On November 18, 2007, the First Presidency announced plans to construct a temple in the Central American country of El Salvador.
The announcement is welcome news for members in El Salvador, who not only cope with long-distance travel to the Guatemala City Guatemala Temple, but also have had to deal with a recent rise in highway robberies.
“With a prayer in our hearts, we go,” said President Manuel Ernesto López of the San Salvador El Salvador Stake. “We must go and perform those ordinances.”
Despite the challenges, the San Salvador El Salvador Stake has increased in the number of members who regularly attend the temple.
For many members in El Salvador, the typical 32-hour round-trip temple trip will be reduced to a more manageable 6 or 7 hours.
The announcement of the San Salvador El Salvador Temple brings to six the number of temples either operating, announced or under construction in the Central America Area, which includes the seven countries that stretch between Mexico in the northwest and Colombia in the southeast.
Currently operating temples in the area are the Guatemala City Guatemala Temple, dedicated in December 1984, and the San Jose Costa Rica Temple, dedicated in June 2000. Work on the Panama City Panama Temple began in October 2005.
Two other temples, the Quetzaltenango Guatemala Temple, the second temple in that country, and the Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple have been announced and are awaiting groundbreaking.
When completed, the six Central American temples will serve nearly 600,000 members residing in some 100 stakes in 12 missions.
Adapted from Church News, November 24, 2007.