Explore recent trends in present-day El Salvador.
In the News
News of El Salvador appears often in present-day media landscapes, and especially recently in US news outlets where Salvadorans and others from Guatemala and Honduras are mentioned alongside talk of migration, “border crises,” and gangs. A good media resource for up-to-date information on El Salvador can be accessed at The Guardian.
Rise of Gang Violence
Although the signing of the Peace Accords in 1992 brought a formal end to the civil war in El Salvador, the land of the Savior continues to be a place where chronic violence and economic hardships make everyday life difficult. This short video from PBS News Hour offers some helpful background information on the connections between the civil war, migration, and the evolution of gangs in El Salvador.
Christianity in Latin America and El Salvador
While Latin America remains a deeply Catholic region, Protestantism is growing in the region. In the aftermath of the Salvadoran civil war, many Salvadoran converts to Protestantism joined a Pentecostal church or practice charismatic faith. Read “Religion in Latin America: Widespread change in a Historically Catholic Region,” from the Pew Research Center for more about the religious beliefs and practices, social values, politics, growth of Pentecostalism and more.
Christianity and Salvadoran Gangs
To learn more about how churches are addressing social challenges, read “Can Religion Solve El Salvador’s Gang Problem?” which analyzes the evolution of gang violence and the changing religious landscape of El Salvador. Or view this video, “The El Salvadoran Pastors Saving MS-13 Gang Members,” from The Guardian.
Migration and Displaced People
This brief selection from a recent study conducted by Pew Research Center reports on the steady increase in migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras traveling to Mexico, the US, and Canada. As you read this study think about Nicolás’ response to the violence he experienced. How is the chronic violence he confronted similar to (or different from) the patterns of violence that influence the decisions of present-day Salvadorans who are considering leaving their homes?Back to People and Powers Back to the Reading Guide