Lovers of chocolate who have ventured south to Belize’s cacao capital might be familiar with chocolate-making company Ixcacao. Found in the village of San Felipe, “Belize’s original Maya chocolatier” offers travelers an in-depth look at the chocolate-making process from tree to bean to bar. Today, however, the family behind the chocolate business is in need of help.
Ixcacao owners Juan and Abelina Cho were recent victims of one of the many bushfires that flare up in Belize during its hot summer months. This one in particular was caused by slash-and-burn agricultural practices at a nearby farm. The family lost a significant amount of crops, including many already mature cacao trees, with the damage totaling BZD$ 12,000 (USD$ 6,000) according to estimates by Belize’s Ministry of Agriculture.
Not only is the twenty-acre farm a source of income for the Cho family and their village through the tourism it brings, but it’s also a source of sustenance for the chocolatiers.
About Ixcacao Maya Chocolate
Founded in 2000, the Maya chocolate company Ixcacao believes that chocolate can and will save the rainforest. Juan Cho has been working together with Sustainable Harvest International to promote sustainable farming practices throughout Belize and the rest of Central America.
Through activities like farm tours, chocolate making, and food sampling, Ixacao has been continuously highlighting the history and significance of chocolate in Belize to curious travelers from across the globe.