El Salvador is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. The country's capital city and largest city is San Salvador; Santa Ana and San Miguel are also important cultural and commercial centers in the country and in all of Central America. El Salvador borders the Pacific Ocean to the west, toughed in between Guatemala to the north and Honduras to the east, with its eastern-most region lying on the Gulf of Fonseca across from Nicaragua.
As of 2009, El Salvador has a population of approximately 5,744,113 people, composed predominantly of Mestizo, mixed biracial Native American/European ancestry and White/Caucasian.
The colón was the official currency of El Salvador from 1892 to 2001, when it adopted the U.S. Dollar. In 2010 El Salvador ranked in the top 10 among Latin American countries in terms of the Human Development Index and in the top 3 in Central America (behind Costa Rica and Panama); because of this, the country is currently undergoing rapid industrialization.
El Salvador was explored and settled by the Spanish in the 16th century, the country broke with Spain in 1821 and joined a union consisting of Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua – named the Federal Republic of Central America. When the latter dissolved in 1841, El Salvador then joined the Greater Republic of Central America in 1896 with Honduras and Nicaragua; which later dissolved in 1898. El Salvador has a long history, with origins dating back to the Spanish conquest of the Pipil people of Cuzcatlán, which means The Place of Precious Diamonds and Jewels. The people from El Salvador are variably referred to as Salvadoran or Salvadorian, while the term Cuzcatleco is commonly used to identify someone of Salvadoran heritage. (Wikipedia)