Pupusas: thick corn tortillas stuffed with cheese, meat, squash, and/or other fillings.
Empanadas: flour pastries filled with meat, potatoes and/or cheese. In El Salvador, "empanadas" can also refer to a dessert: fried plantains stuffed with sweet cream.
Tamales: boiled pockets of corn dough, stuffed with meat or sweet corn and served in banana leaves.
Sopa de Pata: a popular soup made from corn, plantains, tripe and cow's feet.
Snacks & Sides in El Salvador:
International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled on the delimitation of "bolsones" (disputed areas) along the El Salvador-Honduras boundary, in 1992, with final agreement by the parties in 2006 after an Organization of American States survey and a further ICJ ruling in 2003; the 1992 ICJ ruling advised a tripartite resolution to a maritime boundary in the Gulf of Fonseca advocating Honduran access to the Pacific; El Salvador continues to claim tiny Conejo Island, not identified in the ICJ decision, off Honduras in the Gulf of Fonseca.
The smallest country in Central America geographically, El Salvador has the third largest economy in the region. With the global recession in 2009, real GDP contracted by 3.1%. The economy began a slow recovery in 2010 on the back of improved export and remittances figures. Remittances accounted for 17% of GDP in 2011 and were received by about a third of all households. In 2006, El Salvador was the first country to ratify the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), which has bolstered the export of processed foods, sugar, and ethanol, and supported investment in the apparel sector amid increased Asian competition. El Salvador has promoted an open trade and investment environment and has embarked on a wave of privatizations extending to telecom, electricity distribution, banking, and pension funds. The Salvadoran Government maintained fiscal discipline during post-war reconstruction and reconstruction following earthquakes in 2001 and hurricanes in 1998 and 2005. Taxes levied by the government include a value added tax (VAT) of 13%, income tax of 30%, excise taxes on alcohol and cigarettes, and import duties. The VAT accounted for about 51.7% of total tax revenues in 2011. Calculated according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) standards, El Salvador's public external debt in December 2011 was about $12.95 billion or 57.3% of GDP. El Salvador's total public debt includes non-financial public sector debt, financial public sector debt, and central bank debt. In 2006, El Salvador and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) - a United States Government agency - signed a five-year, $461 million compact to stimulate economic growth and reduce poverty in the country's northern region, the primary conflict zone during the civil war, through investments in education, public services, enterprise development, and transportation infrastructure. In December 2011, the MCC approved El Salvador's eligibility to develop a proposal for a second compact for consideration