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#431002 - 02/21/12 11:42 AM Toledo Cacao Fest 2012
Marty Offline

CacaoFest 2012 - Friday 18 May to Sunday 20 May 2012

It's time to stimulate your senses, and head down to Belize's beautiful deep south for the Toledo Cacao Festival. Packed with activities for the young and old alike, CacaoFest pays tribute to the organic cacao farmers and Belizean chocolatiers.

Join us over the Commonwealth Day Holiday Weekend for the Toledo District's celebration of cacao, and our rich cultural heritage - 18th to 20th May 2012!


CacaoFest


Wine and Chocolate Night, Friday 18th May

Wine and Chocolate Night includes decadent chocolate creations from Belize's formost chocolatiers - Kakaw, Goss, and Cotton Tree. There'll be sumptuous food and premium wines with a closing firework display!

Taste of Toledo, Saturday 19th May

Saturday's festivities provide visitors with a true Taste of Toledo! Daytime activities in Punta Gorda Town include live music at venues throughout town, a Chocolate Centre at PG's Chocolate Factory, tortilla making at the Fajina House, and art and archaeology exhibits. Savor Belize will be announcing the winner of the Best Chocolate recipe competition, learn about Cacao and Conservation from Toledo's leading NGOs, and learn about cacao production and processing at the Toledo Cacao Growers' Association open day.

Children will enjoy the free Cacao for Kids activities, leaving you free to visit the different activities in Town, knowing that they are safe, supervised, and having fun.

Special Festival tours are offered for those wanting to experience the delights of the District, with Cacao Trail tours, and Sea Toledo snorkelling trips to our beautiful offshore cayes.

Enjoy evening musical performances from some of Toledo's finest musicians at the vairous Culture in Harmony performances around PG Town, or head out to one of our local lodges to enjoy a delicious chocolate-themed dinner.

Culture, music and dance - Sunday 20th May


CacaoFest Deer DanceWith its beautiful location at the foothills of the Maya Mountains, views of the Rio Grande and bordered by streams, the ancient Maya site of Lubaantun provides a mystical setting for our grand finale.

Learn more about the "Place of the Fallen Stones: with specialist guided walking tours of the site, and a talk by a renowned archaeologis specialising in ancient Maya history, and then sit back and enjoy a magical contemporary Maya dance performed by the Folkloric Ballet of Quintana Roo, and great steelband music from the Pantempters and the Paneriffix.


Full details of the events are published in the special Festival edition of the Toledo Howler newspaper.

Please use our contact form if you have any questions about the Festival, email us at info@tcgabelize.com, or call the Festival Office at 722-2531.

CacaoFest Sponsors

CacaoFest is the product of a committed group of volunteers from the Toledo community, including Toledo Cacao Growers Association and BTIA Toledo, but it would not be possible without the invaluable help and support of our Festival sponsors:

Our Mission

"The Toledo Cacao-Festival Committee was formed in 2006 by members of the Toledo branch of the BTIA and other key stakeholders, to organize an annual community development event.

We seek to raise awareness of the Toledo District and its unique cultural and environmental diversity, promote sustainable tourism throughout the District, and extend the tourist season for the benefit of the entire community."

Our Aims and Objectives

  • To organise an annual community CacaoFest, designed to raise awareness of the Toledo District through the development and promotion of a sustainable tourism product
  • To increase the number of visitors to the Toledo District to the benefit of the entire community through the 'ripple effect'
  • To work with other stakeholders in the Toledo District with similar and comparable interests, including the Toledo Cacao Growers Association, and the BTIA Toledo Chapter in supporting the BTIA's goals of promoting sustainable tourism while maintaining the natural and cultural integrity of Belize.
  • To provide a fair and transparent process for businesses to tender for all elements of the Festival which are sub-contracted.
  • To assist those local businesses identified as a result of the tender process through the provision of mentoring and training, as necessary, to improve the professionalism and quality of the product.
  • To improve the infrastructure and appearance of the area.
  • To do all such other lawful things as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of any of the above objectives.

How the Festival Makes a Difference

As a responsible tourism event, the Festival draws together a wide range of stakeholders from the community - the cacao farmers, environmental groups, artisans, performers, restaurants, tourism and transportation providers among others. As well as a cultural celebration to help foster a resurgence of ethnic pride, the Festival raises funds for community projects - including the ongoing re-development of Punta Gorda's Central Park, and improvements to the Lubaantun visitors' centre. Marketing workshops are held to develop new product ideas and help the artisans with their packaging, display and selling skills, and the Festival also aims to raise awareness of the Toledo District as a responsible tourism destination, thereby benefitting the community through the associated ripple effect.

ToledoChocolate.com


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#431627 - 02/28/12 04:20 PM Re: Toledo Cacao Fest 2012 [Re: Marty]
Barbara K Offline
I need to make it to this one year. Sounds awesome!
_________________________
www.barbsbelize.com

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#436502 - 04/25/12 09:41 AM Re: Toledo Cacao Fest 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Toledo 6th Annual Cacao Festival Is Nearly Here!

