My recent trip to Puerto Rico included visiting the Jeanmarie hacienda in Aguada, Puerto Rico to see how it was faring almost a year after Hurricane Maria. I was very pleased to see the vibrant greenery throughout the farm. While there is a lot of work still left to accomplish, the owner of Jeanmarie Chocolat, Juan Echevarria, is working nonstop to get his farm, not only to the levels of pre-Hurricane Maria, but rather to make Aguada the destination place for fine cacao and chocolate. He is a visionary and is focused on educating more farmers so that together they may become a formidable unit to meet the demands for fine cacao in Puerto Rico, and eventually be the go-to source beyond the shores of the island.
Below is a photo of new cacao trees that were recently planted.
Here is a short clip of the farm currently. The voice heard on the video is of the owner, Juan Echevarria, and he is basically saying “this is how the farm looks like after Hurricane Maria and there is a lot of work still needed to be done.”
The most exciting news is that here is Juan and his new cacao harvest in a Puerto Rico newspaper last week! I’m so proud of all his efforts in forging ahead. It’s his hard work and passion that is an inspiration for me, not only, to help him and his farm but also the extension of farmers he is cultivating. Congratulations Juan!