San Salvador (English: Holy Savior) is the capital city of El Salvador, and the capital of the San Salvador Department. It is the country's most populated municipality as well as its most important political, cultural, educational and financial center. The San Salvador Metro Area is the core nucleus of El Salvador and is one of the largest urban centers in the Central America isthmus. Due to destruction caused by earthquakes, original Spanish colonial period structures are almost non-existent in the city; instead Gothic- and Modernist-style cathedrals have taken their place. Architecturally, San Salvador's noteworthy structures have distinct Modern, Googie and Populuxe influences, similarly to those of Los Angeles, a city San Salvador is influenced by. As a gamma global city, San Salvador is also an important financial center hub within Central America. The city is home to the' Concejo de Ministros de El Salvador (Council of Ministries of El Salvador), La Asamblea Legislativa (The Legislative Assembly of El Salvador), the Corte Suprema de Justicia (The Supreme Court), and other governmental institutions, as well as the official residence of the president of the Republic. San Salvador is located in the Salvadoran highlands, surrounded by volcanoes and prone to earthquakes. The Spaniards called the area "El Valle de Las Hamacas" (English: The Valley of Hammocks), a translation of the name given it by the native Pipil people in allusion to the need for beds that would sway with the earth's movements during an earthquake. With a population of 567,698 (2,442,017 in the metro area), it is the fifth most populated city in Central America, and its metropolitan area is the second most populated. The city is also home to the Catholic Archdiocese, as well as many Protestant branches of Christianity, including Evangelicals, Latter-day Saints, Baptists, and Pentecostals. San Salvador has the second largest Jewish community in Central America, and a small Muslim community. Spanish is spoken by the entire population, and a high percentage speaks English.
San Salvador has been the host city for various regional and international sporting, political, and social events. It hosted the Central American and Caribbean Games in 1935 and 2002, and the Central American Games in 1977 and 1994, as well as the Miss Universe 1975 pageant. San Salvador was also the host city of the 18th Ibero-American Summit, held October 29–31, 2008, the most important sociopolitical event in the Spanish and Portuguese sphere. The Central American Integration System (SICA) has its headquarters in San Salvador. The Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE) also has its headquarters in San Salvador.