Vinces, Ecuador: Projects that nurture our essence
"A little before arriving at Vinces, on the left side of the road I see the bamboo façade and that iconic sign that says República del Cacao. I get off the bus and the acid and fruity aroma of cacao fermentation confirms me that my place is here. Five incredible days have passed, wherever you look, life and possibilities are overflowing, people are so warm and sincere, with a great pride of who they are and their homeland, always welcoming you with a smile. Thousands of stories revolve around cocoa and I also have mine, I think about the chocolate cigarettes my great-grandfather made in the Guayaquil of the thirties, when my grandmother and her brothers were children. A little later my grandmother traveled to Venezuela, where she settled for the rest of her life. Ninety years later I am here ... nothing is coincidence, they say. A few days before coming to Vinces, some asked me, What do you have there? I told them: Cacao and people. "- Analía Uzcátegui, Field Technician in Vinces for República del Cacao.
We have started another one of our projects in Vinces-Ecuador, known as "the birthplace of cacao", a national and historical reference for its cacao production. Thanks to Analia´s work, our Field Technician, we have a broad perspective on the natural wonders that Vinces has to offer, as well as the different needs of our ally communities. We are constantly seeking new ways to dynamically improve the economy of the area, this is why our collection center has been developed in this specific location, in order to develop sustainable fine cacao aroma at its source. The space will also serve as a agricultural experimentation center, working in developing alternatives and technologies that will allow local farmers to become more self-sufficient, resilient and proactive about issues that concern their particular territory.
With the support of the community, a nursery will be co-designed and implemented for reproducing native, companion and patrimonial plants, aiming to foment the local ecosystem’s biodiversity. Also, a wetland bio-filter will be installed, for treating gray & black water through educative biological decomposition processes. These are a few of our environmental proposals that we are forging for the long run, demonstrating our commitment to adapt sustainable development goals in Ecuador’s cacao-rural sector.
Through experiential, hands-on workshops, 40+ producers will receive training on topics such as biodiversification, grafting/pruning and integrated farm management. These are a few of the proposals to foster healthier communities & maintain alive our cacao fino de aroma’s legacy.
While our journey continues, we will keep posting about the important steps we make along the way, along our strategic allies, collaborators, communities and chocolatiers.
Analía Uzcategui, Field Technician Vinces
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