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EL Salvador Travel Information and Hotel Discounts

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EL Salvador Travel Information and Hotel Discounts
EL Salvador Travel Information and Hotel Discounts

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Holiday Inn San Salvador
San Salvador,

126 rooms, 7 floors, 3 Suites, Mtgs/Banq.
  Free parking, Non-smoking Floors. FEATURES: Outdoor Pool/Whirpool, El Balsamo Restaurant, Los Pericos Lounge, Local and Cable TV w/HBO/ESPN/CNN
, Pay-Per-View Movies, Wheelchair Acom.,
In-Room Coffee Maker, Hairdryer,
 In-room Safety Deposit Box,
Smoke Detector, Gym/Exercise Room. SERVICES: Business Center, Beauty Shop, TACA Air Lines Desk from 19:00 through 22:00, Shuttle to/from Airport.
No Pets, No Kennels

Holiday Inn San Salvador

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EL Salvador Travel Information and Hotel Discounts


   EL Salvador
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Main article: History of El Salvador

Tazúmal.The civilization of Cuscatlán, in which territory was founded El Salvador in the 16th century, dates from the pre-Columbian time, around 1500 years B.C., according to evidence provided by the ancient ruins of Tazumal and Chalchuapa. The Spanish Admiral Andrés Niño lead an expedition to Central America and disembarked on the Island Meanguera, located in the Gulf of Fonseca, on May 31st, 1522. This was the first Salvadoran territory visited by the Spaniards.

In June, 1524, Spanish Captain Pedro de Alvarado attacked Cuscatlán (land of beautiful jewels) that was populated by the native tribes of the land. After 17 days of bloody battles many natives and Spaniards died. Pedro de Alvarado defeated, and hurt in his left hip, abandoned the fight and ran to Guatemala, telling his brother, Gonzalo de Alvarado, to continue with the conquest of Cuscatlán. Later, his cousin Diego de Alvarado established the villa of San Salvador on April, 1525. King Carlos I of Spain granted San Salvador the title of city in the year 1546. During the following years, El Salvador developed under Spanish dominion within the Kingdom of Guatemala. Towards the end of 1810, a feeling of a need for freedom arose between the people of Central America and the moment to break the chains of colonial government arrived at dawn on November 5th, 1811, when the Salvadoran priest, Jose Matías Delgado, sounded the bells of the Iglesia La Merced in San Salvador, making a call for the insurrection. After many internal fights, the Acta de Independencia (Act of Independence) of Central America was signed in Guatemala on September 15th, 1821.

On September 15, 1821, El Salvador and the other Central American provinces declared their independence from Spain. In 1823, the United Provinces of Central America was formed by the five Central American states under General Manuel José Arce. When this federation was dissolved in 1838, El Salvador became an independent republic. El Salvador's early history as an independent state was marked by frequent revolutions.

From 1872 to 1898 El Salvador was a prime mover in attempts to reestablish an isthmian federation. The governments of El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua formed the Greater Republic of Central America via the Pact of Amapala in 1895. Although Guatemala and Costa Rica considered joining the Greater Republic (which was rechristened the United States of Central America when its constitution went into effect in 1898), neither country joined. This union, which had planned to establish its capital city at Amapala on the Golfo de Fonseca, did not survive a seizure of power in El Salvador in 1898.

The enormous profits that coffee yielded as a monoculture export served as an impetus for the process whereby land became concentrated in the hands of an oligarchy of several hundred families. A succession of presidents from the ranks of the Salvadoran oligarchy, nominally both conservative and liberal, throughout the last half of the 19th century generally agreed on the promotion of coffee as the predominant cash crop, on the development of infrastructure (railroads and port facilities) primarily in support of the coffee trade, on the elimination of communal landholdings to facilitate further coffee production, on the passage of anti-vagrancy laws to ensure that displaced campesinos and other rural residents provided sufficient labor for the coffee fincas (plantations), and on the suppression of rural discontent.

The coffee industry grew inexorably in El Salvador. As a result the elite provided the bulk of the government's financial support through import duties on goods imported with the foreign currencies that coffee sales earned. This support, coupled with the humbler and more mundane mechanisms of corruption, ensured the coffee growers of overwhelming influence within the government and the military which they used to create the Guardia Nacional (GN) in 1912. The duties of the GN differed from those of the Policia Nacional (PN), mainly in that GN personnel were specifically responsible for providing security on the coffee fincas and effectively suppressing rural dissent.

