El Salvador is a country with warm, inviting, hardworking, and proud people. It is the smallest country in the Western Hemisphere and one that struggles to fend off poverty, violence, and natural disasters.
Its current population is more than 7 million, and it is estimated that 2.5 million live in poverty. Of those about 500,000 live in extreme poverty.
Yet, no matter the adversity, the Salvadoran people always seem to pick up the pieces and start anew. Resilience and hard work have always been defining characteristics of the Salvadoran people, but so has their sense of optimism.
When the Salvadoran Civil War took place between the late 1970s and early 1980s, many Salvadorans left the country to flee conflict. The struggle claimed nearly 75,000 lives. Among those who fled were a group of business leaders who came to the United States. In 1983, they began the Salvadoran American Humanitarian Foundation.