Information, Products and Services for Expats in Metapán, Santa Ana, El Salvador

Expat Information Guide provides useful information for expats in Metapán, Santa Ana, El Salvador and many other locations.

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Huyendo El Salvador, mujer encuentra seguridad
Centro de Operaciones de Emergencias de la Dirección General de protección Civil coordina labores de extinción del incendio en parque Walter Thilo Deininger #1 - San Salvador, 15 de febrero de 2018 2:30 pm
Greater Help is on the Way: WORLDWATER® & SOLAR TECHNOLOGIES CONTINUES TO SEND AID TO PUERTO RICO
eNCA | El Salvador releases woman jailed over abortion
El Salvador frees woman imprisoned over 'stillbirth'
Do You Have News to Share? Get It Published.
El Salvador Frees Woman Imprisoned for Decade Under Abortion Ban
El Salvador Frees Woman Imprisoned for Decade Under Abortion Ban The woman, Teodora del Carmen Vásquez, was convicted of aggravated homicide after she had a stillbirth. She had been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Editor's notebook: Reaching the Hispanic community
Korea signs free trade deal with Central America as first in Asia
Sounders sign Lamar Neagle, Calle Brown
Ending Human Trafficking
S. Korea Signs Free Trade Deals With 5 Central America Countries
EVOLIO Marketing’s Federbush to Lead Flash Talk at HCEAInnovate
Why tens of thousands of kids from El Salvador continue to flee to the United States
IMF Team Concludes Article IV Mission to El Salvador
South Korea Strikes Free Trade Deal With 5 Central American Countries - Ministry
Do You Have News to Share? Get It Published.
South Korea will sign trade deals with five Central American countries
Trump takes in Australian refugees he never wanted ahead of prime minister’s visit
US now quietly taking refugees from Australian detention camps
New York Today: New York Today: Ghost Signs
Donald Trump Administration Sued Over Detention Of Immigrant Children
South Korea, Central American nations sign free trade agreement
Traumatic Brain Injury - Companies Involved in Therapeutics Development, H1 2018
New York Today: Ghost Signs
Much-touted MS-13 sweep keeps even most basic details...
Much-touted MS-13 sweep keeps even most basic details secret
Miramichi's Laura Dickinson wins gold and silver at Pan Am Cross Country Cup
Do You Have News to Share? Get It Published.
El Salvador baby death case woman freed
10 governors shaping the future of politics
He flashed gang signs on Facebook. That’s why MS-13 killed him viciously, a gang leader says
Rick Steves Gets Uncomfortable In 'Travel As A Political Act'
REPORT: MS-13 Made Comeback Through Obama’s Lax Gang Enforcement, Surge Of Unaccompanied Minors
In the Cuban Sphere
Writers on the Range: What kind of immigration policies do we want?
How Obama's DACA/Dreamers increased violent crime
Lee Zeldin bill would revoke immigrant gang members' citizenship
Jessica Bolaños, the socially aware entrepreneur
Do You Have News to Share? Get It Published.
Trump's UN migrant nominee has a record to put his petty critics to shame
AMERICA/EL SALVADOR - Many do not feel represented by any party, but the Church calls for responsible voting
He was flashing gang signs on Facebook. It got him killed by MS-13.
El Salvador baby death: Teodora Vásquez freed after 9 years
El Salvador detains 3 officers in torture, abduction case
Global Vertigo Market Competition by Manufacturers Opportunities and Forecast To 2021
A leader in the violent Salvadoran gang testifies about ordering a group murder
Today
Moderate or Heavy Rain Shower
High:81°F (27°C)
Low:67°F (20°C)
Winds:S 4 MPH (7 KPH)
Precipitation:18.9
Tomorrow
Partly Cloudy
High:81°F (27°C)
Low:68°F (20°C)
Winds:S 5 MPH (8 KPH)
Precipitation:5.2
Saturday
Partly Cloudy
High:83°F (28°C)
Low:67°F (20°C)
Winds:S 5 MPH (7 KPH)
Precipitation:23.9
Sunday
Partly Cloudy
High:83°F (28°C)
Low:68°F (20°C)
Winds:S 4 MPH (7 KPH)
Precipitation:24.9
Monday
Clear/Sunny
High:86°F (30°C)
Low:68°F (20°C)
Winds:S 4 MPH (6 KPH)
Precipitation:3.5
El Salvador: Driving Escalon Suburb to Downtown El Salvador - Part 1
El Salvador - San Salvador City
Downtown San Salvador (Una mirada al Centro Histórico de San Salvador)
Reportaje de Tour a Parque Nacional Montecristo - El Salvador Turismo
Metapan
Metapán. Santa Ana. El Salvador. Centroamérica.
Parque de Metapan
Mercado Central Santa Ana, El Salvador
Discover El Salvador
Gran Seleccion de Frutas Tropicales
citizen
El Salvador Travel Warning
The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens that crime and violence levels in El Salvador remain critically high, and U.S. citizens traveling to El Salvador should remain alert to their surroundings.

