Cocoa was for our aborigines a currency, the cocoa seed had such value. It allowed our ancestors to exchange products for cocoa. It was considered drink for the gods.
To date in Talamanca town have been grouped around 75 women from different indigenous communities including Cabecar and Bribri, to resume the cultivation of cacao as a source of economic income.
In recent days, we traveled to the community of Bribri to meet The Chocolate Women. They are a group of women who work together to keep the tradition of cocoa. Mrs. Faustina and Mrs. Edith, leaders of the group. Mrs. Faustina explained how cocoa was of great importance to her ancestors.
The group was created with the purpose of rescuing their values and customs and at the same time having an income for their families.
The name of the group is Tsirushka (The women of chocolate in Bribri). The workshop is located in Shiroles de Talamanca. In front of the school we can find its artisan factory and a few steps its Cacao plantations.
The Chocolate women receive visitors, even national or foreign, who wishes to live the experience in their organic cocoa plantations. As well as the process from the tree, to take the seed, to dry it, to toast it and to process it until turning it into pure Cocoa. The Chocolate they produce is organic and sustainable with the environment.
This experience can be realized from Cahuita and Puerto Viejo in the South Caribbean. It lasts approximately 6 hours. From Cahuita or Puerto Viejo the journey takes approximately 40 minutes to the village of Shiroles. The crossing for the different villages is very pleasant and interesting. You always be accompanied by the lush greenery emerald green and jade of the Caribbean South Costa Rican.
The Chocolate women wait for their visitors, welcome them and start a conversation. In the indigenous conical ranch, they explain the reasons why they decided join up. After the conversation, we visit the plantations and they start give the details of the whole process. It begins from taking the ripe fruit to turning it into cocoa, cocoa butter, and organic chocolate.
The Tsirushka (The Chocolate women) experience is an excellent activity to include in a planned tour in Cahuita and Puerto Viejo. It is a perfect combination for a trip through Costa Rica starting with the Central Valley and San Gerardo de Dota with the Quetzales National Park. Following to the Pacific South at Marino Ballena National Park. Continuing to Manuel Antonio National Park and then to Arenal Volcano. Visiting some of the icon places of Costa Rica as Tortuguero National Park. And ending in South Caribbean in Cahuita or Puerto Viejo, including different activities offered by this varied area where there is cultural diversity.
These places have the great versatility of extensive golden beaches with forests around them and at the same time to combine cultural activities such as The Women of Chocolate.
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