Canada – El Salvador Relations

El Salvador is an important partner for Canada in Central America and is a key country in Canada’s engagement in the Americas. The year 2015 marks the 54th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two countries. El Salvador is represented in Canada by an Embassy in Ottawa and consulates in the cities of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Canada is represented in El Salvador by an Embassy in San Salvador.

Relations between the two countries are rooted in Canada’s support for human rights, democracy, socio-economic development, and refugee assistance through the difficult years when the country endured civil conflict (1979-1992). The Salvadoran diaspora in Canada is one of the largest from Latin America.

Canada has supported multilateral and bilateral security and anti-crime initiatives in El Salvador though the Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP) since 2009 and the Global Peace and Security Fund since 2012. For example, the British Columbia-based Justice Education Society (JES) has established productive relationships with the Salvadoran Attorney General’s Office and the National Police Institute, allowing JES to provide specialized equipment and technical training in investigation and crime scene processing practices. Canada supports multilateral anti-crime efforts in El Salvador through projects implemented by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Organization of American States (OAS) to back El Salvador in its activities to strengthen cooperation networks in the fight against drug trafficking. Since the announcement of the Canadian Initiative for Security in Central America (CISCA), whose objective was to enhance security in the Americas during the sixth Summit of the Americas in April 2012, El Salvador has benefitted from additional resources to address security issues.

2015 marks Canada’s 25th year as a full member of the Organization of American States (OAS). The OAS is the region’s premier multilateral forum and provides a crucial venue for cooperation with hemispheric partners. Being a member of the OAS has allowed Canada to deepen its relations with Latin America and the Caribbean at various levels. Also, Canada is pleased to have hosted the XVII Pan American Games and V Parapan American Games in Toronto in July and August 2015. Canada is proud to have welcomed athletes and visitors from El Salvador and from across the Americas.

Merchandise trade between Canada and El Salvador totalled $138.6 million in 2014. Canadian exports to El Salvador totalled $50.2 million in 2014 and included paper and paperboard, machinery, fats, and oil. Merchandise imports from El Salvador totalled $88.43 million in 2014 and included clothing, sugar, and coffee.

Canada’s then Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Americas), Peter Kent, visited El Salvador twice in 2009, including for the inauguration of the President at the time, Mauricio Funes. The most recent ministerial visit to El Salvador took place in June 2011, when then Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs) Diane Ablonczy attended the OAS General Assembly.

The Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP) provides short-term scholarship opportunities for students from Latin America and the Caribbean to study or conduct research in Canada. The program is notably predicated on Canadian and Salvadoran institutional linkages, which facilitate the creation of scholarship opportunities. These academic agreements help foster research collaborations and student exchanges. Since 2009, 12 Salvadoran students have taken part in the ELAP. In 2014, there were 210 Salvadoran students participating in exchange opportunities for study or research at the college, undergraduate and graduate level in Canada through this and other programs. In addition to the ELAP scholarships, Salvadoran students are encouraged to apply for other Canadian awards open to all international students including the prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships and the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships. For a complete list of available scholarships, visit

November 2015

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