Salvadoran Civil War
The Salvadoran Civil War was a conflict between the military-led government of El Salvador and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, a coalition or "umbrella organization" of left-wing groups. A coup on October 15, 1979 was followed by killings of anti-coup protesters by the government and of anti-disorder protesters by the guerrillas, is seen as the tipping point toward civil war; the fully-fledged civil war lasted for more than 12 years and included the deliberate terrorizing and targeting of civilians by death squads, the recruitment of child soldiers and other human rights violations by the military. An unknown number of people disappeared while the UN reports that the war killed more than 75,000 people between 1980 and 1992. In 2016, the El Salvador Supreme Court ruled that the 1993 amnesty law was unconstitutional and that the El Salvador government could prosecute war criminals; the United States contributed to the conflict by providing military aid of $1–2 million per day to the government of El Salvador during the Carter and Reagan administrations.
The Salvadoran government was considered "friendly" and allies by the U. S. in the context of the Cold War. By May 1983, US officers took over positions in the top levels of the Salvadoran military, were making critical decisions and running the war; the United Nations has estimated that the FMLN guerrillas were responsible for 5% of the murders of civilians during the civil war, while 85% were committed by the Salvadoran armed forces and death squads. In 1990 the UN began peace negotiations and on January 16, 1992, a final agreement, The Chapultepec Peace Accords, was signed by the combatants in Mexico City, formally ending the conflict. El Salvador has been characterized by marked socioeconomic inequality. In the late 19th century coffee became a major cash crop for El Salvador, bringing in about 95% of the country's income. However, this income was restricted to only 2% of the population, exacerbating a divide between a small but powerful land owning elite and an impoverished majority; this divide grew through the 1920s and was compounded by a drop in coffee prices following the stock-market crash of 1929.
In 1932 the Central American Socialist Party was formed and led an uprising of peasants and indigenous people against the government. The rebellion was brutally suppressed in the 1932 Salvadoran peasant massacre. La Matanza,'the slaughter' in Spanish, as it came to be known, allowed a military led government to maintain power and reinforced the animosity of many Salvadorans towards the government and landed elite; that tension grew throughout the 20th century. The Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, a leftist group that formed in the 1970s, took its name from one of the rebellion's communist leaders. On July 14, 1969, an armed conflict erupted between El Salvador and Honduras over immigration disputes caused by Honduran land reform laws; the conflict had major long-term effects for Salvadoran society. Trade was disrupted between El Salvador and Honduras, causing tremendous economic damage to both nations. An estimated 300,000 Salvadorans were displaced due to battle, many of whom were exiled from Honduras.
The Football War strengthened the power of the military in El Salvador, leading to heightened corruption. In the years following the war, the government expanded its purchases of arms from sources such as Israel, West Germany and the United States; the 1972 Salvadoran presidential election was marred by massive electoral fraud, which favored the military-backed National Conciliation Party, whose candidate Arturo Armando Molina was a Colonel in the Salvadoran Army. Opposition to the Molina government was strong on the left. In 1972, the Marxist-Leninist Fuerzas Populares de Liberación Farabundo Martí -established in 1970 as an offshoot of the Communist Party of El Salvador- began conducting guerrilla operations in El Salvador. Other organizations such as the People's Revolutionary Army began to develop; the growth of left-wing insurgency in El Salvador occurred against a backdrop of rising food prices and decreased agricultural output exacerbated by the 1973 oil crisis. This worsened the existent socioeconomic inequality in the country.
In response, President Arturo Armando Molina enacted a series of land reform measures, calling for large landholdings to be redistributed among the peasant population. The reforms failed, thanks to opposition from the landed elite, reinforcing the widespread discontent with the government. On 20 February 1977, the PCN defeated the National Opposing Union in the presidential elections; as was the case in the 1972, the results of the 1977 election were again fraudulent and favored a military candidate, General Carlos Humberto Romero. State sponsored paramilitary forces – such as the infamous ORDEN – strong armed peasants into voting for the military candidate by threatening them with machetes; the period between the election and the formal inauguration of President Romero on 1 July 1977 was characterized by massive protests from the popular movement, which were met by state repression. On 28 February 1977 a crowd of political demonstrators gathered in downtown San Salvador to protest the electoral fraud.
