Give Back to farmers
El Cedro Origin
Angel and Irma Yatz Xol live in the village of El Cedro, nestled in the mountains above Livingston on Guatemala's Caribbean Coast. Of the Q'echi indigenous group, their grandparents arrived in the 60's and 70's to escape conflict in the highlands, where they have lived as subsistence farmers primarily from slash-and-burn corn.
Today, Angel goes to work at his land 1-hour walk away from his home. He carries, with his family, the pods back to his house to ferment and dry the seeds. Once the cacao is ready, he wakes up at 1 am to walk another 30 minutes with the cacao seeds to the closest access of Rio Dulce. He canoes to Livingston town in order to arrive for the 5 am boat where his cacao can start the journey towards Cacao Source store.
Meet your farmers!
Upon learning of the international value of cacao back in 2017, Irma took the initiative to fill nursery bags and buy seed for their first 800 cacao plants with the help of their five children, led by their eldest son Jayron. With the change in land use from slash-and-burn to cacao agroforestry, the Yatz Xol family notes an increase in their income, as well as a reforested landscape, as the cacao is intercropped with native timber species such as caoba (mahogany), laurel and El Cedro, for which his village is named.
Type of environnement : Young fruit forest, next to a village, proximity with the Caribbean. surrounded with wilderness.
Region : Izabal
Land size : About 5000 m2
Cacao Trees : 1160 trees, 600 more are getting planted.
Ownership : 1 Family, and many around that are influenced and are planting cacao.Workers : 3 Workers from the owner’s family. Q'echi community.
Angel and Irma found their market with Cacao Source through Sean Dixon-Sullivan, founder of Contour Lines, a non-for-profit that plants agroforestry projects now with over 110 communities around Guatemala. Sean first went to El Cedro in 2019 to train Angel in pruning of his young cacao plantation, and shortly after began planting projects with more members of his villages, now totaling 19 families planting 7,500 legume trees and 1856 fruit trees. Inspired by Angel and Irma's success with cacao, the majority of those fruit trees selected by those 19 families are cacao as well :) And thanks to Cacao Source finding markets to these farmers, more and more families are eager to join Contour Lines projects, transitioning their lands out of slash and burn and into agroforestry systems that both restore land, and empower local families like Angel and Irma's!
El Cedro is currently our smallest cacao producer. During our last visit, a few neighbors of Angel's family has shared their interests to participate in the production of El Cedro origin. Contour Lines NGO is working with the community to meet Cacao Source's sourcing criteria. The community is working towards an organic agroforestry system with quality processing methods.
Regardless that El Cerdo origin is new to our program, it has been already recognized for its great taste!
Stay updated with the development of El Cedro.
Thank you El Cedro Farm!
Make a Donation
Give Back to farmer is an opportunity is value and recognize the hard work of farming communities. This donation will go into a community project co-created with El Cedro Origin farmers to support a social or environmental cause in the community. At the end of each year, we will be meeting the farmers with the total donation collected to decide the project to be funded.
Angel's dream is to develop eco-toursim with his cacao farm and offer his son the opportunity to learn English in order to become the leading tour guide and his community.