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Deaf in El Salvador


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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
48,000 Salvadoran Sign Language Christianity 94.63 % Unknown No No   

Deaf in El Salvador

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Introduction / History
There is an estimated 15,000 Deaf signers in El Salvador, 0.25% of the population of El Salvador. The Deaf community of El Salvador indicates that they are composed of mainly three language groups: roughly 65% use Salvadoran Sign Language (LESSA), about 20% use a Salvadoran variety of American Sign. Deaf university graduates are now between 22 and 27 years of age. There are three Deaf associations in El Salvador. In response to past and present social oppression, the Deaf community is very engaged in struggles for equal access to information, employment, and social and civil rights.

Language (ASL) (either mixed with LESSA or following Spanish word order), and 10% use a combination of Costa Rican Sign Language (LESCO) and LESSA. In addition, roughly 5% live in rural areas and may use home signs. Bilingualism among ASL and LESSA users is common. Generational Deaf families tend to use LESSA.

Most Deaf Salvadorans work as low-paid laborers, although some are teachers or work with computers. The Deaf community has not historically had access to quality education (Caceres 2001); however, advocacy of the Deaf community and Deaf education has been slowly improving and expanding to serve more geographic areas over the last 15 years. Five public schools and one private school serve Deaf students exclusively.

There are also various mainstream and alternative educational opportunities. A group of the Deaf indicated that the Deaf community's highest needs are: improved Deaf education, developed and expanded use of LESSA, and standardization and certification for the interpretation vocation. The Bible in Spanish is largely inaccessible to most Deaf Salvadorans because of low Spanish literacy levels. A team from San Salvador is currently working toward a LESSA Bible translation. Deaf people congregate at a variety of Catholic or Evangelical Christian churches and Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Halls where services are translated through an interpreter. There are two Deaf congregations which conduct services in Salvadoran variety ASL.

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15 and Learning to Speak
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Country: El Salvador
Continent: North America
Region: America, Latin
10/40 Window: No
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Country Map:Political map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Deaf
People Name General: Deaf
ROP3 Code: 114916
Joshua Project People ID: 19007
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 48,000
Population all Countries: 46,968,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: Deaf
People Cluster: Deaf
People Name General: Deaf
Ethnic Code:
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Salvadoran Sign Language (48,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): esn    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Christianity
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.03 % 
Christianity94.63 %(Evangelical: Data not available)
Ethnic Religions0.01 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.03 % 
Non-Religious4.90 % 
Other / Small0.40 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Evangelicals have a larger relative representation among all who claim to be Christians.
Least-Reached: No
GSEC Status:Level 2   Less than 2% Evangelical. Initial (localized) church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: Help start a Bible Translation
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Ministry Resources [7]
Text / Printed MatterDoor International
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Deaf in El Salvador

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Deaf     America, Latin    
      Deaf El Salvador    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Deaf in El Salvador          
      Religion Language  
      Christianity     Salvadoran Sign Language  
    All Religions                              

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