Remittances hit new record

The Salvadoran press reported that remittances from Salvadorans living abroad to their families in the country exceeded $230 million in November, a single month record. The total of more than $2 billion so far this year exceeds the total remittances for all of 2003.

Remittances are a significant portion of the Salvadoran economy, making up approximately 15% of the country's GDP. The country's dependency on funds sent from family members living in the United States became an issue in the 2004 presidential election when ARENA and comments from some government figures in the US suggested that the US might cut off such money transfers if Schafik Handal were elected. The growth in remittances reflects both the increasing numbers of Salvadorans who have made their way abroad in search of economic opportunity and the increasing resources of those expatriates.