How you and I relate to cacao is a microcosm of how we relate to issues spanning from the personal to the global. Ceremonial cacao is our sacred activism in response to the backwards ways of the chocolate industry. By choosing ceremonial cacao, we create a social and economic signal that we value: Ecological preservation, by supporting only small family farms using organic and permaculture practices to create thriving habitat for plants, animals, insects and human communities. Respectful relationships with indigenous farmers, shifting the paradigm of unfair labor practices and exploitative commodity prices paid to the majority of cacao...
To get to their homes and farms, we walked the better part of an hour up and down steep slopes and crossing a precarious cable footbridge across the Cahabón River. We were welcomed with open arms into a place that felt like cacao Narnia. We walked along the river amongst thirty-year-old cacao trees lining the hills, sprouting vibrant red, yellow and green pods. With no electricity or roads in the area, it felt as if we were in a completely different world. Surrounded by nature, we felt peaceful, and calm as we explored the trees and learned about their ancient cacao rituals.
After our island retreat, we explored a beautiful cacao forest at Martín's family-run cacao farm in Belize. We were greeted with bottles of fresh cacao juice recently made and frozen, which made our entire group light up with excitement. Cacao juice is very sweet and will ferment quickly if not kept frozen, making storage, shipping, and distribution outside of the country a prohibitive challenge.
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