Il nostro recente viaggio a El Salvador

Our recent trip to El Salvador

This month we were in our beautiful El Salvador, and obviously we were very happy to hug family, friends and revisit the cocoa plantations from which our cocoa products will then be born. We couldn't believe either that we could travel again in 2021. It was now time to go back to the house.

Elisa & Juanra Founders Vaicacao

Sometimes JuanRa and I ask ourselves 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 reductive 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 is not to limit ourselves to "trade and transformation of cocoa" but to promote unique realities that until yesterday no one knew about, due to the fact that we are also cocoa producers, we also put ourselves in the shoes of those he does this job by understanding its complexities.

We are producers and processors, we can say that everything worked with cocoa from JuanRafael's estate, Cuyancùa, is effectively a "Tree to Bar/cup", as well as working constantly with other plantations, which we have seen born and now grow also thanks to us. Teamwork with our compatriots is crucial, and we like this aspect to which we give absolute importance.

Then because we are proud to be half Salvadoran; because there is very little Salvadoran cocoa available 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 completely traceable, really, it's not "greenwashing". (If you need further information we are always available, ed.).

On this trip, we visited our family plantation again, 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 cocoa fermentation and drying system.

If you have never been to El Salvador, you should know that it is a country where the people are really very special, they work a lot and when they work, they do it really giving their best!

El Salvador is famous for exporting coffee, but less so for cocoa, in fact, very few identify it as a cocoa producing country. In the ICCO chart it is not even named among the producing countries of “fine flavor cocoa”; in fact little cocoa is produced compared to neighboring Guatemala and Honduras, but this does not make it less exotic or less interesting. 

Benedicto and Eli and Juanra TLALOC - Finca Parras Lempa 2021

El Salvador is part of ancient Mesoamerica, and there are still descendants of the Maya living there, in the western part of the country, as well as other indigenous ethnic groups who made significant use of cocoa (the Lenca for example, who live in the central part).

Consider that the port of Acajutla (from where today our containers full of bags of cocoa leave) was expanded by the Spanish 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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