONE : Central Standard Time (UTC-6)
LANGUAGE : Spanish
RELIGION : Roman Catholic 57.1%, Protestant 21.2%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.9%, Mormon 0.7%, other religions 2.3%, none 16.8%
AREA : 72.25 km2 (27.9 sq mi) 
ELEVATION : 658 m (2,159 ft)
COORDINATES : 13°41′24″N 89°11′24″W
SEX RATIO : Male: 47.40%  
 Female: 52.60%
ETHNIC : mestizo 86%, white 12%, other 2%
AREA CODE :
POSTAL CODE :
DIALING CODE : +503
WEBSITE : www.sansalvador.gob.sv

Tourism

San Salvador lies in the "Valle de las Hamacas" (literally "Valley of the hammocks", as it was called by the Pipil, due to its intense earthquake activity) at the foot of the San Salvador volcano.

It covers an area of 600 square km and is home to nearly 2 million people. It is home to one-third of El Salvador's population and one-half of the country's wealth. The downtown area is filled with shops and modern buildings, but unfortunately earthquakes have damaged or destroyed many of the city's historic buildings.

The people of San Salvador are generally friendly, though as in any large city, less inclined to engage in conversations with strangers on the street as opposed to other parts of the country. The wealthy live in exclusive suburbs behind tall security walls or luxury condominium buildings. Wealthier areas such as San Benito, Colonia Escalon, Colonia San Francisco, Colonia Maquilishuat, Santa Elena (where the US embassy is located) and Ciudad Merliot have tree-lined avenues, the biggest malls in Central America, bars, clubs, gyms, restaurants, luxury hotels, modern high-rise buildings, plazas, boutiques, cafes, luxury salons, jewelry stores, etc. Some of these neighborhoods are located in the hills surrounding the city and have breathtaking views. A number of new gated housing communities complete with parks, swimming pools, fitness facilities and tight security are popular with middle class families. Most of the city's hotels can be found in these suburbs.

There are middle class neighborhoods and residential areas close to the wealthy neighborhoods. Poorer areas are located in the northern and eastern districts, along with an abundance of shanty towns sprawling along the city's fringes.

San Salvador's climate is tropical, although the weather can vary; the nights may be cool (especially in December), however, most of the time it is sunny and warm. Wearing t-shirts, jeans, and possibly a light rain jacket is usually sufficient.

Whilst not on most tourists' "to do" list in El Salvador, the capital provides a good base for exploring the rest of the country as it's a transportation hub, with most major roads running through it due to its central location. Spending a few days exporing this cosmopolitan and internationally-conscious city can be a rewarding experience. Whilst parts can seem like a maze of confusion, rich vs poor, modern vs dilapitaded, cars vs pedestrians, the city has played a major role in defining and shaping the rest of this small yet intruiging country, once at the forefront of the Cold War. To understand this polarized country, it is essential to understand its political, cultural and social headquarters.

Geography

The city is located in the Boquerón Volcano Valley, a region of high seismic activity. The city's average elevation is 659 metres (2,162 feet) above sea level, but ranges from a highest point of 1,186 metres (3,891 feet) above sea level to a lowest point of 596 m (1,955 ft) above sea level.

The municipality is surrounded by these natural features of the landscape: southward by the Cordillera del Balsamo (Balsam Mountain Range); westward by the Boquerón Volcano and Cerro El Picacho, the highest point in the municipality at 1,929 m (6,329 ft). El Boquerón Volcano was dormant since its last eruption in 1917, but has been active recently.

East of the municipality lies the San Jacinto Hill and the caldera of Lake Ilopango, the largest natural body of water in the country with an area of 72 square kilometres (28 square miles). The caldera is seismically active, but has not erupted since 1880.

Economy

San Salvador is not only the capital of El Salvador, but also disproportionately concentrates economic activity in the country. The metropolitan area accounts for only 3% of the national territory, yet 70% of public and private investment is made there. The economy of San Salvador, Antiguo Cuscatlán, and Santa Tecla is a mixed one composed mainly of services, private education, banking, business headquartering, and industrial manufacturing.