Security forces arrived on the scene and opened fire, resulting in a massacre as they indiscriminately killed demonstrators and bystanders alike. Estimates of the number of civilians killed range between 200 and 1,500. President Molina blamed the protests on "foreign Communists" and exiled a number of top UNO party members from the country. Repression continued after the inauguration of President
Coffee production in El Salvador
Coffee production in El Salvador has fueled the Salvadoran economy and shaped its history for more than a century. Growing in the 19th century, coffee in El Salvador has traditionally provided more than 50% of the country's export revenues, reaching a peak in 1980 with a revenue of more than $615 million. With the political and economic turmoil resulting from a civil war in the 1980s, the coffee industry has struggled to recover and by 1985 earned around $403 million from coffee. Yields of green coffee, a Salvadoran speciality declined in absolute terms from 175,000 tons in 1979 to 141,000 tons in 1986. Since 2000, the industry has been affected by increased competition from other countries on the world market, whose cheaper coffee beans have caused prices to plummet; as of 2002 coffee trading is only responsible for 3.5% of El Salvador's GNP and over 90% of El Salvador's coffee is grown in shade coffee plantations and around 80% of El Salvador's forests are associated with shade coffee plantations.
Coffee was first cultivated in El Salvador for domestic use early in the 19th century. By mid-century its commercial promise was evident, the government began to favor its production through legislation such as tax breaks for producers, exemption from military service for coffee workers, elimination of export duties for new producers. By 1880 coffee had become the sole export crop. Compared with Indigofera the dominant export commodity, coffee was a more demanding crop. Since coffee bushes required several years to produce a usable harvest, its production required a greater commitment of capital and land than did indigo. Coffee grew best at a certain altitude, whereas indigo flourished anywhere. Unlike those of Guatemala and Costa Rica, the Salvadoran coffee industry developed without the benefit of external technical and financial help. El Salvador nonetheless became one of the most efficient coffee producers in the world; this was true on the large coffee fincas, where the yield per hectare increased in proportion to the size of the finca, a rare occurrence in plantation agriculture.
The effect of coffee production on Salvadoran society has been immeasurable, not only in terms of land tenure but because the coffee industry has served as a catalyst for the development of infrastructure and as a mechanism for the integration of indigenous communities into the national economy. In the decades prior to the civil conflict of the 1980s, export earnings from coffee allowed growers to expand production, finance the development of a cotton industry, establish a light manufacturing sector. After 1979, government policies, guerrilla attacks, natural disasters reduced investment, impeding the coffee industry's growth. To make matters worse, after a price jump in 1986 world coffee prices fell by 35 percent in 1987, causing coffee exports to decline in value from US$539 million to US$347 million. Government control of coffee marketing and export was regarded as one of the strongest deterrents to investment in the industry. In the first year of Incafe's existence, coffee yields dropped by over 20 percent.
During each of the ensuing four years, yields were about 30 percent lower than those registered during the 1978-80 period. Although the area in production remained constant at 180,000 hectares, production of green coffee declined in absolute terms from 175,000 tons in 1979 to 141,000 tons in 1986. According to the Salvadoran Coffee Growers Association, besides controlling the sale of coffee, Incafe charged growers export taxes and service charges equal to about 50 percent of the sale price and was late in paying growers for their coffee. Coffee growers suffered from guerrilla attacks and the imposition of so-called "war taxes" during the 1980s; these difficulties, in addition to their direct impact on production decreased investment. Under normal conditions, coffee growers replaced at least 5 percent of their coffee plants each year because the most productive coffee plants are between five and fifteen years old. Many coffee growers in El Salvador, in an effort to avoid further losses, neglected to replant.
Although most coffee production took place in the western section of El Salvador, coffee growers who operated in the eastern region were sometimes compelled to strike a modus vivendi with the guerrillas. During the 1984-85 harvest, for example, the guerrillas added to their "war tax" demand a threat to attack any plantation they thought underpaid workers, they demanded that workers receive the equivalent of US$4.00 per 100 pounds picked, a US$1.00 increase over what was the going rate. The fact that growers negotiated with the guerrillas—while the government looked the other way—demonstrated the continuing importance of coffee export revenue to both the growers and the government. Coffee would become the last of the great monoculture export commodities in El Salvador, its widespread cultivation began in the mid-19th century as the world demand for indigo dye dried up. The huge profits that it yielded served as a further impetus for the process whereby land became concentrated in the hands of an oligarchy.
