Blog - Original Beans

Stand Up for the Femmes

For those of us whose lives are plugged in from the moment the alarm on our phone wakes us up to the minute our electric toothbrush cleans our teeth before bed, it is difficult to get a sense of daily life in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo). To label the region poor or…

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Ebola Campaign 2019 for Virunga, raises Euro 11000

In Virunga, Eastern Congo, where Original Beans has been developing (organic) cacao farming among thousands of farmers since 2008, 2018 has brought an exceptionally good harvest for the Cru Virunga and Femmes de Virunga chocolates. The exceptional Congolese men and women of our local NGO, IDAD, have trained and equipped hundreds more women for beekeeping,…

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Guardians of ‘the heart of the world’

The Arhuaco have chosen to live in their own world, which they believe is ‘the heart of the world’. Their world is a world of dense rainforest, snow-clad mountains, wild rivers, cozy water streams, deserted Caribbean shores and ancient cacao trees, all of which are sacred to them. The Arhuaco tribe is genuinely protective of…

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Businchari, a new beginning for an ancient cacao

Forced into the highlands for centuries by conquistadors, settlers and the coca wars, the Arhuaco have recently returned to their ancestral lands and sacred sites at the Caribbean shores of La Lengüete. These are the shores where the endangered green turtle lays its eggs. Cocooned by the pristine rainforest, the Arhuacos’ ancient and rare cacao,…

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Zoque 88% – A land of many colors

Awaking. The sun is about to rise and the sky is a fragile blue. The scent of cacao being roasted. The sound of a wooden spoon turning the cacao beans in the pan. The sound of a chicken being slaughtered somewhere nearby. The cicadas stand guard in the fog that still covers the forest. I…

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Zoque 88% – Pozol

“I who come from Tabasco with knots of Mayan blood where the ground cacao gave a new meaning to water” Carlos Pellicer Cámara Jose’s family is a typical Tzotzil family. They work hard in the milpa and cacaotales throughout the day and they only eat what they grow, which sounds modest, but they grow a…

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Zoque 88% – Home-Coming to the Selva Zoque

The house of Jose, Maria Suzanna, and their large family stands out from the landscape. In vivid blue, green and red. The forest stands intact behind the house. As a green wall of bird calls. This mornings downpour has left the ground covered in flowers and I think to myself: somehow there are always flowers…

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Zoque 88% – The Tabasqueño Bean

We are sitting in an ancient stone sauna at the remote ruins of Malpasito, build by the ancient Zoque. The ancient Zoque, and their forefathers – the Olmecs – were brilliant minds and they can be compared to the Greeks of Europe. They were stargazers and they kept an advanced calendar, they invented the sauna…

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Zoque 88% – How it started

Portrait of an Eco-Entrepreneur and Friend. The journey to this amazing cacao started with a friendship. In the spring of 2014, I explored the ancient cacao land and rainforests of Tabasco and Chiapas in Southern Mexico with my good friend Hugo. We visited the homes and farms of Zoque and Tzotzil families in the Selva…

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Stable Income for Cacao Farmers

Imagine you are working full-time in a physically demanding job, but only earn one-third of the minimum living wage! You need to feed four children and take them to school every day. School is an hour away and there is no public transport. You cannot afford a car or a motorbike. There is no gas,…

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