If the name of this region sounds vaguely familiar, it may be because the label is partly derived from the Quetazlcotián civilization who called it home in pre-hispanic days. They worshipped the feathered serpent god, Quetzalcoatl, Aztec god of wind and learning, an integral symbol in Salvadoran culture to this day. El Balsamo refers to an aromatic resin produced by native Balsam trees. These giants tower 80-100 feet tall and more, and their sap, which is prized for its fragrance and medicinal properties, smells of vanilla, white flowers, and balsam.
Coffee plants thrive on the mineral-rich slopes of San Salvador volcano and in the Quezaltepeque Mountain range and the Quezaltepeque Valley. Elevations in this region range from 500-2000 meters above sea level, and most of the coffee grown here is of the sweet, full-flavored Bourbon, Pacas, or Bourbon-derived hybrids.