“This collective was born in the hearts of this group of women wanting to prosper, flourish and feel useful. Also to support in their homes since in Guatemala it is difficult to get a job. We work to be able to provide education for our children. In this group, we are 15 women keeping this ancient way of making cacao alive. We have married women, single women, single mothers and widows. Each one of us is very happy when we work on making chocolate.Our cacao fruits are of different colours and also different flavours, some of them are sweet, others are bittersweet, and some are more acidic.During the year we have two harvest seasons, in March and April, as well as November and December. A tree gives from 50 to more than 100 fruits for each season.After the stage of fruit harvesting, we go to the cacao fermentation stage. This stage lasts 5 days. The cacao beans are wrapped in leaves that we call maxán leaves. They are covered well and for 5 nights fermented in wooden drawers or in baskets where it can filter it’s alcohol from the beans, so that the water comes out and has an escape. The fermentation is very important for the quality of the final product, which is pure “pasta” cacao. If the seeds are of good quality, they will smell like alcohol. It is a strong aroma. The good quality of the cacao is guaranteed only by fermentation.After this stage it goes onto drying which lasts for 6 – 7 days. In the same way, it must have good colour and during these sun roasted days, it must guarantee that strong aroma of alcohol. When we dry our seeds by the sun, we do it just as our Mayan Grandparents and Ancestors taught us. We spread out reed mats or place boards on the ground and we remove the seeds from the place where we ferment them. And every hour and a half we move it constantly so the seeds can dry evenly.
After we have passed the 7 days sun-roasting, we begin to select the cacao beans. We choose the good seeds and those that are small and set them aside. It is very important for people to have their cacao beans selected and have them of a single size and of a single colour and smell.
After this procedure we move on to roasting by fire. To carry out this process, we do it in comales or a clay pan. We toast the seeds with a fire underneath at medium heat, and this process lasts between 30 – 45 minutes depending on the fire.
From this process, we go on to peeling the roasted cacao shell, by hand. From there, we go to grind the cacao, just like our ancestors showed us. Our grandmothers.. The cacao blocks are set in a banana leaf. And the result is that our (they are calling it “Pasta Pura”) Pure Cacao is ready to consume.
Every stage we carry out must be perfect, as well as the fermentation and the drying are keys to a good product.
Then , once it is set we pack it in paper bags ready to send to it’s destination,It is a pleasure and a joy to work in the elaboration of our product.
The best Cacao in the world is from San Antonio Suchitepéquez (This is the municipality in which they live). Due to the fermentation that we carry out, in the same way it’s colour, aroma and flavour stand out. Because it has it’s own alcohol. And that makes us so proud that we decide to call the Cacao that we own ** CACAO** LOVE ** (Cacao Amor). And that motivates us to keep working more and more.”
Like an ancient grandmother reminding you all is going to be okay, the potent and unconditional energy of love fragrantly overtakes you from the very first smell of this traditionally hand grown Cacao. Earthy and savoury, use this deeply grounding Cacao to bring balance and harmony into your life and during periods of transition.