El Salvador is located in Central America and is bordered by Guatemala, Honduras and the Pacific Ocean. The country is dominated by two almost parallel rows of volcanoes. Since enduring severe political upheaval and civil war in the 1970s and 1980s, El Salvador has been more peaceful over the past decade. However, the country has been vulnerable to severe weather conditions, including earthquakes and hurricanes, which have hampered reconstruction. Coffee remains the main export earner.
The coffee industry in El Salvador is making great strides to lose its reputation as a cheap ‘central’ coffee and demonstrate the quality of coffee that can be sourced. Much coffee that is grown is of the bourbon variety. This was an unintentionally beneficial legacy of the civil war, whereby the bourbon trees were not uprooted in favour of hardier types of arabica trees. The main coffee growing regions are located in the west of the country and around San Salvador, the capital. The harvest for better quality coffees is from January to April/May.