This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning dated June 22, 2015, and includes updated information on crime and security in El Salvador.

Tens of thousands of U.S. citizens safely visit El Salvador each year for study, tourism, cruise ship visits, business, and volunteer work.  There is no information to suggest that U.S. citizens are specifically targeted by criminals; however, crime and violence are serious problems throughout the country. Since a rise in violence in the summer of 2015, the current murder rate in El Salvador is among the highest in the world, an annual rate of 103.1 murders per 100,000 citizens for 2015. In comparison, the U.S. rate is 4.5 per 100,000.  While U.S. citizens are not singled out as targets, the pervasive violence greatly increases the chance of someone being “in the wrong place at the wrong time.”  Since January 2010, 38 U.S. citizens have been murdered in El Salvador.  During the same time period, 449 U.S. citizens reported having their passports stolen, while others were victims of violent crimes.

Typical crimes in El Salvador include extortion, mugging, highway assault, home invasion, and car theft.  There have also been cases reported in which criminals observe and follow customers making withdrawals at ATMs and banks, then rob them on the road or at a residence.  Some victims unwittingly wander into gang-controlled territory and may be targeted, normally at night.  Assaults against police officers have risen, and public shootouts are not uncommon.  Armed robberies of climbers and hikers in El Salvador’s national parks are known to occur, and the U.S. Embassy strongly recommends engaging the services of a local guide certified by the national or local tourist authority when hiking in back country areas.  The National Civilian Police (PNC) has a special tourist police force (POLITUR) to provide security and assistance to visitors.  It has officers located in 19 tourist destinations.

A majority of serious crimes are never solved; only seven of the 38 murders of U.S. citizens since January 2010 have resulted in convictions.  The Government of El Salvador lacks sufficient resources to properly investigate and prosecute cases and to deter violent crime.  While several of the PNC’s investigative units have shown promise, routine street-level patrol techniques, anti-gang, and crime suppression efforts are limited.  Equipment shortages (particularly radios, vehicles, and fuel) further limit their ability to deter or respond to crimes effectively. As a result, criminals operate with a high degree of impunity throughout El Salvador.

El Salvador, a country of roughly six million people, has, according to Government of El Salvador statistics, thousands of known gang members from several gangs including Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Eighteenth Street (M18). Gang members are quick to engage in violence or use deadly force if resisted.  These “maras” concentrate on narcotics and arms trafficking, murder for hire, carjacking, extortion, and violent street crime.  Authorities believe a significant number of disappearances are related to gang activity, since many of the missing were in gangs or were friends or family members of gang members.  Police sources claim that the families of gang members often face the same risks of being killed or disappearing as the gang members themselves. 

