Juan, age 53, is a cacao farmer from the beautiful village of Santa Cruz. He and his wife Venusciana raised ten children. Each son owns a farm, while his daughters are married. The village is at the southern most part of Toledo along a newly constructed highway leading to the Guatemalan border.
Juan started his cacao farm from a nursery organized by a local association. Juan, together with his children manages two acres of 400 cacao trees, which now, are starting to produce.
The drying process for cacao has been challenging to Juan. However, he has been energized by the fact that Maya Mountain cacao purchases freshly harvested cacao from the farm to the scale. Juan also cultivates other variety of farm crops.
Due to the financial benefits that his cacao farm brings to his family, Juan is requesting a loan to invest in grafted seedling so as to expand his farm. His ambition is to improve the quality of life and healthcare for his family. In addition, he encourages his grand children to gain some level of education and in the future the farm will be owned and managed by his five sons.
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.