Tesoro Escondido - Cacao for the 'Washu' Spider Money
In the Esmeraldas region of Ecuador, deforestation is a viable source of income for the inhabitants. Esmeraldas is located in northern Ecuador, climatically it belongs to the cloud forest. Due to this climate and the proximity to the equator, the biodiversity of the flora and fauna is unique. The entire flora and fauna still suffers from deforestation, especially the brown-headed spider monkey „Washu“. In this area the last habitat of the „Washus“ has shrunk to a dramatically small area. The Tesoro Escondido nature reserve was launched to protect the forest and this species. „Washu“ is also a foundation that tries to protect the preserve and is scientifically supported by the University of Sussex.
A farming community that has been living there for about 20 years has joined forces in this nature reserve in the Esmeraldas area and proves that species protection can go hand in hand with cocoa quality. The cultivation and sale of cocoa, along with the cultivation of rice and maize, offers farmers a real alternative to deforestation. Sami and Anna Luisa from the Hacienda Limon farm, act as advisors to this farming community called Asoprotesoco. Cacao from Tesoro Escondido is very strong in its aromas. The resulting chocolate is characterized by the intense taste of cocoa.
When we visited the farmers community of the Tesoro Escondido, we could get an idea of the great motivation of the different families. We were accommodated by the president of the community, Javier Cedeno Alava. The community is constantly adapting the processes – we are curious to see where this path still leads. We are also a small and young company and very proud that we too can make a small contribution to the „Washu“.