El Salvador has been home to some of the greatest civilizations of Mesoamerica; beginning with the Olmec civilization in 2,000 BC, and followed not long after by the Mayans. In 1522, the first Spaniards arrived, bringing with them disease that killed most natives and led to the eventual Spanish conquest and occupation.
The Spanish turned the landscape into plantations for growing balsam, cotton and indigo. For the next four centuries, El Salvador became the largest producer of Indigo which was used to die the fabric streaming out of the European textile factories.
In the early 1990s after decades of civil war that ravished El Salvador and its people, the United Nations intervened to negotiate a ceasefire between the FMLN, the revolutionary guerilla movement and the sitting regime.