Join Britannica's Publishing Partner Program and our community of experts to gain a global audience for your work! El Salvador is the smallest and most densely populated of the seven Central American countries.
Despite having little level land, it traditionally was an agricultural country, heavily dependent upon coffee exports.
As a result of this, El Salvador plunged into an economic depression, and the Oligarchy had to find a new source of revenue, which they found in indigo (Montgomery 71).
Indigo was profitable because of the increase in demand for textiles in Europe at this time (Krauss 59-60).
Furthermore, the many wars and political revolts in El Salvador impeded its economic and social growth.
The main focus of the Oligarchy was to turn a profit.
El Salvador is bounded by Honduras to the north and east, by the Pacific Ocean to the south, and by Guatemala to the northwest.
Its territory is situated wholly on the western side of the isthmus, and it is therefore the only Central American country that lacks a Caribbean coast.
Extending along the entire northern border region are a range of highlands, with average elevations of 5,000 to 6,000 feet (1,500 to 1,800 metres), formed by ancient and heavily eroded volcanic structures.
The steepness of slope, excessive forest clearance, and overuse of soils have led to serious deterioration of the environment of this northern region.