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El Salvador is the smallest nation in the Americas and it is also the most densely populated. It is a traditionally rural country that is undergoing rapid industrialisation and modernisation. It shares borders with Guatemala and Honduras and has a shore on the Gulf of Fonseca. The last census was in 2009 and El Salvador had a population of 5.7 million people, whose ethnic origin is largely Mestizo, a mixture of Native American and European ancestry. Its capital is San Salvador, the largest city in the country. The currency was once the ‘colón’ although they have now adopted the US dollar, linking their own economic prosperity with that of the United States. The country dates back to the time of Spanish conquistadors, who considered the country a place for diamonds and jewels. The main language is Spanish although English is also spoken in many of the tourist areas.
In Spanish the country is called “La Tierra de Volcanes Soberbios” which translates as The Country of Proud and Arrogant Volcanoes. The name “El Salvador” literally means “The Saviour.” The country is well known for its geography and natural, undisturbed countryside. It has many rural areas although is urbanising quickly. Cuscatlán International Airport, also known as El Salvador International Airport, is approximately 30 miles from San Salvador, the capital. It was built in the late 1970s to replace Ilopango International , now used for military and charter aviation.