El Salvador


El Salvador’s coat of arms was created by graphic designer Rafael Barraza Rodriguez by winning a national contest in 1912. The blazons stand for Salvadoran identity; the five volcanoes represent each of the five Central American nations, tied together by a common base of language and creeds that oblige them to be friendly on their way to progress. The two seas washing the five volcanoes are the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, banding together the spirit of a nation in solidarity towards the rest of the free countries.The cap atop the volcanoes, crowned by rays of light, symbolizes progress inspired by fraternity, freedom and the commitment to believe in equality among people.The rainbow represents the peace that must prevail in the entire isthmus. The five flags depicting the federal colors stand for the heritage of the martyrs. The even triangle and the pavilions all these elements are carved in, talks about the slogan of the Trinity in reference to equality in rights and duties, as well as traditions, ideals and dignity. The laurels mean glory and triumph as the country’s 14 departments must work hard to be a be just one people, its faith, harmony towards its peers and the possibility of living in a free and independent nation.Carved in the base binding the ribbons, one legend reads GOD, UNION, FREEDOM, a compilation of popular faith toward a ruling Divine Power.

Himno Nacional

The Salvadoran National Anthem, popularly adopted as the country’s national song on September 15, 1879, was only officially recognized ten years later as a result of a rambling press debate sparked off by doubts and reservations that eventually proved that the former national anthem was indeed another tune.As a matter of fact, the national anthem was written and composed by Italian songwriter Juan Aberle, who had come to El Salvador in the late 19th century at the helm of an opera company, and by General Juan Jose Cañas, an inspired poet and decorated military officer who had taken the arms in the National Campaign against filibusters inn 1856. The anthem was composed as recommended by Dr. Rafael Zaldivar and was officially sung for the first time at the former National Palace on September 15, 1879 by children and youngsters from both public and private schools of the capital. For three months, school boys and girls rehearsed the lyrics they eventually sang on that September morning and the outcome of that effort was superb. Both the inspired poet and the famous composer had made it.However, this was not El Salvador’s first-ever national anthem. The first song had been composed between September and October, 1866 by Dr. Tomas M. Muñoz, the man who wrote the lyrics, and by composer Rafael Orozco, who at the time was the leader of the Military Band, composed the music for the anthem. The Anthem was dedicated to then Salvadoran President Dr. Francisco Dueñas, who on October 8 that same year declared it the country’s official national anthem. The anthem was later sang on January 24, 1867 during an open-air band concert in front of the presidential mansion. Yet this anthem, expressly composed to praise a president, was short lived and the moment President Dueñas left office the anthem was never again sung anywhere else. But since there was a driving need to have a national anthem, President Zaldivar asked Alberle and Cañas to compose a patriotic tune.(CHORUS)Saludemos la patria orgullososde hijos suyos podernos llamar;y juremos la vida animosos,sin descanso a su bien consagrar. De la paz en la dicha suprema,siempre noble sono El Salvador;fue obtenerla su eterno problema,conservarla es su gloria mayor.Y con fe inquebrantable el caminodel progreso se afana en seguir,por llenar su grandioso destino,conquistarse un feliz porvenir.Le protege una ferrea barreracontra el choque de ruin deslealtad,desde el dia que en su alta banderacon su sangre escribio: LIBERTAD!! Libertad es su dogma, es su guiaque mil veces logro defender;y otras tantas, de audaz tiraniarechazar el odioso poder.Dolorosa y sangrienta es su historia,pero excelsa y brillante a la vez;manantial de legitima gloria,gran leccion de espartana altivez.No desmaya en su innata bravura,en cada hombre hay un heroe inmortalque sabra mantenerse a la alturade su antiguo valor proverbial. Todos son abnegados, y fielesal prestigio del belico ardorcon que siempre segaron laurelesde la patria salvando el honor.Respetar los derechos extranosy apoyarse en la recta razones para ella, sin torpes amanossu invariable, mas firme ambicion.Y en seguir esta linea se aferradedicando su esfuerzo tenaz,en hacer cruda guerra a la guerra;su ventura se encuentra en la paz.


Izote is El Salvador’s national flower. This is typical flower of Central America, belonging to the lily family. There are many genders and species within this family, and this particular flower is very useful since a great amount of them can be edible and its fibers are used in making fabrics and in decorations.


Maquilishuat is the national tree. The maquilishuat and the balm are indeed the two national trees of El Salvador. The maquilishuat is empowered by a unique beauty, it could grow as tall as 30 meters high and blooms all year round. Its leaves are complex and the color of its flowers vary. These two giants were declared as the country’s national trees by an executive decree issued back in 1939.


Alfredo Espino was blessed with exceptional gifts in verses and poems. He churned out work of irregular form and content, sometimes inclined to easy writing, forced rhyming and even to obvious landscape descriptions. The poet never turned 29 years old. He was born on January 8, 1900 and passed away on May 24, 1928. Son of poet Alfonso Espino and educator Enriqueta Navarro. He studied law in San Salvador in the bohemian ambiance of the early 20th century.He wrote just 96 poems. Thanks to his father’s enthusiasm, Alberto Masferrer’s generosity in reading his works, and with the support of friends and fans alike, his poems were compiled in a small book entitled Jicaras Tristes (Saddened Clay Jars) that saw the light of day in 1930. The book is divided in six parts and it soon became the favorite book for many Salvadoran of different walks of life and social layers.How Espino’s poems were officially published still remains a mystery for literary reviewers and critics.Alfredo Espino’s youth-oriented poems reflect a personal mood for they were written in a social environment close to agrarian feudalism. For him, everything is supposed to be beautiful since nature is prodigious, and so it must be the human soul and the social system men live in. Penciled in as El Salvador’s National Poet, this “chanter of simple things in his own turf” used to believe that poets see what others don’t, and pick up gems where others see pebbles and hunger. One of his best-known poems (Ascension) gives us the poet’s vision about man and the world.


Soccer is El Salvador’s national sport. Other sports practiced nationwide are basketball, softball, baseball, volleyball, swimming, bowling, table tennis, surfing, water skiing, golf and equestrian. There are several private-run gyms where any of the above-mentioned sports can be practiced.