Circumcision Practices in
Central America


Political map of Central America (36156 bytes)

Political map of Central America, © 2009 Magellan Geographix

Flag of El Salvador (2223 bytes)
I am from El Salvador. Circumcision was adopted by El Salvador's middle and upper classes starting in the 1950s and like the USA by the 1960s it had become widespread. 90% of middle and upper class males were having neonatal circumcisions.  Why? The upper classes adopted it: proximity to the USA and emulating the USA. The upper classes are the ones who travel to the USA, read American literature, send their children abroad to study in the USA hence do not want them to look different and have American trained, many times American Board Certified, MDs.   Now for what I have heard and read circumcision rates are high in the upper classes of Mexico, El Salvador and Colombia and somewhat practiced among the upper classes of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Ecuador.  Other than that in many other Latin American countries it is not practiced not even among the upper classes.

Robert (El Salvador)

Flag of Guatemala (3337 bytes)
I live in Guatemala (another Central American country) which is next to El Salvador; here it happens the same as it happens over there and I think it happens not only in Latin America but in many other places. Not being circumcised if you are part of a middle or upper class is looked upon with bad eyes because everyone has it performed.

Fernando (Guatemala)

Flag of Costa Rica (2860 bytes)
In Costa Rica, according to a 1979 book published in San José, a sociological study called "Los Ostarricenses" by Mavis Hiltunen de Biesanz, the authors affirmed that the majority of boys born in hospitals are circumcised (page 345). The Costa Ricans adopted circumcision as a useful preventive surgery.

Antonio (Puerto Rico)


The following resources were used in the preparation of this web page:
Globe (2409 bytes) Circlist Website logo (6480 bytes) Circlist Group logo (8847 bytes) Personal testimony of members of the CIRCLIST discussion group.
Political map of Central America (36156 bytes) Map courtesy of Magellan Geographix,

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