Alicia, age 45, and her husband Miguel are organic certified cacao farmers with Maya Mountain Cacao. Together they raised ten children of which five are still living at home. Alicia and her family live in the beautiful village of San Jose, in the southernmost part of Toledo District.
Alicia and her husband both got inspired to start planting cacao from a local cacao farmer in the said village. Alicia and her daughter manages their 1000 productive trees. Miguel cultivates other farm crops such as rice, beans, pikatoria and so finds limited time to work on the cacao farm. Alicia enjoys cleaning under the mature trees, and harvesting.
Drying of cacao beans has been a major issue, now with the Maya Mountain Cacao Company buying “wet” or freshly harvested cacao beans this has been a relief for her. Alicia says “Cacao is money, when I need money for my grocery I go directly to harvesting and wait for Maya Mountain Cacao to sell”.
This loan will help Alicia hire persons to clean and underbrush her cacao trees. Also, Alicia and her daughter can focus a little more on the younger children and assisting them with their schoolwork.
About Maya Mountain Cacao
Maya Mountain Cacao (MMC) is a for-profit social enterprise that sources premium cacao beans from smallholder farmers in Belize. Founded in 2010, it generates income for marginalized farmers while promoting sustainable agricultural practices in the southern part of the country.
These cacao farmers use Kiva credit to invest in farm maintenance, improvement and expansion. For example, they might hire workers to help with the harvest or buy inputs such as better tools and seedlings.