Although legend and radical propaganda have quantified the oligarchy at the level of fourteen families, a figure of several hundred families lies much closer to the truth. A succession of presidents, nominally both conservative and liberal, throughout the last half of the 19th century supported the seizure of land from individual smallholders and com
Geography of El Salvador
El Salvador borders the North Pacific Ocean to the south and southwest, with Guatemala to the north-northwest and Honduras to the north-northeast. In the southeast, the Golfo de Fonseca separates it from Nicaragua. El Salvador is the smallest Central American country and is the only one without a coastline on the Caribbean sea. El Salvador, along with the rest of Central America, is one of the most seismologically active regions on earth, situated atop three of the large tectonic plates that constitute the Earth's surface; the motion of these plates causes the area's earthquake and volcanic activity. Most of Central America and the Caribbean Basin rests on the motionless Caribbean Plate; the Pacific Ocean floor, however, is being carried northeast by the underlying motion of the Cocos Plate. Ocean floor material is composed of basalt, dense; the subduction of the Cocos Plate accounts for the frequency of earthquakes near the coast. As the rocks constituting the ocean floor are forced down, they melt, the molten material pours up through weaknesses in the surface rock, producing volcanoes and geysers.
North of El Salvador and most of Guatemala are riding on the westward-moving North American Plate that butts against the northern edge of the stationary Caribbean Plate in southern Guatemala. The grinding action of these two plates creates a fault that runs the length of the valley of the Rio Motagua in Guatemala. Motion along this fault is the source of earthquakes in northernmost El Salvador. El Salvador has a long history of volcanic eruptions. San Salvador was destroyed in 1756 and 1854, suffered heavy damage in the 1919, 1982, 1986 tremors; the country has over twenty volcanoes, although only two, San Miguel and Izalco, have been active in recent years. From the early nineteenth century to the mid-1950s, Izalco erupted with a regularity that earned it the name "Lighthouse of the Pacific." Its brilliant flares were visible for great distances at sea, at night its glowing lava turned it into a brilliant luminous cone. Two parallel mountain ranges cross El Salvador to the west with a central plateau between them and a narrow coastal plain hugging the Pacific.
These physical features divide the country into two physiographic regions. The mountain ranges and central plateau, covering 85 percent of the land, comprise the interior highlands; the remaining coastal plains are referred to as the Pacific lowlands. The northern range of mountains, the Sierra Madre, form a continuous chain along the border with Honduras. Elevations in this region range from 1,600 to 2,700 meters; the area was once forested, but overexploitation led to extensive erosion, it has become semibarren. As a result, it is the country's most sparsely populated zone, with little farming or other development; the southern range of mountains is a discontinuous chain of more than twenty volcanoes, clustered into five groups. The westernmost group, near the Guatemalan border, contains Izalco and Santa Ana, which at 2,365 meters is the highest volcano in El Salvador. Between the cones lie alluvial basins and rolling hills eroded from ash deposits; the volcanic soil is rich, much of El Salvador's coffee is planted on these slopes.
The central plateau constitutes only 25 percent of the land area but contains the heaviest concentration of population and the country's largest cities. This plain has an average elevation of 600 meters. Terrain here is rolling, with occasional escarpments, lava fields, geysers. A narrow plain extends from the coastal volcanic range to the Pacific Ocean; this region has a width ranging from one to thirty-two kilometers with the widest section in the east, adjacent to the Golfo de Fonseca. Near La Libertad, the mass of the mountains push the lowlands out. Surfaces in the Pacific lowlands are flat or rolling and result from the alluvial deposits of nearby slopes. El Salvador has over 300 rivers, the most important of, the Rio Lempa. Originating in Guatemala, the Rio Lempa cuts across the northern range of mountains, flows along much of the central plateau, cuts through the southern volcanic range to empty into the Pacific, it is El Salvador's only navigable it and its tributaries drain about half the country.
