Transcript of "Chocolate Tour: a learning expedition"
The Chocolate Tour, cacao wine & cacao marmalade<br />“Learning Expedition”<br />A visit from Ecuadorian banana farmers to cacao farmers on the Dominican Republic<br />
Welcome to CONACADO, the association of Dominican small scale cacao farmers<br />CONACADO is organized in different groups, called “Bloques”, all over the country. The Ecuadorian farmers paid a visit to Bloque no. 3 in Hato Mayor, where the CONACADO members have started a very successful tourism project.<br />
The Chocolate Tour<br />One of CONACADO’s tourism products is “The Chocolate Tour”. Tourist groups from all over the world experience the whole production process, from seed to chocolate, in a one-day’s program.<br />
The Chocolate Tour<br />Here the Ecuadorians receive explanation about the quality check after the cacao beans have been fermented and dried. All the visitors are guided by members of CONACADO who have been trained as tourguides.<br />
The Chocolate Tour<br />During the Chocolate Tour the visitors will visit different locations where they meet the farmers and their families and where they can enjoy the beautiful rural countryside.<br />
The Chocolate Tour<br />The last station of the Chocolate Tour is the women group where they experience how to make chocolate, cacao wine and cacao marmalade. The Ecuadorian farmers are also growing cacao in between their bananas, but apart from the cacao grains they don’t do anything with the remnants of the cacao pods<br />
The Chocolate Tour<br />The women group “Esperanza Unidas” uses the inner parts of the cacao pods to produce cacao wine and cacao marmalade. Most of it is sold on the local market and of course to the tourists during the Chocolate Tour. This is an excellent example for the Ecuadorian farmers of how to add value.<br />
The Fairtrade Tour<br />The Ecuadorians were also shown the different projects that have been started by CONACADO with the help of Fairtrade premium money. They support local schools, they have started a water bottling enterprise and they have started a project for growing rabbits.<br />
The “Casa Familiar”<br />In the community of Los Botados CONACADO has renovated and extended a typical rural Dominican house. The Casa Familiar will be used for tourists who want to stay overnight and who want to experience Dominican life in the rural area. Another good example of how to add value!<br />
Restaurant “Los Botados”<br />The local women group in Los Botados provides local meals to the visitors during the Chocolate Tour. They also take care of the visitors who stay overnight in the Casa Familiar.<br />
Community meeting in “Los Botados”<br />The Ecuadorians also met with the local members of CONACADO who have been working hard to establish the tourism project. Their commitment and enthusiasm has made it possible to develop the Chocolate Tour, the Casa Familiar and the restaurant in a short period of time. A great example!<br />
Chocolate production in “Vicentillo”<br />Part of the Learning Expedition was that Ecuadorians were trained by the local women group how to produce chocolate, cacao wine and cacao marmalade. The women group earns more than US$ 20,000 per year by selling chocolate, wine and marmalade!<br />
Cacao marmalade production in “Vicentillo”<br />One of the Ecuadorian banana farmers helps with boilng the inner parts of the cacao pods. After some time sugar will be added and a nice marmelade is the final result.<br />
Cacao wine production in “Vicentillo”<br />One of the women demonstrates how the cacao wine is been bottled, after a whole process of boiling, fermenting and clearing. The wine is sold to tourists during the Chocolate Tour, but also on the local market and to hotels and tourist resorts.<br />
The final result<br />The Ecuadorian farmers took notes of how to produce wine and marmalade from cacao, so that they can train their fellow farmers in doing the same. They have also experienced that a serious and professional approach in tourism can result in substantial additional income for farmers.<br />
Good bye!<br />After an intensive week of learning and training it was time to say good bye. As a sign of appreciation the Ecuadorians handed over some banana liquor, bottled in a banana statue, to the women group “Esperanza Unidas”.<br />
This “Learning Expedition” was organized and implemented by CONTOUR Projects Ltd., on behalf of the Progreso Foundation<br />For more information contact us by e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com<br />or visit us on the web: www.contour-projects.com, www.progresonetwork.org<br />
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