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Ethnicity, Language, & Religion of El Salvador

WARNING: Violence is common in El Salvador, please read this travel warning before going!


Nearly everyone in El Salvador is "mestizo," which is a combination of American Indian and European (mostly Spanish) descent. The degree each person is American Indian and European varies and even the specific American Indian and European ethnicity varies from person to person. Among the rest of the people, nearly all of them are either wholly European or wholly American Indian.


The only official language in El Salvador is Spanish, as nearly the entire population speaks this language natively. The American Indian language of Nahua is also natively spoken by many American Indians in the country. English is a commonly taught language in schools, although few people are fluent in the language.

Spanish is a Romance language also spoken in Spain; it is closely related to other Romance languages, including Portuguese, Italian, French, Romanian, others. The dialect of Spanish in El Salvador is quite distinct in comparison to that of Spain and there are also many minor differences in the language across Latin America.


El Salvador's majority is Roman Catholic with nearly 60% of the people. Protestantism has another 20% of the population, while the small religious groups of Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons both have significant numbers relative to these religions' overall world size, but only consist of about 1-2% of the population. Just over 15% of the population is atheist.

Catholicism is a Christian religion that is one of the first Christian religions (founded after the death of Jesus in about 30-33 AD). Catholicism believes that there is a single God who created everything, a savior, the son of God, Jesus Christ who is the forgiver of sins, and there is the Holy Spirit, which makes up the last part of the Holy Trinity. Catholics follow the teachings of the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments. Much of the faith is based on the life and teachings of Jesus, which is found in the gospels (in the New Testament).

Continue reading on Safari the Globe to Learn the Catholic Church's doctrines, liturgy, symbolism, traditions, & hierarchy

This page was last updated: May, 2014