A bloodless coup led by General Tomás Regalado took El Salvador into the 20th century. Regalado's peaceful transfer of power in 1903 to his handpicked successor, Pedro José Escalón, ushered in a period of comparative stability that extended until the Depression-provoked upheaval of 1931–32.

In 1930, General Maximiliano Hernández Martínez, the country's Minister of Defense, took power in a coup d'état. Soon after, Martínez, now President, suppressed a 1932 revolt consisting of farmers and Indians in the western part of the country. The revolt was conducted by the newly formed Communist Party and its leader Agustín Farabundo Martí. The military conflict left more than 20,000 people dead in retaliatory massacres, which came to be known as "La Matanza;" this marked the beginning of a series of de facto military dictatorships that would rule El Salvador until 1979, when General Humberto Romero of the Party of National Conciliation (PCN) would be overthrown in a reformist coup.

Under the authoritarian rule of Maj. Óscar Osorio (1950–56) and Lt. Col. José María Lemus (1956–60) considerable economic progress was made. Lemus was overthrown by a coup, and after a confused period, a junta composed of leaders of the National Conciliation party came to power in June 1961. The junta's candidate, Lt. Col. Julio Adalberto Rivera, was elected president in 1962. He was succeeded in 1967 by Col. Fidel Sánchez Hernández. Relations with Honduras deteriorated in the late 1960s. There was a border clash in 1967, and a four-day so-called Football war broke out in July 1969. The Salvadoran forces that had invaded Honduras were withdrawn, but not until 1992 was an agreement settling the border controversy with Honduras signed.

Following increasing clashes between the Marxist group Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), El Salvadoran Armed Forces (ESAF) and rightist vigilantes known as death squads, a civil war broke out that would last for twelve years (1980-1992) and claim the lives of approximately 75,000 people. According to the 1993 United Nations' Truth Commission report, over 96% of the human rights violations carried out during the war were committed by the Salvadoran military or the paramilitary death squads, while 3.5% were committed by the FMLN. Nevertheless, it's necessary to say that this report has been criticized as not being objective enough for an institution like the UN, and that much of the information gathered by the Commission was originated in politically biased sources, and did not provide legal and material evidence or proof of its conclusions. During the war, a small group of military advisers from the United States helped to train government forces, which were heavily funded by the U.S. as well. In the meantime, the guerrillas of the FMLN were trained and funded by the communist government of Cuba and the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, as well as supported by several eastern european countries and the USSR itself, creating one of the last scenarios of the Cold War. After the fall of Communism in Europe, the conditions for peace negotiations were finally set. A ceasefire was established in 1992 when the rebels of the FMLN and the government of President Alfredo Cristiani of the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA), signed "Peace accords" on January 16, 1992 that assured political and military reforms and punishment for all human rights abuses during the civil war; death squad activity was virtually eliminated

In 1998, Hurricane Mitch devastated the country, leaving 200 dead and over 30,000 homeless. damaging about 20% of the nation's housing.

El Salvador is known for the many earthquakes that occur within its borders. It has been popularly known as the “Valley of the Hammocks” since colonial times. On January 13, 2001 an earthquake that measured 7.6 on the Richter scale caused a landslide that killed more than 800 people. On February 13, 2001, a second earthquake killed 255 people and damaging about 20% of the nation's housing. An even worse disaster beset the country in the summer of 2001 when a severe drought destroyed 80% of the country's crops, causing famine in the countryside.
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.
Middle 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
total: 21,040 sq km
water: 320 sq km
land: 20,720 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Massachusetts
Land boundaries:
total: 545 km
border countries: Guatemala 203 km, Honduras 342 km
307 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 200 NM
tropical; rainy season (May to October); dry season (November to April); tropical on coast; temperate in uplands
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
noun: Salvadoran(s)
adjective: Salvadoran
Ethnic groups:
mestizo 90%, Amerindian 1%, white 9%
Roman Catholic 83%
note: there is extensive activity by Protestant groups throughout the country; by the end of 1992, there were an estimated 1 million Protestant evangelicals in El Salvador
Spanish, Nahua (among some Amerindians)
Salvadoran colon (SVC); US dollar (USD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Salvadoran colones per US dollar - 8.750 (fixed since January 2001), 8.755 (fixed rate since 1993)
note: since January 2001 the US dollar has also become legal tender; the exchange rate has been fixed at 8.75 colones per US dollar
Internet country code:

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