Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
Fact Sheet
July 29, 2015

More information about El Salvador is available on the El Salvador Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.


The United States established diplomatic relations with El Salvador in 1863 following its independence from Spain and the later dissolution of a federation of Central American states. Post-independence, the country saw a mix of revolutions, democracy, and a 1980-1992 civil war. After the signing of peace accords in 1992, the Salvadorans have consolidated their democracy through an uninterrupted chain of elected governments. The United States and El Salvador share a strong commitment to democracy, rule of law, and inclusive economic development. Ties are further enriched by 2 million Salvadorans who call the United States home.

El Salvador is a key partner in efforts to dampen the threats posed by transnational criminal organizations and gangs. The country has been a strong, durable partner on security and defense issues. However, endemic crime and impunity threaten El Salvador's progress by undermining the legitimacy of state institutions and impeding economic growth. U.S. policy toward El Salvador promotes the strengthening of El Salvador's democratic institutions, rule of law, judicial reform, and economic opportunity and growth. Through the Partnership for Growth, the two countries are committed to working closely to boost economic prosperity and create a safer, more prosperous, and more democratic future for all their citizens.

U.S. Assistance to El Salvador

El Salvador is one of four countries worldwide selected to participate in the Partnership for Growth initiative. A joint U.S.-El Salvador multidisciplinary team identified the two most critical constraints to economic growth: crime and insecurity; and low productivity in tradables. In 2011, the governments of El Salvador and the United States identified 20 goals in a five-year Joint Country Action Plan to work in partnership with local organizations, the private sector, and other donors. The majority of U.S. assistance for El Salvador is aligned to support of the Joint Country Action Plan. Additionally, in September 2014, El Salvador and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a U.S. Government development agency, signed a five-year compact designed to increase El Salvador’s productivity and competitiveness in international markets through projects to support the country’s investment climate, human capital, and logistical infrastructure.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The United States and El Salvador are parties to the U.S.-Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), which aims to facilitate trade and investment and further regional integration by eliminating tariffs, opening markets, reducing barriers to services, and promoting transparency. CAFTA-DR contains a chapter on investment similar to a bilateral investment treaty with the United States. More than 300 U.S. companies have established either a permanent commercial presence in El Salvador or work through representative offices in the country. U.S. exports to El Salvador include fuel products, low-value and donated relief articles, aircraft, machinery, and knit crocheted fabrics. U.S. imports from El Salvador include apparel and agricultural products (spices, coffee, tea and sugars). Remittances from Salvadorans working in the United States are an important source of income for many families in El Salvador.

El Salvador's Membership in International Organizations

El Salvador and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Organization of American States, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, World Trade Organization, and Community of Democracies.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador is Mari Carmen Aponte; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

El Salvador maintains an embassy in the United States at 1400 16th Street NW, Washington, DC, 20036 (tel: 202-595-7500).

More information about El Salvador is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State El Salvador Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook El Salvador Page
U.S. Embassy: El Salvador
USAID El Salvador Page
History of U.S. Relations With El Salvador
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Millennium Challenge Corporation
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information

[This is a mobile copy of El Salvador]

Short URL: http://m.state.gov/md2033.htm