In the past year, Salvadoran gangs have escalated their tactics.  In late July 2015, they used threats and violence to halt most public transportation, killing 8 drivers and burning two buses from the transportation companies that continued to provide service.  This followed a July 25, 2015 grenade attack near the Sheraton hotel in San Salvador.  On August 28, 2015, an improvised explosive device (IED) was placed in a vehicle parked in front of the Ministry of Justice and Public Security; the device was constructed with military-grade explosives, but failed to detonate.  On September 10, 2015, a homemade IED detonated inside a car parked in front of the Ministry of Finance; there were no reported injuries although the blast did cause damage to nearby buildings. Similar IEDs have been found, made from both military-grade and household materials, and they represent an escalation in gang tactics to target Salvadoran government personnel and facilities.  Local police have arrested members of M18 in relation to these devices. 

Extortion is a very common crime in El Salvador.  Some extortion attempts are no more than random cold calls that originate from imprisoned gang members using cellular telephones, and the subsequent threats against the victim are made through social engineering and/or through information obtained about the victim’s family.  U.S. citizens who are visiting El Salvador for extended periods are at higher risk for extortion demands.  Many extortions and other crimes are not reported by victims for fear of reprisal and lack of faith in the ability of the local government to protect the victims.

U.S. citizens should remain alert to their surroundings, especially when entering or exiting their homes or hotels, cars, garages, schools, and workplaces.  Whenever possible, travel in groups.  U.S. Embassy security officials advise all U.S. government personnel not to walk, run, or cycle in unguarded streets and parks, even in groups, and recommend exercising only in gyms and fitness centers.  Avoid wearing expensive jewelry, and do not carry large sums of money or display cash, ATM/credit cards, or other valuables.  Avoid walking at night in most areas of El Salvador. Incidents of crime along roads, including carjacking, are common in El Salvador.  Motorists should avoid traveling at night and always drive with their windows up and doors locked to deter potential robberies at traffic lights and on congested downtown streets.  Travel on public transportation, especially buses, both within and outside the capital, is risky and not recommended.  The Embassy advises official visitors and personnel to avoid using mini-buses and regular buses and to use only radio-dispatched taxis or those stationed in front of major hotels.

For more detailed information regarding personal security, please see the State Department's Country Specific Information for El Salvador.  U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, where the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts can be found.  Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well. 

U.S. citizens living or traveling in El Salvador are strongly encouraged to sign up for the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to obtain updated information on travel and security within El Salvador.  Travelers may also obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States or on a regular toll line at 202-501-4444.

The U.S. Embassy is located on Final Boulevard Santa Elena Sur, Urbanización Santa Elena, Antiguo Cuscatlán, La Libertad, and can be reached at:

Telephone: 503-2501-2999
Fax: 503-2278-5522 / 503-2278-6020
Email
Website 
Facebook
Twitter

For after-hours emergencies, please call 503-2501-2999. 

more information
Europe Travel Alert
The State Department alerts U.S. citizens to potential risks of travel to and throughout Europe following several terrorist attacks, including the March 22 attacks in Brussels claimed by ISIL.

Terrorist groups continue to plan near-term attacks throughout Europe, targeting sporting events, tourist sites, restaurants, and transportation.  This Travel Alert expires on June 20, 2016.

U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using mass transportation. Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid crowded places. Exercise particular caution during religious holidays and at large festivals or events.

U.S. citizens should also: 

  • Follow the instructions of local authorities, especially in an emergency.
  • Monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.
  • Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions.
  • Stay in touch with your family members and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.
  • Register in our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

European governments continue to guard against terrorist attacks and conduct raids to disrupt plots. We work closely with our allies and will continue to share information with our European partners that will help identify and counter terrorist threats.

For further information:

more information
Republic of Congo Travel Alert
The State Department alerts U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to The Republic of the Congo regarding the upcoming presidential elections scheduled for March 20.

U.S. citizens should maintain a high level of security awareness due to the potential for political unrest leading up to, during, and following the election period.  This Travel Alert expires on April 15, 2016.

 

Political protests and demonstrations may occur in this timeframe. Although there is no indication that U.S. citizens may be targets of violence, U.S. citizens should avoid political rallies, polling centers, demonstrations, and crowds of any kind as gatherings intended to be peaceful can turn violent.  Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates, including any changes in the election schedule.  Presidential election results are expected to be announced within a week of the election.

