Capturing the Flow

Capturing the Flow

The backroads of El Salvador – Central America's smallest and most densely populated country – are plastered with billboards advertising Western Union, MoneyGram and a dizzying variety of lesser-known local wire transfer services. No wonder. This year, El Salvador will receive $3 billion in family remittances from the United States, the equivalent to 16% of its GDP. That makes El Salvador more dependent on these "remesas" than any other country in Latin America. An estimated 2.9 million Salvadorans live abroad, a consequence of the country's 12-year civil war that killed 75,000 people and forced a quarter of the population to flee. These hard-working expatriates, 95% of whom live

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