Other rivers are short and drain the Pacific lowlands or flow from the central plateau through gaps in the southern mountain range to the Pacific. Numerous lakes of volcanic origin are found in the interior highlands; the largest lake, the Lago de Ilopango, lies just to the east of the capital. Other large lakes include the Lago de Coatepeque in the west and the Lago de Güija on the Guatemalan border; the Cerron Grande Dam on the Rio Lempa has created a large reservoir, the Embalse Cerron Grande, in northern El Salvador. Izalco has erupted at least 51 times since 1770, it earned the nickname "Lighthouse of the Pacific" because it was the most active volcano in Central America. El Salvador has a tropical climate with pronounced dry seasons. Temperatures vary with elevation and show little seasonal change; the Pacific lowlands are uniformly humid. The rainy season, known locally as invierno, or winter, extends from May to October. All the annual rainfall and the highest humidity occurs during this time, yea
Demographics of El Salvador
This article is about the demographic features of the population of El Salvador, including population density, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population. El Salvador's population numbers 6.1 million. Ethnically, 86.3% of Salvadorans are mixed. Another 12.7% is of pure European descent, 1% are of pure indigenous descent, 0.16% are Black and others are 0.64%. El Salvador's population was 6,344,722 in 2016, compared to 2,200,000 in 1950. In 2010 the percentage of the population below the age of 15 was 32.1%, 61% were between 15 and 65 years of age, while 6.9% were 65 years or older. The migration rate accelerated during the period of 1979 to 1981, this marked the beginning of the civil unrest and the spread of political killings; the total impact of civil wars and socioeconomics drove over a million Salvadorans into the United States. The 2010 U. S. Census counted 1,648,968 Salvadorans in the United States, up from 655,165 in 2000.
Out of the 6,408,111 people in El Salvador, 86.3% are Mestizo, 12.7% are of full European descent, 1% Indigenous, 0.8% Black, 0.64% other. 86.3 % of the population are mestizo, having European ancestry. In the mestizo population, Salvadorans who are racially European Mediterranean, as well as Afro-Salvadoran, the indigenous people in El Salvador who do not speak indigenous languages or have an indigenous culture, all identify themselves as being culturally mestizo. According to the Salvadoran Government, about 1% of the population are of full or partial indigenous origin; the largest most dominant Native American groups in El Salvador are the Lenca people, Maya peoples: and Pipil people followed by small enclaves of Cacaopera people, Xinca people, Alaguilac people, Mixe people, Mangue language people, as well as an Olmec past.. There are small populations of Cacaopera people in the Morazán Department and a few Ch'orti' people live in the department of Ahuachapán, near the border of Guatemala.
The number of indigenous people in El Salvador have been criticized by indigenous organizations and academics as too small and accuse the government of denying the existence of indigenous Salvadorans in the country. According to the National Salvadoran Indigenous Coordination Council and CONCULTURA 70,000 or 1 per cent of Salvadorian peoples are indigenous. Nonetheless few Amerindians have retained their customs and traditions, having over time assimilated into the dominant Mestizo/Spanish culture; the low numbers of indigenous people may be explained by high rates of old-world diseases, absorption into the mestizo population, as well as mass murder during the 1932 Salvadoran peasant uprising which saw up to 30,000 peasants killed in a short period of time. Many authors note that since La Matanza the indigenous in El Salvador have been reluctant to describe themselves as such or to wear indigenous dress or be seen to be taking part in any cultural activities or customs that might be understood as indigenous.
Departments and cities in the country with notable indigenous populations include Sonsonate and Panchimalco, in the department of San Salvador. Some 12.7% of Salvadorans are white. This population is made up of ethnically Spanish people, while there are Salvadorans of French, Swiss, English and Italian descent. In northern departments like the Chalatenango Department, it is well known that residents in the area are of pure Spanish descent; the governor of San Salvador, Francisco Luis Héctor de Carondelet, ordered families from northern Spain to settle the area to compensate for the lack of indigenous people to work the land. There is a significant Arab population. Salvadorans of Palestinian descent numbered around 70,000 individuals, while Salvadorans of Lebanese descent is around 25,000. There is a small community of Jews who came to El Salvador from France, Morocco and Turkey. Pardo is the term, used in colonial El Salvador to describe a tri-racial Afro-Mestizo person of Indigenous and African descent.