For more information:

  • See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Congo.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. 
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Brazzaville, located at 70-83 Boulevard Denis Sassou Nguesso, Brazzaville, Congo, at +242-06-612-2000, 8.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. from Monday - Thursday; 8.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. on Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is (+242) 06-612-2010.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook
more information
South Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season - 2015 - 2016
The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to the South Pacific region about the ongoing threat of tropical cyclones affecting the area.

While tropical cyclones in the South Pacific may occur throughout the year, the current South Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season begins on November 1, 2015, and ends April 30, 2016.  U.S. citizens living in or traveling to the region should monitor local weather reports and take other appropriate action as needed.  This Travel Alert expires on April 30, 2016.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recommends that people living or traveling in regions prone to tropical storms and tropical cyclones be prepared.  For further information about tropical cyclone preparedness, please visit NOAA's Tropical Cyclones Preparedness Guide.

Tropical cyclones can create dangerous and uncomfortable conditions that can prevent travel for days.  Tropical cyclones are often accompanied by damaging winds, high tides and flooding.  If you are living near or staying close to the ocean or other bodies of water, you may be at higher risk.  Landslides and mudslides are also a serious concern.  Roads can be washed out or obstructed by debris, adversely affecting access to airports and land routes out of affected areas.  In the past, many U.S. citizens were forced to delay travel (including return travel to the United States) due to infrastructure damage to airports and limited flight availability.  You should be aware that you may not be able to depart the area for 24-48 hours or longer, particularly if you are residing in or visiting a South Pacific island country where air travel service is limited. 

Be sure to check with local authorities for safety and security updates.  Reports of looting and sporadic violence in the aftermath of natural disasters have occurred.  Security personnel and medical services may not always be readily available, as weather conditions or damage to infrastructure may delay or prevent emergency assistance.

If you live in or travel to these areas during the tropical cyclone season, we recommend you obtain travel insurance to cover unexpected expenses during an emergency.  If a situation requires an evacuation from an overseas location, the U.S. Department of State may work with commercial airlines to ensure that U.S. citizens can depart as safely and efficiently as possible.  Commercial airlines are the Department's primary source of transportation in an evacuation; other means of transport are utilized only as a last resort, are often more expensive, and will provide you with fewer destination options.  U.S. law requires that any evacuation costs are your responsibility.  For those in financial need, the U.S. Department of State has the authority to provide crisis evacuation and repatriation loans on a reimbursable basis.  For more information, please visit the Emergencies Abroad page on our website.   

If you live in or are traveling to storm-prone regions, prepare for hurricanes and tropical storms by organizing a kit in a waterproof container that includes a supply of bottled water, non-perishable food items, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, any medications taken regularly, and vital documents (especially your passport and other identification).  Emergency shelters often provide only very basic resources and may have limited medical and food supplies.  NOAA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have additional tips on their websites.

Monitor local radio, local media, and the National Weather Service to be aware of weather developments.  Minor tropical cyclones can develop into typhoons very quickly, limiting the time available for a safe evacuation.  Inform family and friends of your whereabouts and remain in close contact with your tour operator, hotel staff, transportation providers (airlines, cruise lines, etc.), and local officials for evacuation instructions during a weather emergency.

For further information on tropical cyclone warnings in the South Pacific region, please consult the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Honolulu the National Weather Service's Central Pacific Hurricane Center, Fiji's regional meteorological center responsible for tropical cyclone warnings in the South Pacific region, or the Government of Australia's Bureau of Meteorology.

