About Mama Amor Ceremonial Cacao
Based in Lake Atitlan, we source from Guatemalan rainforests reaching isolated organic farmers.
Cacao’s flavor varies based on the region, climate, and soil in which it grows. Cacao Source offers you the opportunity to explore the jungle by choosing the origin of your medicine food. We only distribute criollo cacao hybrids cultivated in farmer-owned lands.
Each batch of cacao is carefully fermented, dried, and toasted. The artisanal processing of the seeds allows an extraordinarily high-quality control. Hand peeling allows our women’s collectives to ensure that each bean is in the perfect state.
This cacao was harvested from the Suchitepéquez Mountains of the Guatemalan Pacific front: the largest area of cacao forests in Central America during Pre-Columbian times. For millennia, the art of agriculture and hybridization was mastered in these mountains.
Mama Amor is managed by a woman’s collective called Nuevo Amanecer. The collective was formed in 2013 by Odilia, with the help of an association in Panajachel, to support women of her community with professional activity. At first Nuevo Amanecer was focused on weaving, but slowly re-oriented their activity towards Cacao culture and transformation.
Meet your farmers!
The 12 women of this collective are reestablishing an old regional tradition of cultivating cacao in a beautiful way that provides their community with abundance and stability. The recent success of their delicious production allows them to develop their artisan workshop and propose an authentic quality of single-origin cacao.
- Genetics : Diverse criollo hybrids mainly local with some introduced.
Flavor profile : Fruity and acidic, semi bitter, extra nutty, notes of cherry and anise.
Fermentation : Fermented for 5 days in baskets covered with banana leaves & 40% of the prod fermented in wooden box for 5 days without mooving.
- Type of environnement : Flat land, village, fruit forest gardens
Region : Suchitepequez
Land Size : About 200 000 m2 in 6 parcels.
Cacao Trees: About 4500
- Specificities: Abundance of rivers deep soil with old trees, ancient plantation.
- Ownership : Parcelas owned by 6 families. Managed by a womens collective.
Workers : About 10 workers hired for harvest (100Q/day)
Their village, close by the town of San Antoinio, gathers a myriad of small lands where mainly sugar cane and corn are cultivated in monoculture. In some parts of the area, the use traditional forest gardens persisted and involves beautiful local hybrid varieties.
*The Suchitepequez region, tuked on the foothills of the sierra maya, south of the Atitlan lake and in front on the pacific, offers optimal weather conditions for Cacao. The area offers perfect flat and rich soils, the abundance of rivers, sun and rain.
Odilia, mother of two daughters manages the collective.
The Nuevo Amanecer collective counts 12 women. Some are single mothers, young mothers and widows. In their small workshop, that is also the new kitchen of Odilia’s house, they do all the aspects of the Artisan Cacao.
They work locally with 6 “parcelas”- small pieces of land of about 3000 m2 each. Some of these parcelas are owned by the families of the collective’s members, others are neighbor's. About 20 persons work in the Cacao maintenance and harvest, half of them are paid workers (100Q/day)
Through generations of alchemy, this cacao’s flavor has been crafted to be fruity, acidic, rich in fats, and offer caramel bittersweet aromas typical to fermented ceremonial grade cacao. Mama amor tastes extra fruity and acidic, probably thanks to the unique fermentation technique (5 days in a basket with banana leaves without moving) that the collective still uses as a local tradition.
Thank you Mama Amor Farm!
My Personal Interest
I chose to work with this cacao because of the unique potency it carries. It is the only ceremonial cacao to have a strong effect and spiritual connection for me. I also liked that it initially came as a gift from a friend, who pays the women directly when I order. As a direct source business who wants my investments to go into the hands of makers, farmers, and foragers, I wanted to support the producer directly. I like that they do not fancily package and label this. I do that part.
I recommend using in times of connection, healing, and replenishing the physical body after moving a lot of energy. Energy is held in place in the body by minerals and vitamins. When we are doing a lot of things, or upleveling spiritually, or going through a healing/realization process, we lose a lot of nutrients that cacao helps to replenish.
When someone is busy, this cacao also helps bring one back to the present moment. When there is a lot of commotion, we disconnect from the body in the thoughts of getting things done. Ceremonial cacao can remind you to slow down, to stay present with what the body is feeling and to remember to move at a nourishing, and slower pace.
Why ceremonial cacao?
One of the most pharmacologically complex substances, cacao (raw chocolate) is an incredible superfood very high in antioxidants & nutrients such as magnesium (chronically deficient in western diets & key for body & mind), and is the highest naturally occurring source of chromium. It also contains copper, calcium, zinc, sulfur, iron, & phosphorus. It boosts circulation & increases nutrient absorption.
How to use it:
Start small. Stir 1/2 tablespoon of the cacao into a pint of water on the stove on low, or place in a blender with piping hot water and blend for a completely smooth finish. Add herbs, spices, sweeteners, even a milk, to your liking. Pairing this cacao with one of my mushroom tonics or Shilajit is like a mineral bomb! Tonics like the reishi, luminous, and Shilajit will make this very calming and negate caffeine. Pairing with white peony is very yin and cooling.
These are the primary neurotransmitters this cacao effects:
Norepinephrine - The "joy molecule," associated with feelings of elation and euphoria. Increases reaction time, awakens and alerts skeletal muscle. Lowest at night and rises in the morning, helps stimulate a feeling of alertness and arousal.
Serotonin - Creates sense of satisfaction, wellbeing, optimism, and alertness. Needed for feeling rested and awake in the morning. SSRIs work to increase available levels of serotonin as reduced levels of serotonin are associated with depression. Cacao is very high in magnesium and tryptophan, which are the precursors for serotonin.
Dopamine - Gives feelings of reward, pleasure, motivation, attention, memory, and sleep. Protects from Parkinson's and other neurological diseases.
Anandamine - Endocannabinoid that regulates overwall reward circuitry in the brain and body. From Sanskrit word "joy, bliss, delight." Known as the bliss molecule. Helps manage pain, helps balance, appetite, mood, drives neurogenesis (growth of new nerve tissue). Regulates CB1 and CB2 receptors. Cacao also has N-linoleoylethanolamine, the re-uptake inhibitor for anandamine.
Phenylethylamine (PEA) - Increases the actions of other neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and acetylcholine. Increases efficacy of daily activities regardless of age. Increases excitement, alertness, attention, can help give perception of time slowing down which is highly associated with the feelings from cacao and helping to relieve anxiety & feelings of being "rushed."