Lucas, age 71, is a farmer in the beautiful village of San Jose. Lucas and his wife, Juanita, raised five children. Two of his children are living at home and three living on their own. Lucas manages two acres of 500 mature and 200 young cacao trees.
Lucas was inspired to plant cacao trees from a local cacao buyer who informed farmers about how to grow cacao and issued seedlings to interested farmers. Selling cacao beans assists him to meet his daily financial needs. Lucas and Juanita enjoy the cleaning and harvesting of cacao from their farm. Fermentation of the cacao bean has been challenging for them, but with Maya Mountain Cacao buying freshly harvested cacao beans he is more relaxed.
Lucas is requesting this loan to hire people to help him properly clean his farm for the next season. As three of his children are grown up and the other two are in secondary school, it is not possible for them to help him to clean his land.
Lucas enjoys all the benefits of cacao farming. His future plans are to live happily with his wife and for his farm to be managed by his children when they are able to do so.
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.