El Salvador

El Salvador has endured a long history of poverty, violence and interrupted development. The El Salvador Civil War, between 1980 and 1992, severely affected the nation’s development.

School children
Key facts:
  • Programs


  • Partners


  • Population


  • Extreme poverty

    Living on less than $1.25 a day:

  • Data sources 

Why do we work in El Salvador?

El Salvador, a small, densely populated country in Central America, is prone to earthquakes, volcanoes, floods and hurricanes.

Violence in El Salvador is high. it has one of the world’s highest rates of homicide. Crime and violence have impeded access to education, basic healthcare and opportunities for employment, especially among poorer people.

Our work in El Salvador

Caritas Australia's work in Latin America began in the 1990s with our support of CONTRASIDA, an HIV/AIDS prevention and education program in San Salvador.

The program takes a holistic approach to HIV/AIDS prevention and management, and includes education, health assistance, livelihood training and advocacy. As Sr Margaret Fyfe says in the video below, CONTRASIDA has become a standout program in Central America. They are now becoming mentors for others supporting people living with HIV and AIDS.

For more, watch the video below on our Latin America programs. 

Examples of our work

  1. Caritas Australia’s partner CONTRASIDA has played an important role in advocating for the rights of people with HIV/AIDS in El Salvador. It has a significant presence on national and regional committees, including recently being elected to a two-year term to represent all of El Salvador’s HIV/AIDS non-governmental organisations at the United Nations Council.
  2. People living with HIV/AIDS receive clinical support, pastoral accompaniment (including microfinance initiatives) and educational opportunities through the program run by CONTRASIDA.

Featured projects:

  • Teresa from El Salvador

    HIV/AIDS prevention and education

    This program aims to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS through education projects while also supporting those living with the virus.