San Salvador, as well as the rest of the country, has used the U.S. dollar as its currency of exchange since 2001. This has been a boon to the Salvadoran economy as it encourages foreign investors to launch new companies in El Salvador, saving them the inconvenience of conversion to other currencies. San Salvador's economy is mostly based on the service and retail sector, rather than on industry or manufacturing.

As the nation's capital, San Salvador supports many commercial activities, including food and beverage production, the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, the sale of automobiles, handicrafts, and construction materials, and appliance repair. Grupo TACA, a multinational consortium which includes the national airlines of El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and other Central American countries, has its headquarters in San Salvador.Other companies with headquarters in San Salvador include the Unicomer Group, Almacenes Simán, Grupo Roble, Grupo Real, Excel Automotríz, and Grupo Q. Many international companies like Dell, Microsoft, Continental airlines, Hewlett-Packard, etc., have their regional headquarters in San Salvador. Banks in the cty include Banco Agrícola, Citibank, HSBC, Scotiabank, BAC-Credomatic, Banco Promérica, Banco Pro-Credit and the Mexican Banco Azteca.

History

Before the Spanish conquest, the Pipil people established their capital, Cuzcatlan, near the current location of San Salvador. Not much is known about Cuzcatlan, as it was abandoned by its inhabitants in an effort to avoid Spanish rule. Under the orders of conquistador Pedro de Alvarado, his associates Gonzalo de Alvarado and Diego de Holguín occupied the empty settlement and began to develop it. Diego de Holguín became the first mayor of San Salvador after the town was founded on April 1, 1525. The town changed location twice, in 1528 and 1545. Originally established in what is now the archaeological site of Ciudad Vieja, north of the present-day city, it was moved to the Valle de Las Hamacas, so named for the intense seismic activity that characterizes it. The new site was chosen because it had more space and more fertile land, thanks to the Acelhuate River. The population of the city remained relatively small until the early 20th century.

Before the Spanish conquest, the Pipil people established their capital, Cuzcatlan, near the current location of San Salvador. Not much is known about Cuzcatlan, as it was abandoned by its inhabitants in an effort to avoid Spanish rule. Under the orders of conquistador Pedro de Alvarado, his associates Gonzalo de Alvarado and Diego de Holguín occupied the empty settlement and began to develop it. Diego de Holguín became the first mayor of San Salvador after the town was founded on April 1, 1525. The town changed location twice, in 1528 and 1545. Originally established in what is now the archaeological site of Ciudad Vieja, north of the present-day city, it was moved to the Valle de Las Hamacas, so named for the intense seismic activity that characterizes it. The new site was chosen because it had more space and more fertile land, thanks to the Acelhuate River. The population of the city remained relatively small until the early 20th century.

n 1917, an earthquake during an eruption of the nearby San Salvador volcano (also known as Quetzaltepec) damaged the city, but it escaped additional damage because the lava flowed down the back side of the volcano. On December 2, 1931, president Arturo Araujo was ousted by a military coup d'état and replaced by a military directorate. The directorate named vice-president Maximiliano Hernández Martínez as president and Araujo went into exile. The Martínez regime lasted from December 4, 1931 to May 6, 1944.

In 1964, the Christian Democratic Party (PDC) candidate, José Napoleon Duarte, an engineer, was elected mayor; he served from 1964 to 1970. During his term he ordered construction of the Pancho Lara park in the Vista Hermosa neighborhood, renewed the electrical grid, and set up a system of schools for adult education. The 1960s to the 1980s were the golden age of San Salvador in all aspects of security, quality of life, and modernization.

The 1986 San Salvador earthquake destroyed many government buildings and other important structures, injuring and killing hundreds. Thousands of people were displaced by the disaster and many struggled to find shelter in the ruins.

In 1986, Mayor Morales Ehrlich closed streets in the downtown of the city to create a large pedestrian mall, which has resulted in chronic traffic congestion. Since 2009, Mayor Norman Quijano has worked for the redevelopment of parks and historic buildings in the Rescate del Centro Histórico, which involves the removal of street vendors. This has led to several riots in the area, but he has managed to place the vendors in new markets where they can operate their own stalls. The Chapultepec Peace Accords were signed on January 16, 1992, ending 22 years of civil war. The signing is celebrated as a national holiday with people flooding downtown San Salvador in the Plaza Gerardo Barrios and in La Libertad Park.

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