Bolivia: Wild Harvest
During just a bit over two months every year – from late December through February – inhabitants of the Amazon Basin in the Beni Department in the north east corner of Bolivia head deep into the Amazon jungle in search of a singularly rare treasure – wild cacao.
It wasn’t always this way, though. Just a few short decades ago this cacao was rarely harvested since the only buyers were looking for commodity cacao and the inhabitants weren't aware of how rare and special their wild beans were.
The harvest occurs during the rainy season, so even getting to it (let alone getting it back out) means a long, muddy, and difficult trek into the jungle - either on motorbikes or on foot - under constant assault by the swarms of mosquitoes who also call the jungle home. In short, it was simply too much work for too little compensation. Happily, for all of us, times have changed. The communities that call this place home now understand how special their wild cacao is. They know how to harvest it, to care for it in a sustainable way, to protect it from the devastating effects of the Witches Broom fungus that cacao is so susceptible to, and most of all to be compensated fairly for the true value of these incredibly special beans.
We gladly pay a premium price for the privilege of working with these amazing little beans - they really are tiny compared to their hybridized and mass-cultivated cousins - and we hope you enjoy the chocolate that we make from them as much as we enjoy bringing it to you.