Afro-Salvadorans are the descendants of the African population that were enslaved and shipped to El Salvador to work in mines in specific regions of El Salvador. They have mixed into and were bred out by the general Mestizo population, a combination of a Mestizo majority and the minority of Pardo people, both of whom are racially mixed populations. Thus, there remains no significant extremes of African physiognomy among Salvadorans like there is in the other countries of Central America. A total of only 10,000 African slaves were brought to El Salvador over the span of 75 years, startin
Culture of El Salvador
The culture of El Salvador is a Central American culture nation influenced by the clash of ancient Mesoamerica and medieval Iberian Peninsula. Salvadoran culture is influenced by Native American culture as well as Latin American culture. Mestizo culture and the Catholic Church dominates the country. Although the Romance language, Castilian Spanish, is the official and dominant language spoken in El Salvador, Salvadoran Spanish, part of Central American Spanish has influences of Native American languages of El Salvador such as Lencan languages, Cacaopera language, Mayan languages and Pipil language, which are still spoken in some regions of El Salvador. Salvadorans inhabit the lush Central American nation of El Salvador. El Salvador is one of the seven country in the giant isthmus of Central America; the surface of El Salvador features tropical forest, mountains, plains, lagoons, lakes and the pacific ocean. The forests of El Salvador contain a wide diversity of fauna. El Salvador is a home to ecosystems, living, nonliving natural resources and home to a plethora of diverse species.
In terms of nonliving resources, El Salvador contains rich volcanic soil, fertile earth that gives life to lush vegetation. Native vegetation such as Yucca gigantea, Fernaldia pandurata and Crotalaria longirostrata which are used in Salvadoran food. El Salvador contains gold under its surface, however all type of mining has been abolished in El Salvador; the Native American indigenous ancestors of Salvadorans, have been living in the region for thousands of years. El Salvador is periodically hit with earthquakes and tropical storms but by cyclones. In El Salvador, the official language is Central American Spanish. Less than one percent of the population speaks the Pipil language, in places such as Izalco and several other towns. However, there is no obligation academically or today to learn it, the language is more spoken by the elderly. Amongst the pre-Columbia languages that still exist common to places such as Izalco and Cacaopera is Nawat Pipil. English is taught as a second language and is spoken by business people, as the country is developing through globalization.
Central American Spanish is spoken by the majority of the country's population. The language and pronunciation vary depending on the region; the main sport played by Salvadorans is association football. The Estadio Cuscatlán in the capital San Salvador is the largest stadium in Central America, with a capacity of just over 45,000; the stadium is the home ground of the El Salvador national football team, as well as club teams Alianza FC and San Salvador F. C; the main football clubs in El Salvador play in the Primera División, made up of the top ten clubs. Below the Primera División exists a second level or Segunda División, made up of 24 teams split into two groups of twelve. There is relegation between the two divisions at the end of each season; the Catholic Church has been the most prominent religious institution in El Salvador since colonial times, with nearly 75% of the population identifying as Roman Catholic. Reformed churches like Anglican, Lutheran and Baptists have experienced significant growth since the 1970s.
Seventh Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses are experiencing growth in the nation. Today, nearly 20% of the population belongs to one of these churches. Today, over 40% of El Salvador is Evangelical Christian. Small communities of Muslims and Buddhists exist in some parts of the country. In El Salvador, there are different costumes used in religious or other festivals, although in some of the older towns, they are still worn regularly. In female clothing, it is common to see elements like a scapular, a shawl, a cotton headscarf with different coloured adornments; these can be worn with a dress. The normal footwear is sandals. With male clothing, it is common to see a cotton suit or a cotton shirt, worn with modern jeans, sandals or boots, a cowboy hat. However, these are rural fashions, there can be many variations depending on the area; the music of El Salvador has a mixture of Lenca, Cacaopera and Spanish influences. This music includes religious songs. Satirical and rural lyrical themes are common.
