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El Salvador

Basic Indicators

Source: UNICEF: The State of the World's Children Report

Population: 6,163,000 (2009)
National language: Spanish
Per capita income: US$ 3,370 (2009)
Life expectancy: 72 (2009)
% of population using
improved drinking water sources:
87% (2008)
% of population using
adequate sanitation facilities:
87% (2008)
Under 5 Mortality Rate: 17/1,000 live births (2009) 

El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America and the only one without coastline on the Caribbean Sea. Slightly smaller than Massachusetts, El Salvador is bordered by Guatemala to the northwest and Honduras to the northeast. It has a long southern coastline on the Pacific Ocean.

Sponsor a child today!Because of its location, El Salvador is very vulnerable to natural disasters, including hurricanes, mudslides and earthquakes — all of which have caused significant damage in the recent past.

El Salvador’s economy is primarily agricultural, based on cotton, sugar, corn and beans. Despite its small size, the country boasts the third-largest economy in Central America, but the devastating consequences of natural disasters threaten sustained economic success. Currently 35 percent of citizens, particularly those in rural areas, still live below the poverty line.

Plan's programs currently directly benefit 42,000 sponsored children and their families in El Salvador, focusing on protection of children’s rights, health care and education, and HIV and AIDS prevention and awareness. Except in emergency situations, Plan does not provide direct assistance. Instead, we help communities develop, grow and, ultimately, support themselves.

Hear from the children

An essential part of Plan's work is empowering children to discuss the issues that matter to them and to take part in decisions that affect their lives. To help you learn about these issues, the children in Plan communities have put together a series of publications called "See Our World": Read what the children have to say about their lives.