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.
Dolphins guided us along part of the journey to the island, and as we got further from the coast I realized just how far out we were going as we lost all sight of land. For six days we cooked all of our own meals, living without electricity or internet. We synced with the natural rhythms of the sun, drank fresh coconut water from coconuts that I harvested by climbing the trees on the island, and took time to vision and reflect. It was a rare opportunity to reset, commune with cacao, and get crystal clear about what we want to create next.
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