• United States!

    United States: Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Go Now!

    United States
    Explore the vast openness and wildlife found roaming in the western United States, including Theodore Roosevelt National Park (pictured) in North Dakota. Begin Your Journey!

  • Trinidad & Tobago!

    Trinidad & Tobago: Beautiful Coastline. Go Now!

    Trinidad & Tobago
    These Caribbean islands mix Indian, African, and European cultures alongside beautiful beaches. Go Now!

  • Cuba!

    Cuba: Sandy beach. Go Now!

    Cuba
    Many people fear the unknowns of Cuba, but the history, culture, food, and impressive beaches lure many visitors every year. Explore Cuba!

  • Panama!

    Panama: Panama City skyline. Go Now!

    Panama
    Panama is best known for the Panama Canal, but the beaches draw tourists, as does Panama City (pictured), a modern capital quite different from most nearby cities. Explore Panama

  • Mexico!

    Mexico: Sunrise over the mountains in Puerto Vallarta. Go Now!

    Mexico
    Although many people just go for the beaches, Mexico offers impressive mountain vistas (pictured in Puerto Vallarta), great food, and historic ruins that compete with the best in the world. Begin Your Journey!

  • Barbados!

    Barbados: Pier on the beach. Go Now!

    Barbados
    This Caribbean island has hints of British culture, but is wholly Caribbean as well. Explore Barbados!

Social Life in El Salvador

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

Behavior

The Salvadorans are conservative in most aspects of their lives and this is best seen in their behaviors, dress, and dining etiquette. They tend to dress and act conservatively, much of which is based on the doctrines of their Catholic faith. However, there is also great variety in the way the Salvadorans behave as the country is quite diverse ethnically and geographically.

As a visitor to El Salvador try to follow the lead of the locals by dressing conservatively (see below for details), dining in the local etiquette (see our El Salvador Dining & Food Page), and avoid sensitive conversation topics, such as politics, finances, and business unless initiated by your local counterpart. Also try to avoid being loud, rude, showing off wealth, or getting noticeably drunk in public.

Dress

Although most people today wear western-styled clothing in El Salvador, there are a number of people that cling to more traditional dress, including many of the ethnic Mayans. This traditional dress is strongly tied to both Mayan and Spanish clothing as women wear a long, loose-fitting, short-sleeved dress with a large collar around the neck. These dresses can come in numerous colors and tend to have decorations and designs that brighten them up. Men traditionally wore white pants and white shirts with a simple hat, but today few men dress in this manner.

Most people in El Salvador today dress in western-styled clothing and the style from individual to individual can vary substantially, but most people do dress on the more conservative side. In cities long pants and long-sleeved shirts are common for most occasions, but on weekends and along the beaches shorts and short-sleeve shirts are popular. However, dress is truly reliant on the situation as business settings require more formal and conservative dress as do visits to a church. As a visitor to El Salvador, you should also dress for the occasion, but if in doubt remain on the more conservative side. Also, be aware that sunbathing naked or women sunbathing topless is rarely to never permitted; if in doubt, check with locals before doing so.

This page was last updated: December, 2013