Playing cards had been introduced to the Americas with explorers such as Columbus or Cortés, whose fellow countrymen were keen gamblers. Cards were imported from Spain since the 16th century. Local production usually imitated Spanish cards.
Naipes ‘El Borrego’ Spanish-suited playing cards manufactured in El Salvador, c.2002
Although the wrapper gives the manufacturer's address in Sevilla, Spain, the cards were most likely manufactured in El Salvador by a local printer imitating Spanish cards
Naipes ‘Hispasa’, produced in El Salvador by Cartotecnica Centroamericana, S.A., c.2002
Cards were first imported to Central America from Spain, although local production has always existed. Today El Salvador has some local production of playing cards, which are often of rudimentary quality.