El Salvador

In a country of conflicting realities, families live between generosity and violence

El Salvador bears the marks of traumatic earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The same dramatic landscape has lured tourists to explore the country’s volcanoes, cloud forests and Mayan ruins.

In local life, parades and festivals display a love of music and celebration, and family holds an important place in society. Since a church wedding is considered irreversible, some couples wait until they have children to marry.

Many Salvadorans who fled the country during civil war from 1979 to 1992 have returned and brought North American culture back with them. Those who settled in the United States still send earnings to their families back home that account for 20% of El Salvador’s GDP.

Such generosity and kindness stand in contrast to the disturbing rise of gang-related violence and murder. Crime rates have increased in recent years, and so has the influence of evangelical Christianity.

Your participation with Missions Door helps to plant and strengthen churches and develop Christian leaders in El Salvador.

Cultural Snapshot

El Salvador is famous for pupusas, handmade corn tortillas filled with cheese, beans and pork.

Faith Fact

Churches in El Salvador — including several prominent megachurches — own roughly 30 of the country’s media outlets.

Country Profile

Population: 6 million, 48% ages 0–24

Major Religions: 57% Catholic, 21% Protestant, 17% nonreligious

Languages: Spanish (official), Nahua

Literacy: 85%

Poverty: 37%