Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963879 | Print ISBN: 9781412926942 | Online ISBN: 9781412963879| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
P. Rafael Hernández-Arias
The people from El Salvador have long been domestic and international migrants, but Salvadorans in the United States have become increasingly visible since the early 1980s. The concentration of land tenure, foreign domination, and market demands shaped migrations within rural areas of El Salvador and from rural to urban areas. The resulting unequal economic distribution prompted revolts, a civil war, and further migrations. About 20% of the Salvadoran population lives abroad, primarily in the United States. Salvadorans have become an integral part of their host countries while continuing to play a pivotal role in their homeland, as described in this entry. Most Salvadorans are descendents of the Pipils, a subgroup of the Nahuas that migrated to Central America about 3000 BC. In 1523, the Spanish conquered Cuzcatlán, a region they dubbed El Salvador, or the savior. The scarce precious metals in the new colony made land and labor the The ...