El Salvador – Cordillera del Bálsamo

El Salvador coffee


El Salvador is the smallest and most densely populated country in Central America, and coffee accounts for about 2 percent of its overall exports. Before 1980, however, this figure was closer to 90 percent. But in the past 50 years, production has been negatively affected by unstable politics, climate change, and insufficient support for adaptation to progressive agricultural practices. This has led to lower yields for more than 20,000 coffee farmers.

The local communities do not have enough diversity of incomes and are lacking self-sufficiency. They endure poor infrastructure for post-harvest processes and limited access to drinking water. Despite these challenges, El Salvador is well-known for its specialty coffee. Smallholders are working to improve their farming and living conditions.

Key Impact

Walter Matter has partnered up with local and international organisations to promote women’s entrepreneurship and gender equality within the coffee-farming communities, leading to increased levels of income. This partnership focuses on parcel renovation to boost productivity and good agricultural practices. Since 2016, three communities have been involved and benefited from the initiative, with 70 percent of the parcels rejuvenated.