El Salvador - MC Grecof

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El Salvador





El Salvador achieved independence from Spain in 1821 and from the Central American Federation in 1839. A 12-year civil war, which cost the lives of some 75,000 people, was brought to a close in 1992 when the government and leftist rebels signed a treaty that provided for military and political reforms.



Middle America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and Honduras

Geographic coordinates:

13 50 N, 88 55 W

Map references:

Central America and the Caribbean


total: 21,040 sq km
land: 20,720 sq km
water: 320 sq km


tropical; rainy season (May to October); dry season (November to April); tropical on coast; temperate in uplands


mostly mountains with narrow coastal belt and central plateau

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Cerro El Pital 2,730 m

Geography - note:

smallest Central American country and only one without a coastline on Caribbean Sea



6,237,662 (July 2001 est.)


noun: Salvadoran(s)
adjective: Salvadoran

Ethnic groups:

mestizo 90%, Amerindian 1%, white 9%


Roman Catholic 86%
note: there is extensive activity by Protestant groups throughout the country; by the end of 1992, there were an estimated 1 million Protestant evangelicals in El Salvador


Spanish, Nahua (among some Amerindians)



herkömmliche lange Form: Republik von EL-Salvador
herkömmliche kurze Form: EL-Salvador
lokale lange Form: De-EL-Salvador Republica
lokale kurze Form: EL-Salvador






Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of El Salvador
conventional short form: El Salvador
local long form: Republica de El Salvador
local short form: El Salvador

Government type:



San Salvador

Administrative divisions:

14 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Ahuachapan, Cabanas, Chalatenango, Cuscatlan, La Libertad, La Paz, La Union, Morazan, San Miguel, San Salvador, Santa Ana, San Vicente, Sonsonate, Usulutan

Flag description:

three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), white, and blue with the national coat of arms centered in the white band; the coat of arms features a round emblem encircled by the words REPUBLICA DE EL SALVADOR EN LA AMERICA CENTRAL; similar to the flag of Nicaragua, which has a different coat of arms centered in the white band - it features a triangle encircled by the words REPUBLICA DE NICARAGUA on top and AMERICA CENTRAL on the bottom; also similar to the flag of Honduras, which has five blue stars arranged in an X pattern centered in the white band


Economy - overview:

El Salvador is a struggling Central American economy which has been suffering from a weak tax collection system, factory closings, the aftermaths of Hurricane Mitch of 1998 and the devastating earthquakes of early 2001, and weak world coffee prices. On the bright side, in recent years inflation has fallen to single digit levels, and total exports have grown substantially. The trade deficit has been offset by remittances (an estimated $1.6 billion in 2000) from Salvadorans living abroad and by external aid. As of 1 January 2001, the US dollar was made legal tender alongside the colon.


food processing, beverages, petroleum, chemicals, fertilizer, textiles, furniture, light metals

Agriculture - products:

coffee, sugar, corn, rice, beans, oilseed, cotton, sorghum; shrimp; beef, dairy products


$2.8 billion (f.o.b., 2000)

Exports - commodities:

offshore assembly exports, coffee, sugar, shrimp, textiles, chemicals, electricity


Salvadoran colon (SVC); US dollar (USD)

Currency code:




total: 562 km
narrow gauge: 562 km 0.914-m gauge


length of route which is operational is reduced to 283 km by disuse and lack of maintainance (2001)



10,029 km


1,986 km (including 327 km of expressways)


8,043 km (1997)


Rio Lempa partially navigable

Ports and harbors:

Acajutla, Puerto Cutuco, La Libertad, La Union, Puerto El Triunfo


El Salvador coffee had a poor reputation for years. The coffee trade, like the government in general, was controlled by a ruling elite ...a handful of wealthy families that operated many farms. El Salvador has always tended towards the right wing. But the democratic movements and decades of civil war have changed many things. It shows in the quality of coffee. Instead of low grade commercial blending coffees, we now see an eruption of farm-specific regional offerings from small co-ops or estates. El Salvador always had the right ingredients soil, altitude, climate to produce coffee on par with Guatemala and Costa Rica. For the past 3 years one have been able to buy incredible Salvadors drop dead quality, great acidity, refinement and depth.



Ataco and Apaneca Mountain Regions
late 2002
0 defects / 300gr, 17 Screen


It has been tough finding good coffees from El Salvador. One of the main problems has been the low prices on the coffee market that makes it unprofitable to farm using the labor-intensive methods that result in a good cup! El salvador has been especially hard hit by low coffee prices at the lowgrade end of the market (premium coffees retain their prices much much better since we are paing for cup quality, not quantity). Established farms that can weather a few bad years of the market fair better than newer enterprises. The Salaverría Family started farming coffee in 1890! The plantations are located at the western part of El Salvador in the Ataco and Apaneca mountains, at an altitude of 1,300 meters. The farm also operates its own wet mill (beneficio) to maintain the quality of the processing. The result is a extremely good cup from an origin that, from its lower elevations, produces mild "blenders" -coffee too neutral for single-origin roasting and is best for as a filler in blends or for ...and I hate to even type the word ... flavoring. But SHG Salvadors are a wholey different affair. The Salaverria is moderate-light bodied, with an alternating sweet - salty/spicey taste ... very unique. The aftertaste is quite long compared to other coffees from the region, and roasted a bit into the 2nd crack it develops a great balance between the moderate brightness in the coffee and bittersweet roast tastes.


City to Full City. I like this in the lighter roasts for its simple, sweet cup quality and lighter body, but it does maintain origin character into 2nd crack.

Compare to:

Sweetly spicey coffees such as some Panama.

Port of Export:

Acajutla, La Libertad, La Union, Puerto Cutuco


in container in bags (275 bags each 69,- kos net) or bulk 20.7 tons


2 100 000 bags

Export figures:

1 511 956 bags

Caffeine content:

1,32 %

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