San Salvador - Post Report Question and Answers

What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Lots of kids in particular have respiratory issues here. Mold? Weather? The very brief sugar cane-burning season? All I know is my preschooler has constant allergy and congestion issues here, but when we go home to one of the worst places in the U.S. for seasonal allergies, she's totally fine. - Oct 2023

Air quality is mostly good. There are a few months (Dec-Feb) when there’s some burning of sugar cane. Ash will get in your house, and if you have a very sensitive respiratory system it might bother you, but I don’t personally know of anyone who experiences problems with it. - Feb 2022

Good air quality. Some allergies in the spring when everything is blooming, but nothing a Claritin doesn't take care of. - Aug 2021

Air quality is okay. There seem to be a lot of cars with some bad exhaust issues but it doesn't seem to effect many people that I've heard, as no one lives downtown. Rainy season hits in May/June for a few months and clears out the air pollution. Best to ask health unit if breathing problems are an issue. - Jun 2018

Great air quality, perfect weather. - Mar 2018

It’s good. Some people complain during sugar cane burning season, but it doesn’t bother the majority of people. - Jan 2018

Sugar cane burning season could create some respiratory issues. This is not India or China but is not Miami either. - Nov 2017

Very good, among the best posts we've been to. - Jul 2016

San Salvador, and especially where the expats/diplomats live is up the mountains meaning cooler temperatures and decent air quality. Down in the city the diesel fumes can be bad, but this is mitigated by keeping your windows up. Nice fresh sea breezes make it over the mountains at around 5pm each day, except during the dry season when the trade winds keep it nice and cool all day long. - Dec 2015

Eh. It is much, much cleaner than Mexico City, but when driving on the highways I leave my windows up and use recycled air due to the buses that chug out nasty emissions. But from my house I never notice bad air. - Jun 2015

Pretty good. There are times when the air is somewhat dusty and during sugar cane harvest there is ash in the air. Overall, pollution hasn't seemed too bad. - Mar 2015

I thought the air was very clean and fresh, no pollution problems. My current post has terrible pollution problems so I can honestly say that San Salvador and El Salvador in general have very clean air. - Oct 2014

Unhealthy - Jul 2014

San Salvador air pollution has exceeded the WHO's standards for the better part of two decades. The dry season cooks up a medley of dust, lead, arsenic, and mercury that will put the brakes on any daytime outdoor cardio-vascular activity. You can avoid some diurnal pollution by getting out before dawn if you run for example. Those with any pre-existing respiratory issues should think twice before coming. - Apr 2012

OK for a developing country. Keep your windows closed and use recycled air when driving. The pollen can get out of control in the dry season. - Jul 2011

I am asthmatic and have not had too hard a time here. However, there are absolutely no emission standards, and people tend to burn their trash. They also burn the sugar cane around December. You should have a good pulmonologist on call. - May 2010

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