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Guatemala vs. El Salvador

Geography

GuatemalaEl Salvador
LocationCentral America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between El Salvador and Mexico, and bordering the Gulf of Honduras (Caribbean Sea) between Honduras and Belize
Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and Honduras
Geographic coordinates15 30 N, 90 15 W
13 50 N, 88 55 W
Map referencesCentral America and the Caribbean
Central America and the Caribbean
Areatotal: 108,889 sq km
land: 107,159 sq km
water: 1,730 sq km
total: 21,041 sq km
land: 20,721 sq km
water: 320 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly smaller than Pennsylvania
about the same size as New Jersey
Land boundariestotal: 1,667 km
border countries (4): Belize 266 km, El Salvador 199 km, Honduras 244 km, Mexico 958 km
total: 590 km
border countries (2): Guatemala 199 km, Honduras 391 km
Coastline400 km
307 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climatetropical; hot, humid in lowlands; cooler in highlands
tropical; rainy season (May to October); dry season (November to April); tropical on coast; temperate in uplands
Terrainmostly mountains with narrow coastal plains and rolling limestone plateau
mostly mountains with narrow coastal belt and central plateau
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 759 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Volcan Tajumulco 4,211 m (highest point in Central America)
mean elevation: 442 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Cerro El Pital 2,730 m
Natural resourcespetroleum, nickel, rare woods, fish, chicle, hydropower
hydropower, geothermal power, petroleum, arable land
Land useagricultural land: 41.2%
arable land 14.2%; permanent crops 8.8%; permanent pasture 18.2%
forest: 33.6%
other: 25.2% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 74.7%
arable land 33.1%; permanent crops 10.9%; permanent pasture 30.7%
forest: 13.6%
other: 11.7% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land3,375 sq km (2012)
452 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsnumerous volcanoes in mountains, with occasional violent earthquakes; Caribbean coast extremely susceptible to hurricanes and other tropical storms
volcanism: significant volcanic activity in the Sierra Madre range; Santa Maria (elev. 3,772 m) has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Pacaya (elev. 2,552 m), which erupted in May 2010 causing an ashfall on Guatemala City and prompting evacuations, is one of the country's most active volcanoes with frequent eruptions since 1965; other historically active volcanoes include Acatenango, Almolonga, Atitlan, Fuego, and Tacana
known as the Land of Volcanoes; frequent and sometimes destructive earthquakes and volcanic activity; extremely susceptible to hurricanes
volcanism: significant volcanic activity; San Salvador (elev. 1,893 m), which last erupted in 1917, has the potential to cause major harm to the country's capital, which lies just below the volcano's slopes; San Miguel (elev. 2,130 m), which last erupted in 2002, is one of the most active volcanoes in the country; other historically active volcanoes include Conchaguita, Ilopango, Izalco, and Santa Ana
Environment - current issuesdeforestation in the Peten rainforest; soil erosion; water pollution
deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution; contamination of soils from disposal of toxic wastes
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - noteno natural harbors on west coast
smallest Central American country and only one without a coastline on Caribbean Sea
Population distributionthe vast majority of the populace resides in the southern half of the country, particularly in the mountainous regions; more than half of the population lives in rural areas
athough it is the smallest country in land area in Central America, El Salvador has a population that is 18 times larger than Belize; at least 20% of the population lives abroad; high population density country-wide, with particular concentration around the capital of San Salvador

Source: CIA Factbook