Don Anastacio from San Marcos, Guatemala, is 80 years old and has one of the most beautiful farms I have ever seen. He has been farming all his life and now that his children have grown up he cares for his land all by himself. He grows coffee, lychee, bananas, papaya, lime and other amazing plants that contribute to the rich soil and flavor profile of the cacao beans themselves.
In order to find Don Anastacio I had to convince friends of mine to drive through the torrential down pour, down some of the worse roads I have ever traveled and we literally had to knock door to door throughout the neighborhood of La Lima to find him. To get to the cacao itself we had to hike down steep hills and I kept wondering to myself how an 80 year old man was so agile.
We could tell that he liked the company as he practically explained every nook and cranny of his finca. Most of us were totally intrigued and it didn't matter that it was raining.
Others were less amused...
Once we got back to his home we tried some of his cacao, which was sweet and sour and so delicious.
We asked him the secret to his youth he responded by bringing out the biggest bottle of tequila I have ever seen and a huge grin on his face. He has such an amazing sense of humor and so naturally invited us into his home to share with us his experiences and lifelong knowledge of farming.
There is a saying in Spanish in regards to finding love, "tienes que encontrar tu media naranja," "you have to find your other half of the orange."
I think Don Anastacio might be my media naranja. I had a hard time leaving and the other amazingly patient Guatemalan friends of mine eventually had to drag me away.
Written by Becca Roebber, Marketing Director at indi chocolate.