Ally With Indigenous Peoples
Cocooned by the pristine wilderness of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in northern Colombia, the Arhuaco tribe is hard to get to. It takes a rough 8 hours on motorcycle on winding dirt roads – down muddy paths, crossing rivers on corroded wooden rafts – to get to the heart of their land and the communities where we buy an ancient and acutely rare cacao, which the Arhuaco call Businchari, meaning sunrise and new beginning. Into the jungle with the faraway calls of howler monkeys.
Jan, cacao aficionado at Original Beans, was invited by the Arhuaco tribe to visit their villages and meet their spiritual elders in 2015, 2016 and again in the spring of 2017. This is a great honour, since the Arhuaco are genuinely protective of their land due to their sad past with intruding outsiders: conquistadors, settlers, guerrilla groups, paramilitary forces, grave robbers – and most recently tourists with little respect for their customs and sacred sites.