Cuban and Mexican music has infiltrated the country salsa and cumbia. Popular music in El Salvador uses Xylophone, tehpe'ch, drums and gourds, as well as more imported guitars and other instruments. El Salvador's well known folk dance is known as Xuc which originated in Cuscatlan. Other musical repertoire consists of danza, pasillo and canciones. El Salvador is a hammock cultured country, a large producer and exporter of hammocks; the valley in which San Salvador City sits upon is dubbed "The Valley of the Hammocks" because the Native Americans, used hammocks to repel constant earthquakes. The colonizing Spaniards used the term as an allusion of earthquakes rocking the valley where San Salvador City is, like a hammock. Hammocks are a big part of Salvadoran culture and are used for afternoon naps. Hammocks swing from doorways, inside living rooms, on porches, in outdoor courtyards, from trees. Just about everywhere a hammock can be seen hung in all social classes of Salvadoran homes, it is socially acceptable to lay around in a hammock all day in this Central American country, that hammocks can be seen from the most humble rural home, to the most p
El Salvador the Republic of El Salvador, is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. It is bordered on the northeast by Honduras, on the northwest by Guatemala, on the south by the Pacific Ocean. El Salvador's capital and largest city is San Salvador; as of 2016, the country had a population of 6.34 million. El Salvador was for centuries inhabited by several Mesoamerican nations the Cuzcatlecs, as well as the Lenca and Maya. In the early 16th century, the Spanish Empire conquered the territory, incorporating it into the Viceroyalty of New Spain ruled from Mexico City; however the Viceroyalty of Mexico had little or no influence in the daily affairs of the Central American isthmus, which would be colonized in 1524. In 1609 the area became the Captaincy General of Guatemala, from which El Salvador was part of until its independence from Spain, which took place in 1821, as part of the First Mexican Empire further seceded, as part of the Federal Republic of Central America, in 1823.
When the Republic dissolved in 1841, El Salvador became a sovereign nation formed a short-lived union with Honduras and Nicaragua called the Greater Republic of Central America, which lasted from 1895 to 1898. From the late 19th to the mid-20th century, El Salvador endured chronic political and economic instability characterized by coups, a succession of authoritarian rulers. Persistent socioeconomic inequality and civil unrest culminated in the devastating Salvadoran Civil War, fought between the military-led government and a coalition of left-wing guerrilla groups; the conflict ended with the Chapultepec Peace Accords. This negotiated settlement established a multiparty constitutional republic, which remains in place to this day. El Salvador's economy has been dominated by agriculture, beginning with the indigo plant, the most important crop during the colonial period, followed thereafter by coffee, which by the early 20th century accounted for 90 percent of export earnings. El Salvador has since reduced its dependence on coffee and embarked on diversifying the economy by opening up trade and financial links and expanding the manufacturing sector.
The colón, the official currency of El Salvador since 1892, was replaced by the U. S. dollar in 2001. As of 2010, El Salvador ranks 12th among Latin American countries in terms of the Human Development Index and fourth in Central America due in part to ongoing rapid industrialisation. However, the country continues to struggle with high rates of poverty and crime. Conquistador Pedro de Alvarado named the new province for Jesus Christ – El Salvador; the full name was "Provincia De Nuestro Señor Jesus Cristo, El Salvador Del Mundo", subsequently abbreviated to "El Salvador". Tomayate is a paleontological site located on the banks of the river of the same name in the municipality of Apopa; the site has produced abundant Salvadoran megafauna fossils belonging to the Pleistocene epoch. The paleontological site was discovered accidentally in 2000, in the following year, an excavation by the Museum of Natural History of El Salvador revealed not only several remnants of Cuvieronius, but several other species of vertebrates.
In the Tomayate site, they have recovered at least 19 species of vertebrates, including giant tortoises, Glyptodon, extinct horses, paleo-llamas and a large number of skeletal remains of proboscis genus Cuvieronius. The Tomayate site stands out from most Central American Pleistocene deposits, being more ancient and much richer, which provides valuable information of the Great American Interchange, in which the Central American isthmus landbridge played the title primordial role. At the same time, it is considered the richest vertebrate paleontological site in Central America and one of the largest accumulations of proboscideans in the Americas. Sophisticated civilization in El Salvador dates to its settlement by the indigenous Lenca people; the Lenca were succeeded by the Olmecs, who also disappeared, leaving their monumental architecture in the form of the pyramids still extant in western El Salvador. The Maya arrived and settled in place of the Olmecs, but their numbers were diminished when the Ilopango supervolcano eruption caused a massive Mayan exodus out of what is now El Salvador.
Centuries they themselves were replaced by the Pipil people, Nahua speaking groups who migrated from Mexico in the centuries before the European conquest and occupied the central and western regions. The Pipil were the last indigenous people to arrive in El Salvador, they called their territory Kuskatan, a Pipil word meaning The Place of Precious Jewels, backformed into Classical Nahuatl Cōzcatlān, Hispanicized as Cuzcatlán. The people of El Salvador today are referred to as Salvadoran, while the term Cuzcatleco is used to identify someone of Salvadoran heritage. In pre-Columbian times, the country was inhabited by various other indigenous peoples, including the Lenca, a Chilanga Lencan-speaking group who settled in the eastern highlands. Cuzcatlan was the larger domain until the Spanish conquest. Since El Salvador resided on the eastern edge of the Maya Civilization, the origins of many of El Salvador's ruins are controversial. However, it is agreed that Mayas occupied the areas around Lago de Guija and Cihuatán.
