Origins of the postal service
Since the beginning of the Colonial Period, the effective distribution
of mail became one of the priorities of the Spanish authorities. For
this purpose, the routes between Spain and its new colonies
were defined in the 16th century, and organized postal systems
in each dependency were created starting with the Correo
Mayor de la Nueva España in 1579.
The Correo Mayor de Guatemala y sus Provincias (which
included the present-day territory of El Salvador) was created
in 1602. There were six Correos Mayores before
the King Charles III nationalized the service in 1768 as part
of a substantial change in the Spanish postal system. Afterwards,
the service was nominally under the control of the Captain General
aided by the Principal Administrator, who set the routes and
rates in the territory, until Independence in 1821. During
the Colonial Period, there were 18 estafetas or post
offices in what is now El Salvador.
Although the Central American Federation
attempted to regularize the postal service between 1824 and
1826, political unrest and the lack of funds to sustain it
led to its almost total breakdown during the 1830s. When
the Federation dissolved in 1839, El Salvador kept a very
limited mail system until 1849, when Escolastico Andrino was
named as the first Postmaster General of the State.
During the 1850s and 1860s the service underwent a significant
reorganization and expansion that eventually led to the introduction
of the first postage stamps in 1867.