San Salvador El Salvador Temple
On 20 September 2008 a groundbreaking ceremony was held by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in preparation for the construction of a new temple in San Salvador, El Salvador. The temple was first announced on 7 November 2007. The site for the temple is located at Bulevar Diego de Holguín, Antiguo Cuscatlán, Departamento de La Libertad, El Salvador.
Located in the affluent Antiguo Cuscatlán district, southwest of San Salvador, the three-story San Salvador El Salvador Temple stands near the Multiplaza Panamericana Mall with the stunning backdrop of the mighty San Salvador volcano, in front of the Roberto d’Aubuisson roundabout at El Espino and El Pedregal Streets in San Salvador. The sacred edifice is surrounded by attractive grounds that offer a calming retreat to all San Salvadorians.
The exterior of the San Salvador El Salvador Temple is Bianco Sienna granite from Brazil. Its design is inspired by Spanish colonial architecture from the region, with prominent arches and conches inside and out. Much of the decoration features the flor de izote, El Salvador’s national flower, and artwork depicts the El Salvadorian countryside. This flower design is highlighted in the art-glass windows and the exterior granite, as well as in the detail of the interior wood, which is genuine mahogany from Honduras and nearby countries. Flooring and interior ornamentation are of limestone from Israel.
The San Salvador El Salvador Temple will serve members of the Church throughout the country. Three other temples are located in Central America: Guatemala City, Guatemala (dedicated in 1984); San José, Costa Rica (2000); and Panama City, Panama (2008). Two more temples are under construction — one in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, and another in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. This is the only temple in El Salvador.
May 1949 marked the beginning of the Church’s presence in El Salvador, when the first missionaries were sent there to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ among the people of Santa Ana in the western region of the country. In 1952 Elder Spencer W. Kimball, then a senior Church leader and later the president and prophet of the Church, visited El Salvador and offered a prayer of peace and prosperity upon the nation. By 1986 Church membership had grown to more than 15,000. Today there are more than 110,000 Latter-day Saints in more than 161 congregations throughout El Salvador.
The public was invited to visit the temple during an open house from Friday, 1 July 2011, until Saturday, 23 July 2011, excluding Sundays. Public tours were scheduled for Mondays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. It was reported that 165,790 people toured the temple during the open house. The temple open house included visits from a variety of Salvadoran government and cultural leaders. Almost 200 government officials toured the temple along with 27 representatives from other religions. Hundreds of local business leaders along with some 50 media members were also counted among the visitors.
The temple was formally dedicated on Sunday, 21 August 2011, in three sessions. The dedicatory sessions were broadcast to congregations of the Church within the temple district.
A cultural celebration was also scheduled in conjunction with the dedication of the temple, featuring music and dance, on Saturday, 20 August 2011.