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Wild and Sacred Blog Portal

Visit to Guatemala: Lake Atitlan, Mystical Yoga Farm and a Beautiful Cacao Farm

Updated: Jan 18


Author: Renee Sarasvati


I traveled to Guatemala in 2021 after an invitation to be an artist in residence at the Mystical Yoga Farm. I wasn't sure what I was going to paint as their were a few options... and I planned to intuitively "download" the design while there... it was a courageous pursuit, and I ended up painting the Pleiadean cabin on the farm.


In the few weeks I spent working and visiting, I had the chance to travel around, visit San Marcos, and a few other towns... it was wonderful and I Loved it there.


I got to visit a wonderful Cacao Farm that is run by all women. They create the cacao with love and understand the powerful ceremonial aspects. This was so exciting to me as I had dreams years before visiting, that I could come in connection with a cacao farm and start importing cacao!

I asked them to write a little more about how the farm and how the cacao is processed... here is the response:


Story from Ody, About the Cacao Farm:


"The story of how my grandfather Carlos Suhul planted the trees, that happened 35 years ago. They planted the trees on the farm, cared for them, pruned them and waited for their first harvest. Other trees grew together with them and especially the mother of cacao, it is very important to have a small tropical forest, and they feed each other. My grandfather was a hard worker and he likes to take care of his cocoa and created his own cocoa wine. The wine was a secret that he did not share with his children.


As a women's group, we began in 2014 to share and expand our cocoa product and, little by little, the orders grew and the women are very happy when we have work, some women are widows, single mothers, mothers who need to support their children in education and ladies who need support. Because we are all happy when we work. And well, the secret is that we work cocoa with energy, with positivism, with enthusiasm, joy and above all with a lot of love. That is the main ingredient love. So that everyone who receives it is full of happiness and love with many energies from beyond."


Pictures from Ody (owner of the farm)...

Information on How the Cacao is Processed:

"The first stage is the harvesting of the fruit, the harvest starts from March to May, the next harvest is from November to January. the fruit must be ripe its color must be red, yellow or orange it must be cut with special blades.


For fermentation you need a bamboo basket with banana or maxan leaves, you have to open the pod and place them in the basket with the leaves and fill it, you classify the good fruits from those that are already damaged that is very important because if we add one that is damaged, it would ruin the other seeds and the fermentation is lost and it is no longer good quality. Fermentation is a very important process since when opening the pod and exposing the seeds that are inside, what is needed is the environment that surrounds us, the hands of those who carry out this process and the special mosquitoes that help in fermentation . This is the main key since in this stage the aroma, flavor and even color will develop.


The days of fermentation is 5 nights neither more nor less, without the leaves opening during those days of fermentation, when it is opened for the first time the aroma is exquisite, it tastes like an aged wine.


What follows is the drying or toasting by the sun, in this process a special patio is needed, a mat that is woven by maguey or you can use wood spread out in the patio. It is taken out of the basket and exposed to the sun from morning to sunset, it spreads very well on the surface where it will be sunbathed and must be moved constantly so that the drying is uniform. And for drying it is 5 to 6 days, you have to see the one inside and it is in color between purple and brown.

When the cocao is dry to its point the aroma is inevitable that strong aroma of alcohol means that the cocao is of first quality. And then it is stored or can be used for chocolate or pure paste. For toasting it has to be on a comal or in a clay pan (it is a type of land that is used to prepare the aforementioned), so that touch of wood gives another extra flavor to our preparation, for toasting it is 30 minutes on rapid heat, 45 minutes on medium heat and 1 hour on low heat, it must be moved constantly with a paddle. From this, the seed is de-seeded or peeled and ground in a mill or on a grinding stone."




While visiting the farm, I got to experience grinding the beans into a paste.

They made sure to point out that they deal with smaller pods as well as disease because it is wild cacao. I think that, and their process is a big part of why this particular cacao tastes soooo good!


I hope to visit the farm again in 2023, we will see if I can make it happen! <3


Sincerely,

~ Renee Sarasvati

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