I was appalled to read two articles about Salvadorans in The Post. The first {front page, July 21} was about the so-called influx of Salvadoran immigrants returning to their country. The second {Metro, July 22} was about the homeless Salvadoran men in the Adams Morgan area.

The Post is doing an injustice to the Salvadoran immigrants in the metropolitan area by portraying them in such a negative manner. The first article made it look like the majority of Salvadorans here are returning to El Salvador. To the contrary, many are staying here -- legally and illegally. The situation in El Salvador is so bleak economically -- with an unemployment rate of around 50 percent -- that many illegal immigrants are using every avenue possible to remain here.

The second article made the Salvadorans look like a bunch of troublemaking, homeless people. The number of homeless Salvadorans in this city is in fact very small. There is a large group of Salvadoran refugees in the Washington area who can't return to El Salvador because of the political situation there. Many of them came from rural areas where members of their families were killed, tortured or executed -- they came to this country to escape the everyday turmoil.

Salvadorans are hard-working, industrious and gregarious people. Many in this country have become successful by starting up various businesses. They have made great family sacrifices to achieve the American dream.

Salvadorans are warm and humble -- unlike the people portrayed in The Post's articles. Many have made outstanding contributions to our society and we should salute them.

I think The Post owes an apology to the Salvadoran community for such negative journalism. I hope future articles will portray Salvadorans more positively.

SUSAN L. CONDIO-HERNANDEZ

Washington