Pictures and stories from Belize pt 3 - Chocolate Farm

7:08:00 PM BB 0 Comments

*In Part 1 & 2, I shared my experience meeting some wonderful people in Belize City, and doing a scary hike in Tiger Cave. Read Part 1 and Part 2. All the photos from my trip can be found here!*


Eladio Pop’s chocolate farm was about 40ish minutes away from the Lodge on an even bumpier road than the one leading to the lodge.

We get there and Pop gives us (myself, an American couple) some fresh chocolate in pods. The taste of the chocolate pods is so unbelievably sweet, but not in an overwhelming sugary way. Here I am holding a pod!

I love this outfit, proudly brought to you by Forever21 and Nike! Hiking boots provided by the lodge. 
Pop shows us around his farm. He grows more than just chocolate. There’s heart of palm, plantains, limes, corn, cassava, cocoyam, ginger, spices, and more. He feeds his family off the food on the farm. He tells us about the importance of sustainable farming and understanding nature and being at peace with it has led to being able to grow all sorts of produce on his farm, and not worry about pests and invasive species. He told us about his family and his 10 kids, how he bought the farm and all the life lessons he's learned the past 3+ decades on the farm.

I was in complete awe of this man. He was clearly passionate about his work and possesses such unbelievable wisdom on life that I was happy to soak in. Random: Last night I had a dream I was back in Belize listening to his stories <3 

The produce on that farm! OMG. I had probably the most delicious banana ever. Not a fan of limes, but juicy. And sugar cane. I grew up in Northern Nigeria and sugar canes were an important part of my childhood. So when he showed us the sugar cane and brought out his machete to cut it up and gave us a piece, I almost cried inside. On the outside, I just jumped around like a crazy person. Pop had a look like “really” but he saw my joy. I hadn’t had a sugar cane in over 10 years. Immense joy. Thank you, pop!

Lime!


Pop preparing some sugar cane while I said thank you to black Jesus for always being there for me.

View from the farm, facing the Caribbean sea
After the farm tour, we went to pop’s house for the chocolate making demonstration. But first we had the most delicious lunch prepared by pop’s kids and daughter in law. Chicken soup, with cassava, cocoa yam and corn tortillas. Delicious! Cassava and cocoyam are Nigerian staples :)

Pop’s daughter explained the significance of chocolate in their (Mayan) community and showed us how the cacao beans are roasted, crushed, and ground before before transformed into chocolate bars or chocolate drink.  I got to do some cacao bean grinding with these 2 fun things, I also hadn’t seen since Nigeria. Arm workout, believe me.


View from the kitchen!
After our cooking class, I got to chat with Pop's daughter in law who is in charge of selling the chocolate bars. She told me she really wants to visit Africa. I met so many Belizeans who said the same thing :)


The next day, I did some solid one-on-one bonding with Mrs. Bo as we made corn tortillas. Read that here.

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