Central America is the second-most consistently active volcanic zone on Earth, after Indonesia. Centuries of volcanic activity have produced a spectacular landscape of collapsed calderas, debris flows, and thick blankets of pyroclastic materials. Volcanic activity dominates the history, culture, and daily life of Central American countries.
January 2002 marked the third consecutive year in which a diverse group of volcanologists and geophysicists conducted focused field studies in Central America. This type of multi-institutional collaboration reflects the growing involvement of a number of U.S. and non-U.S. universities, and of other organizations, in Guatemala and El Salvador (Table 1).