Contemplative Practice – Chocolate

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My post is in response to the Lesson 3 contemplative practice about chocolate and cocoa farms. I thought about how different the Hershey bar I had with me at home was made than the chocolate that was farmed on the Ivory Coast. We can simply buy chocolate for a few dollars at any store, and enjoy it while not having to worry about the amount of labor and processes that went into harvesting the beans that made it, while the parts of the world that work so hard to harvest and export them don’t get to enjoy the same reward.

Although the scenario is slightly different, this exercise reminded me of my travels last summer. I was able to tour a family’s home run cocoa farm in the Dominican Republic and watch the hands on process of harvesting the plant and even making the chocolate. The climate there is very warm all year round and so any laboring in the heat is tiring. The family run farm grew and harvested their cocoa beans from the fruits. Then, they either export the harvested beans or make them into chocolate. They ground the beans by hand in large bowls and mixed it with cane sugar, before melting it down for bar molds. The country relies heavily on cocoa and coffee production for its exports and is a leading exporter of organic, fair trade cocoa.

For some reason I am unable to find the rest of my photos (they are likely on my external drive) so here is the one I do have from the cocoa farm we visited! Located somewhere between Punta Cana and Higuey, DR