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If you have kids come in a heartbeat. There is an excellent CLO, good community, plenty of events, etc. - Nov 22, 2017
Morale here is generally high to very high. Several choose to extend or do a second tour here. - Mar 23, 2015
Like any other post, there are people who loved it and people who did not really care for it, but nobody hated it. If you have some Spanish, feel safe in Latin America, and like to dance and party, you will love El Salvador. If you have children, there may not be that many things for the kids to do that are safe. This is absolutely the best post for singles and couples. Compared to the place I am in now, some people here are so miserable they can't wait to leave, and there is a huge culture shock. El Salvador is a nice introduction to the Foreign Service and expat life. - Oct 29, 2014
ES has the third largest economy in the region but the ruling economic and political elite has overwhelmingly reaped the benefit of this. The country has not experienced any of the tourist boom that Costa Rica/Panama and to a lesser extent Guatemala has seen. This is a shame because it's about the only sector that could funnel significant revenue to a broad base of society.
Salvadorans, if I can speak generally, are warm, hospitable and helpful but also hampered by a long history of social stratification. The massive gang problem is rarely seen (and certainly not by the ruling class) as a side effect of poverty and educational disenfranchisement, but rather the natural extension of the inherent inferiority of the have-not's. This is social Darwinism at its worst and Salvadorans seriously need to dispense with this kind of thinking if they wish to address their country's ills. - Apr 28, 2012
The best advice I received was almost exclusively from long-term expats living in El Salvador. There aren't many of them, but do try to sniff them out. Stay safe but do whatever you can to not always follow the crowd of short-timers when planning beach and local trips. - Jul 15, 2011
As long as you know what to expect and keep a situational awareness, San Salvador is a fantastic post. I will spend my first day back in the States rejoicing in Whole Foods, clothing stores, and Indian restaurants. I will spend my second day missing El Salvador. - May 21, 2010
I have not met anyone who would not have come to El Salvador if they knew then what they know now. Many of the families that have lived at many other posts have said that the facilities and housing here are nicer than most anywhere else they've lived. Don't be fooled into thinking that the proximity to the US will translate into cheaper airfare though. Generally, a round trip back to the states can cost anywhere from US$600 - $900 depending on where you are flying into. Flights out of Guatemala are about half the cost, and include some discount fare airlines like Spirit Air. El Salvador does not. Rumor has it that JetBlue has been researching coming to El Salvador though and that might push airfares down if it works out. - Feb 28, 2009