El Salvador (/ɛl ˈsælvədɔːr/ (About this sound listen); Spanish: [el salβaˈðor]), officially the Republic of El Salvador (Spanish: República de El Salvador, literally “Republic of The Savior”), is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. El Salvador’s capital and largest city is San Salvador. As of 2016, the country had a population of approximately 6.34 million, consisting largely of Mestizos of European and Indigenous American descent.

El Salvador was for centuries inhabited by several Mesoamerican nations, especially 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, then 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, then 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, revolts, and a succession of authoritarian rulers. Persistent socioeconomic inequality and civil unrest culminated in the devastating Salvadoran Civil War (1979–1992), which was 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.

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Tazumal is a pre-Columbian Maya archeological site in Chalchuapa, El Salvador. Tazumal is an architectural complex within the larger area of the ancient Mesoamerican city of Chalchuapa, in western El Salvador

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Joya de Cerén is an archaeological site in La Libertad Department, El Salvador, featuring a pre-Columbian Maya farming village preserved remarkably intact under layers of volcanic ash

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Lake Coatepeque is a large crater lake surrounded by wooded hills in western El Salvador. Nearby El Congo is its gateway village. In the lake’s southwest corner is Teopán Island, once a sacred site for the ancient Maya. Farther southwest, the Cerro Verde National Park is crossed by a network of trails. Its towering Santa Ana Volcano and the conical Izalco Volcano offer panoramic views over the lake

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