The color red bursts from the walls and from the clothes of hundreds of Salvadorans and Salvadoran-Americans who are gathered to welcome El Salvador’s Vice President, Salvador Sánchez Cerén, the former guerilla commander of the FMLN and this party’s candidate for president in next year’s elections.
Sánchez Cerén is in Washington, D.C. to meet with one of his country’s most influential groups: Salvadorans in the United States. Salvadorans are now the third largest Latin American group in the United States, and Washington, D.C. is the only city in the country where most Latinos are Salvadoran.
Salvadorans abroad are responsible for El Salvador’s largest source of revenue, as their remittances account for nearly four billion dollars a year, but despite this, Salvadorans were barred from voting abroad until this year. Sánchez Cerén says that this situation needed to change.
El Salvador is now one of over a dozen Latin American countries that allow their citizens to vote from abroad, which has the potential to shape Latin American politics, particularly in a country like El Salvador.