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Country information: El Salvador

Jan. 1, 2009: Est. population, 7,185,000; Members, 102,043; Stakes, 16; Wards, 110; Branches, 51; Missions, 2; Districts, 2; Temples, 1 under construction; Percent LDS, 1.4, or one in 70;Central America Area.

El Salvador, in Central America, is a republic with a Spanish, and some Nahuatl-speaking population.

On 20 August 1948, President Arwell L. Pierce of the Mexican Mission visited El Salvador and explored the possibility of sending missionaries to the country. On 26 May 1949, he assigned missionaries Glenn Whipple Skousen and Omer Farnsworth to the country to begin missionary work. A conference was held at San Salvador on 16 February 1951, attended by Elder Albert E. Bowen of the Quorum of the Twelve. There were 63 people present. A short time later, on 2 March 1951, Ana Villasenor became the first person baptized in the country. Eleven others were also baptized that day.

The country was transferred from the Mexican Mission on 16 November 1952 to the new Central America Mission. The new mission was created the same day. The San Salvador District was organized in January 1965 and was soon followed by the Guatemala-El Salvador Mission. Membership then numbered 4,200. The district was organized as the San Salvador Stake on 3 June 1973. The El Salvador San Salvador Mission was organized on 1 July 1976. At that time the nation had 4,745 members. Ten years later in 1986, membership had climbed to 15,100, and the number of stakes had increased to six. In 1990, the El Salvador San Salvador East Mission was created and membership in the country was 38,000. President Gordon B. Hinckley visited San Salvador on 23 January 1997 and spoke to approximately 10,000 members.

In January 2001, an earthquake rocked El Salvador, killing hundreds of people including 15 Church members. Four weeks later, a second quake hit the country. The Church sent 1.1 million pounds of relief supplies.

El Salvador was one of three Central American countries where the Church, in partnership with California philanthropist and Wheelchair Foundation founder Kenneth Behring, donated 500 wheelchairs in 2001 via the country's First Lady charitable organization. The ceremony in El Salvador, where wheelchairs were presented to the first group of recipients, was attended by El Salvador's first lady, Lourdes Maria Rodriguez.

In 2002, membership reached 90,926.

Elder Spencer V. Jones of the Seventy and president of the Church's Central America Area met with Salvadoran President Elias Antonio Saca at the presidential palace on Feb. 10, 2006. Their hourlong meeting marked the first time a Salvadoran president had met with a delegation from the Church.

Construction of the San Salvador El Salvador Temple was announced to local units on 18 November 2007.

Sources: Central American Mission, Manuscript history and historical reports, Church Archives; El Salvador San Salvador Mission, Manuscript history and historical reports, Church Archives; El Salvador District, Manuscript history and historical reports, Church Archives; Donald Q. Cannon and Richard O. Cowan, Unto Every Nation: Gospel Light Reaches Every Land, 2003; "Growth Leads to Four New Missions, Two in Mexico, Two in Central America Reflect Continuing Missionary Success," Church News, 3 February1990; "An Outpouring of Love for Prophet: Pres. Hinckley Addresses 88,000 in Central America,"Church News 1 February 1997; Neil Newell, "Earthquake Devastates El Salvador,"Church News, 20 January 2001; Jason Swensen, "Church Sends More Supplies to Distressed Salvadorans,"Church News, 27 January 2001; "Church Aids Quake Victims in El Salvador, India," Ensign, April 2001; "Wheelchairs Given to Central American Nations," Church News, 27 October 2001; "Salvadoran president meets with Church delegation," Church News, 4 March 2006.

Stakes — 17

(Listed alphabetically as of Oct. 1, 2009.)

No. / Name / Organized / First President

Central America Area

1817 / Ahuachapan El Salvador / 22 Sep 1991 / Juan Antonio Merlos V.

2254 / Apopa El Salvador / 20 Oct 1996 / Julio Alberto Reyes Vargas

2219 / Atiquizaya El Salvador / 11 Aug 1996 / Jose Salvador Molina Linares

2114 / Chalchuapa El Salvador / 20 Oct 1995 / Jose Salvador Molina

2122 / Juayua El Salvador / 12 Nov 1995 / Oswaldo Rodriguez Villata

2839 Paraiso El Salvador / 14 June 2009 / Rene Armando Sanchez Martinez

1223 San Miguel El Salvador / 11 Jan 1981 / Carlos Antonio Hernandez

618 / *San Salvador El Salvador

San Salvador (El Salvador) / 3 Jun 1973 / Mario Edmundo Scheel

1035 / San Salvador El Salvador Cuzcatlan / 3 Jun 1979 / Franklin Henriquez Melgar

741 / *San Salvador El Salvador Ilopango / 3 Jun 1979

San Salvador El Salvador East / 1 Feb 1976 / Alfonso Octavio Diaz

2111 / San Salvador El Salvador La Libertad / 22 Oct 1995 / H. Edgardo Alvarado Renderos

2241 / San Salvador El Salvador Layco / 22 Sep 1996 / E. Leonardo Rivera Herrera

1745a / San Salvador El Salvador Los Heroes / 8 Apr 1990 / Cristobal A. Hernandez

1744 / San Salvador El Salvador Soyapango / 8 Apr 1990 / Rene Francisco Esquivel G.

1217 / Santa Ana El Salvador Modelo / 14 Dec 1980 / Jorge Alberta Benitez M.

1088 / *Santa Ana El Salvador Molino / 14 Dec 1980

Santa Ana El Salvador / 2 Dec 1979 / Elmer Barrientos

1816 / Sonsonate El Salvador / 22 Sep 1991 / Rolando Arturo Rosales H.

Missions — 2

(As of Oct. 1, 2009; shown with historical number.)

(137a) EL SALVADOR

SAN SALVADOR EAST MISSION

Apartado Postal 3362

San Salvador, El Salvador, C.A.

(181a) EL SALVADOR

SAN SALVADOR WEST MISSION

Boulevard El Hipodromo #537

Colonia San Benito, San Salvador, El Salvador, C.A.

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