Our recent trip to El Salvador
This month we were in our beautiful El Salvador, and of course we were delighted to hug family, friends and revisit the cocoa plantations from which our cocoa products will later be born. We couldn't even believe that we could travel again in 2021. It was now time to go back to the little house.
Sometimes JuanRa and I wonder if "direct trade"Is exactly the right way to explain what we do, to convey the values and principles of everything behind VAICACAO, then in the end we always end up thinking that this term is an understatement and that we need to find another way to better identify our work . Maybe it sounds better: vertically integrated short supply chain?
In fact, what we do in fact is not limited to a "trade and transformation of cocoa" but to promote unique realities that no @ knew until yesterday, due to the fact that we are also cocoa producers, we also put ourselves in the shoes of those who do this work by understanding its complexities.
We are producers and processors, we can say that everything worked with cocoa from the JuanRafael estate, Cuyancùa, is actually a "Tree to Bar / cup", as well as working constantly with other plantations, which we have seen born and now grow thanks to to us. Teamwork with our compatriots is crucial, and we like this aspect to which we give absolute importance.
Secondly, because we are proud to be half Salvadorans; because there is very little Salvadoran cocoa in the world, and we want to be among those who promote its enormous quality, and who respect its true organoleptic characteristics, without distorting its aromas. That's why everything we do is minimally processed and fully traceable, really, it's not greenwashing. (If you need further information, we are always available, ed).
On our trip, we again visited our family plantation, Cuyancùa, in the Izalco area, Finca Parras Lempa (Tlaloc) and Finca S. Fernando (Atehuàn). The progress that each plantation is making is enormous. Each has its own fermentation and cocoa drying system.
If you have never been to El Salvador, you should know that it is a country where people are very special, they work a lot and when they work, they do it giving their best!
El Salvador is famous for exporting coffee, but less for cocoa, indeed, very few identify it as a cocoa producing country. In the ICCO chart it is not even named among the producing countries of "fine cocoa flavor"; in fact, little cocoa is produced compared to neighboring Guatemala and Honduras, but this does not make it any less exotic or less interesting.
El Salvador is part of ancient Mesoamerica, and there are still descendants of the Maya who live there, in the western part of the country, as well as other indigenous ethnic groups that made significant use of cocoa (the Lenca for example, who live in the central part).
Just think that the port of Acajutla (from where our containers full of cocoa bags come out today), had been enlarged by the Spaniards during the invasion, so that cocoa could be exported to Mexico, and then to Spain. In 1600 it was the third largest cocoa producer in the Mesoamerican region.
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