El Salvador: Land of volcanoes, coffee, and surf

The smallest country in Central America — officially named Republic of El Salvador — is also the most densely populated in the area and the only country in Central America without a Caribbean coastline. El Salvador houses the third largest economy in Central America (behind Costa Rica and Panama) and it is known as the land of the volcanoes, because it has more than 20 within its boundaries and two of them are currently active.

Spanish is the official language of El Salvador, but Nahua is still spoken in some areas. Most of its nearly seven million inhabitants live in urban areas, and the country’s population is composed of Mestizos, whites, and Amerindians.

El Salvador’s national dish is the “pupusa.” One of the staples of Salvadorian cuisine is plantains, and the most popular drink is coffee. El Salvador has cultivated coffee since the nineteenth century, and Salvadoran coffee makes up precisely half of its total exports revenue.

El Salvador is probably the most popular and famous surfing destination on the Pacific coast. Several surfing competitions take place there during the year. One of the hotspots for wave-lovers is the Town San Sebastian, which is famous for having great waves at the beach and is only 22 miles from the capital, San Salvador.

Did you know…? The country’s cell-phone density is one of the highest in the world (125 phones per 100 people). The name pupusa comes from the Pipil-Nahuatl word, pupushahua.

This is the tenth in a series of articles spotlighting different countries in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. To see a complete list of previous entries, click here.

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