Dominican Republic Chocolate Tour: From Cocoa to Hot Chocolate If you want to experience the authentic side of the Dominican Republic and want to see what the country offers in addition to just pretty beaches, take a day of your travels to do the Tour de Chocolate. Here you can learn the whole process of […]
If you want to experience the authentic side of the Dominican Republic and want to see what the country offers in addition to just pretty beaches, take a day of your travels to do the Tour de Chocolate. Here you can learn the whole process of making chocolate hands-on in a local cocoa farm, and can sample products from raw cocoa beans to delicious hot chocolate made in the final process.
CONOCADO (The National Confederation of Dominican Cocoa Producers) is a co-op in the Dominican Republic that is made up of about 10,000 cocoa farmers. The farmers, association members of CONOCADO, practice organic farming and have been fair trade certified since 1995. The Fairtrade Labeling Organizations International (FLO International) rewards CONOCADO associations for selling organic cocoa and practicing fair trade. For each ton of cocoa sold an association is rewarded with $200 dollars. This money is for the association members to take and use in their communities, such as to pave roads, install bathrooms in the local schools, and build association buildings.
Los Botados and Vicentillo of El Seibo are communities that make up associations of Bloque #3 CONOCADO. The communities want to limit migration out of the community by creating job opportunities in the community. Therefore with their premium money from the FLO International and other investment money they built and created a TOUR DE CHOCOLATE. This business has created jobs for the people of both Los Botados and Vicentillo.
The Dominican Republic is famous for their beautiful beaches and resorts, but I strongly advise you take advantage of where you are and see how the people of the Dominican Republic actually live. Cocoa is a huge export of the Dominican Republic and more than 40,000 families are affected by the production of cocoa.
On the tour you will get the opportunity to meet Dominican locals, you will see how they live and how they receive their main source of income, and best of all you will get to eat the local cuisine prepared by women of the community.
The landscape surrounding these communities is absolutely breathtaking; a definite must-see whilst you are in the country. It is always refreshing and eye opening to see and experience what the world has to offer and how people outside of your native country live.
The Chocolate Tour is very well organized, and the staff are incredible. Their pleasant smiles and willingness to explain, demonstrate, and take care of you are very sincere. The structure of the tour is excellent and very informative. The guide of the tour really incorporates the group and includes everyone, from participating in testing the quality of a cocoa bean, planting a cocoa tree, to having the opportunity to make cocoa powder using the tools of the locals….you will never think of chocolate the same way! It is very interesting to see the process from bean to bar chocolate, and it tastes good too!
Written by Guest Author: Blake Edwards