Other ruins such as Tazumal, Joya de Cerén and San Andrés may have been
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land, surrounded by water. Small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or a lake island may be called an eyot or ait, a small island off the coast may be called a holm. A grouping of geographically or geologically related islands is called an archipelago, such as the Philippines. An island may be described despite the presence of an artificial land bridge; some places may retain "island" in their names for historical reasons after being connected to a larger landmass by a land bridge or landfill, such as Coney Island and Coronado Island, though these are speaking, tied islands. Conversely, when a piece of land is separated from the mainland by a man-made canal, for example the Peloponnese by the Corinth Canal or Marble Hill in northern Manhattan during the time between the building of the United States Ship Canal and the filling-in of the Harlem River which surrounded the area, it is not considered an island.
There are two main types of islands in the sea: oceanic. There are artificial islands; the word island derives from Middle English iland, from Old English igland. However, the spelling of the word was modified in the 15th century because of a false etymology caused by an incorrect association with the etymologically unrelated Old French loanword isle, which itself comes from the Latin word insula. Old English ieg is a cognate of Swedish ö and German Aue, related to Latin aqua. Greenland is the world's largest island, with an area of over 2.1 million km2, while Australia, the world's smallest continent, has an area of 7.6 million km2, but there is no standard of size that distinguishes islands from continents, or from islets. There is a difference between continents in terms of geology. Continents are the largest landmass of a particular continental plate. By contrast, islands are either extensions of the oceanic crust, or belong to a continental plate containing a larger landmass. Continental islands are bodies of land.
Examples are Borneo, Sumatra, Sakhalin and Hainan off Asia. A special type of continental island is the microcontinental island, created when a continent is rifted. Examples are Madagascar and Socotra off Africa, New Caledonia, New Zealand, some of the Seychelles. Another subtype is an island or bar formed by deposition of tiny rocks where water current loses some of its carrying capacity; this includes: barrier islands, which are accumulations of sand deposited by sea currents on the continental shelves fluvial or alluvial islands formed in river deltas or midstream within large rivers. While some are transitory and may disappear if the volume or speed of the current changes, others are stable and long-lived. Islets are small islands. Oceanic islands are islands; the vast majority are volcanic in origin, such as Saint Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean. The few oceanic islands that are not volcanic are tectonic in origin and arise where plate movements have lifted up the ocean floor above the surface.
Examples are Saint Paul Rocks in the Atlantic Ocean and Macquarie Island in the Pacific. One type of volcanic oceanic island is found in a volcanic island arc; these islands arise from volcanoes. Examples are the Aleutian Islands, the Mariana Islands, most of Tonga in the Pacific Ocean; the only examples in the Atlantic Ocean are some of the Lesser Antilles and the South Sandwich Islands. Another type of volcanic oceanic island occurs. There are two examples: Iceland, the world's second largest volcanic island, Jan Mayen. Both are in the Atlantic. A third type of volcanic oceanic island is formed over volcanic hotspots. A hotspot is more or less stationary relative to the moving tectonic plate above it, so a chain of islands results as the plate drifts. Over long periods of time, this type of island is "drowned" by isostatic adjustment and eroded, becoming a seamount. Plate movement across a hot-spot produces a line of islands oriented in the direction of the plate movement. An example is the Hawaiian Islands, from Hawaii to Kure, which continue beneath the sea surface in a more northerly direction as the Emperor Seamounts.
Another chain with similar orientation is the Tuamotu Archipelago. The southernmost chain is the Austral Islands, with its northerly trending part the atolls in the nation of Tuvalu. Tristan da Cunha is an example of a hotspot volcano in the Atlantic Ocean. Another hotspot in the Atlantic is the island of Surtsey, formed in 1963. An atoll is an island formed from a coral reef that has grown on an eroded and submerged volcanic island; the reef forms a new island. Atolls are ring-shaped with a central lagoon. Examples are the Line Islands