The country is deemed the most progressive in Central America. Its young democracy, the US dollar (since 2001) and the well established infrastructure are important pillars of both the society and the economy.
Its main export goods are coffee, sugar, cotton, shrimps and various chemicals.
Textiles are also an ever more important export good, but the bulk is formed by raw materials and raw goods, to Europe even exclusively so. However, for the producers the thus yielded added value is very small.
Very many people live from hand to mouth, only half the population is regularly employed. Many try to make ends meet by day labour, hawking and running very small businesses. The average wage is Euro 1.5 an hour. A huge factor are those 2 million El Salvadorian males who work in the US and support their families with what they earn there. Still, you don't see any beggars. Young people do everything they can to get educated and thus a better life, perhaps
The economy is characterised by very few large companies and very many SMEs.
The people are very industrious, have lots of ideas. In Central America, El Salvador is called the Germany of Central and South America. You will also find a number of 2nd and 3rd generation El Salvadorians whose ancestors were German.