Dangriga, age 33, is a certified organic cacao farmer with MMC. She lives in the village of Na Luum Ka in the Toledo District. Dangriga enjoys her time spent harvesting and attending to the children. Her husband Simeon is a member of the Belize Defense Force. This means that limited time is given to the farm cleaning.
They started the cacao farm in 2001 and are continuing to do their best to maintain it by balancing time between family and work. Cacao is a challenge for her husband as he usually spends most of his time away from home. This requires her to hire helpers to clean their mature cacao trees. They also cultivate different types of farm crops such as corn and beans. Last year in 2012, they planted 1,000 new cacao seedlings, which require attention to cleaning for proper growth.
Dangriga is requesting a loan to hire worker to assist her in cleaning her five acres of cacao trees. They presently have 1,000 one-year-old trees that require cleaning more often.
She envisions that one day they will focus fully on the farm. She also wants her children to adopt the farming method, get an education and be someone in the future.
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.