For further information:

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Metapán, Santa Ana, El Salvador
Current News in El Salvador
  • Huyendo El Salvador, mujer encuentra seguridad
  • Centro de Operaciones de Emergencias de la Dirección General de protección Civil coordina labores de extinción del incendio en parque Walter Thilo Deininger #1 - San Salvador, 15 de febrero de 2018 2:30 pm
  • Greater Help is on the Way: WORLDWATER® & SOLAR TECHNOLOGIES CONTINUES TO SEND AID TO PUERTO RICO
  • eNCA | El Salvador releases woman jailed over abortion
  • El Salvador frees woman imprisoned over 'stillbirth'
  • Do You Have News to Share? Get It Published.
  • El Salvador Frees Woman Imprisoned for Decade Under Abortion Ban
  • El Salvador Frees Woman Imprisoned for Decade Under Abortion Ban The woman, Teodora del Carmen Vásquez, was convicted of aggravated homicide after she had a stillbirth. She had been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
  • Editor's notebook: Reaching the Hispanic community
  • Korea signs free trade deal with Central America as first in Asia
  • Sounders sign Lamar Neagle, Calle Brown
  • Ending Human Trafficking
  • S. Korea Signs Free Trade Deals With 5 Central America Countries
  • EVOLIO Marketing’s Federbush to Lead Flash Talk at HCEAInnovate
  • Why tens of thousands of kids from El Salvador continue to flee to the United States
  • IMF Team Concludes Article IV Mission to El Salvador
  • South Korea Strikes Free Trade Deal With 5 Central American Countries - Ministry
  • Do You Have News to Share? Get It Published.
  • South Korea will sign trade deals with five Central American countries
  • Trump takes in Australian refugees he never wanted ahead of prime minister’s visit
  • US now quietly taking refugees from Australian detention camps
  • New York Today: New York Today: Ghost Signs
  • Donald Trump Administration Sued Over Detention Of Immigrant Children
  • South Korea, Central American nations sign free trade agreement
  • Traumatic Brain Injury - Companies Involved in Therapeutics Development, H1 2018
  • New York Today: Ghost Signs
  • Much-touted MS-13 sweep keeps even most basic details...
  • Much-touted MS-13 sweep keeps even most basic details secret
  • Miramichi's Laura Dickinson wins gold and silver at Pan Am Cross Country Cup
  • Do You Have News to Share? Get It Published.
  • El Salvador baby death case woman freed
  • 10 governors shaping the future of politics
  • He flashed gang signs on Facebook. That’s why MS-13 killed him viciously, a gang leader says
  • Rick Steves Gets Uncomfortable In 'Travel As A Political Act'
  • REPORT: MS-13 Made Comeback Through Obama’s Lax Gang Enforcement, Surge Of Unaccompanied Minors
  • In the Cuban Sphere
  • Writers on the Range: What kind of immigration policies do we want?
  • How Obama's DACA/Dreamers increased violent crime
  • Lee Zeldin bill would revoke immigrant gang members' citizenship
  • Jessica Bolaños, the socially aware entrepreneur
  • Do You Have News to Share? Get It Published.
  • Trump's UN migrant nominee has a record to put his petty critics to shame
  • AMERICA/EL SALVADOR - Many do not feel represented by any party, but the Church calls for responsible voting
  • He was flashing gang signs on Facebook. It got him killed by MS-13.
  • El Salvador baby death: Teodora Vásquez freed after 9 years
  • El Salvador detains 3 officers in torture, abduction case
  • Global Vertigo Market Competition by Manufacturers Opportunities and Forecast To 2021
  • A leader in the violent Salvadoran gang testifies about ordering a group murder
El Salvador Flag
Current Weather & Forecast
84°F
29°C
62%
Videos
  • El Salvador: Driving Escalon Suburb to Downtown El Salvador - Part 1
  • El Salvador - San Salvador City
  • Downtown San Salvador (Una mirada al Centro Histórico de San Salvador)
  • Reportaje de Tour a Parque Nacional Montecristo - El Salvador Turismo
  • Metapan
  • Metapán. Santa Ana. El Salvador. Centroamérica.
  • Parque de Metapan
  • Mercado Central Santa Ana, El Salvador
  • Discover El Salvador
  • Gran Seleccion de Frutas Tropicales
Currency Exchange Rate
8.75
El Salvador Colones
per US Dollar
U.S. State Department Travel Alerts & Warnings
Calculate Airport-to-Airport and Driving Distances