Maya Mountain Cacao works with 350+ certified organic smallholder cacao farming families in the Toledo District of southern Belize. Most of these farmers are indigenous Q’eqchi’ and Mopan Maya. The cacao is centrally processed at a post-harvest facility where three unique stages of sun drying create optimal flavor. While ancient criollo can still be found deep in the nature reserves of Belize and on small private plots, the vast majority of cacao cultivated by the smallholder Maya farmers of the south are Amelonado-dominant hybrids and other Upper Amazon Forastero hybrids. Genetic testing of the beans through support of the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Initiative suggest the diversity of clones in Belize likely originates from the CDC and Hershey plantings as well as seeds brought across the border over hundreds of years from Mayan communities in Guatemala.
Sourcing Partner: Uncommon Cacao