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From Grain to Bar: A Journey into Cacao Production in Guatemala

Updated: Apr 19

As we ushered in the dawn of 2024, Tuqtuquilal embarked on a monumental journey with the initiation of our first cacao purchase. However, Mother Nature had her own plans, and we encountered a slight delay due to climate factors. Nevertheless, undeterred by the challenges, we forged ahead, eager to connect with our partners in the Ratzum Cacao Network.

Our inaugural meeting with the members of the Ratzum Cacao Network proved to be enlightening and fruitful. We listened intently as they shared their struggles with pesky squirrels and woodpecker birds that had been feasting on their precious cacao pods. Through open dialogue, we gained valuable insights into their expectations regarding prices and quality. It was a meeting of minds, and together, we crafted a mutually beneficial agreement that honored the efforts of both parties.

As January drew to a close, the long-awaited moment arrived—the cacao purchase. Our journey took us to three points across three communities, where we met families eager to share their harvest. With prices established during our earlier discussions, transactions flowed smoothly, fostering a sense of trust and camaraderie.

Returning to Tuqtuquilal, our team sprang into action, laboring tirelessly to transport bags brimming with cacao grains and juice to the fermentation boxes. The air hummed with anticipation as we commenced the process of collecting cacao juice—a crucial step in the journey from bean to bar.

Over the past week, our focus has shifted entirely to the intricate art of cacao production. From fermentation and juice collection to bottling and drying, each stage demands precision and care. We take pride in our commitment to craftsmanship, ensuring that every cacao bean is treated with the reverence it deserves.

But our journey doesn't end there. With dedication and passion, we transform raw cacao into an array of delectable delights. From blocks and nibs to cocoa, cacao butter, and chocolates, our offerings reflect the richness and diversity of this extraordinary fruit. Visitors to Tuqtuquilal are invited to immerse themselves in the magic of cacao, sampling its essence through guided tours and tastings.

As we reflect on the past weeks, the energy of our project has undergone a profound transformation. What once was anticipation and preparation has blossomed into the vibrant rhythm of cacao production. Visitors from far and wide are welcomed with open arms, eager to learn and experience the wonders of this ancient crop.

Get updates on our incredible journey as we explore the world of cacao in Guatemala and all it has to offer by subscribing to our e-mail list.

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