There is no substitute for clean fun with the convenience of activities centered in the heart of one of Belize’s most cultured and historically rich districts – Toledo. Belizeans and visitors are invited to enjoy the unique cultural diversity that the Toledo District offers through the 6th Annual Toledo Cacao Festival being held this year from May 18th – 20th. This grand event is being organized by the Toledo Chocolate Growers Association (TCGA) and BTIA Toledo in conjunction with other partners.

The Toledo Cacao Festival was first celebrated in 2006 with the purpose of bringing together a diverse range of stakeholders from the community to showcase Toledo’s history and culture. The stakeholders involved are comprised of cacao farmers, artisans, performers, restaurants, tourism and transportation providers among others. Roberto Coh from BTIA Toledo says, “The Festival raises funds for Punta Gorda’s community projects that include assistance to chocolate farmers and the upgrading of schools and parks.”

The Punta Gorda Cacao Festival starts on Friday, May 18th with a lecture on the completion of the Maya Calendar by Dr. Jaime Awe at 2:00 pm at the TCGA Conference Room. The lecture will be followed by a Wine and Chocolate Evening which will feature decadent chocolate creations from Belize’s most recognized chocolate creators, as well as, live cultural performances. Saturday, May 19th will kick-off with a Street fest filled with diverse cultural booths. During the day, kids and adults can enjoy numerous activities like inland tours and children storytelling and painting sessions. Night entertainment will include a superb ‘Open Air Street Concert’ that will finish with a kaleidoscopic fireworks show. The festival’s grand finale will be on Sunday, May 20th at the Lubaantun Maya site. Festival goers can enjoy of a colorful cultural fair which will showcase a number of performances – including the Deer Dance – and live Maya cultural music.

Tickets for the Toledo Cacao Festival are on sale at BTIA offices in Toledo and Belize City and at the BTB Office in Belize City.

For more information contact Armando Choco, Chair Person of the Cacao Festival Committee at Armando@tcgabelize.com or Roberto Coh at btiatoledo@btl.net.


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#438170 - 05/17/12 10:00 AM Re: Toledo Cacao Fest 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

TOLEDO PREPARES FOR CACAO FEST

Activities in connection with this year’s Toledo cacao festival will begin tomorrow in Punta Gorda.

Paul Mahung reporting…

“The activities will be held from Thursday May 17 to Sunday May 20 as explained by Chairman of the Toledo Cacoa Festival Committee Armando Choco.

Armando Choco – Chairman, Toledo Cacao Festival Committee

“We start off with a chocolate symposium on Thursday May 17. This will feature presentation of the chocolate processing industry by Belize’s chocolate processors. Special highlight for that event will be the Caribbean fine cacao forum. On Friday the festival will host a lecture on the Mayan calendar 2012 by Dr. Jaime Awe, Director of the Department of Archaeology. On that same day at 7:30 p.m. Coral House Inn will host the festival signature even, wine and chocolate featuring Toledo’s very own Florencio Mes, Tumul Kin Boys. The night ends off with a firework display from the Rio Grande Cooperative Wharf. On Saturday Punta Gorda’s Front Street will be the center of attraction with the festival’s taste of Toledo craft and food fair. Toledo’s diverse culture will be on display via food, dance and music. The day ends off with the open air concert at the Sub Treasury parking lot featuring Toledo’s local artists such as Leela Vernon, Paul Nabor, Florencio Mes, Tumul Kin Boys and Grupo Maya Indigino. On Sunday all roads lead to Lubantuun.”

The sixth annual Toledo Cacoa Festival expects to have the attendance of a wide cross section of supporters from various parts of Belize as well as others from beyond the borders of Belize.

LOVEFM


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#438186 - 05/17/12 11:14 AM Re: Toledo Cacao Fest 2012 [Re: Marty]
Diane Campbell Offline
So sad they don't seem to publicize this festival a 2-3 months in advance so that travelers from all over can make a point of visiting Belize at this time.

Any hints on where to find the schedule (next year) or be on a notice list well in advance so we can make a plan to go?



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#438618 - 05/23/12 07:31 AM Re: Toledo Cacao Fest 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

A Festival celebrating the Cacao

Chocolate is enjoyed by adults and children alike. The image treasured in the minds of many are unwrapping a silver or gold wrapper to reveal the traditionally dark delight. But some people are not aware that chocolate comes from the cacao plant, many of which are grown in southern Belize. News Five’s Isani Cayetano travelled to Punta Gorda over the weekend and attended the festival in honor of the cacao fruit.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The sixth annual Cacao Fest, a celebration of the multipurpose bean, which for centuries has been a staple among the Maya, was held in Punta Gorda Town over the weekend. Since its inception in 2006, the festival has grown to include other cultures; the main attraction nonetheless, is chocolate.

Monica Roe

Monica Roe, Volunteer, Cyrila’s Chocolates

“Cyrila’s booth is having a great day in terms of visibility [and] having chocolate demonstrations. [There’s] a lot of education going on.”

Indeed, a walk along Front Street proves that an emphasis has been placed on teaching visitors about the plant and its many uses.

Lance Lewis

Lance Lewis, Visitor

“I think it is very good and I am proud to see where Belize is and where it is heading.”

Isani Cayetano

“Were you aware that there are so many uses for the cacao plant, from currency to medicine and now even beer?”

Lance Lewis

“No. I wasn’t aware. I just drank chocolate from ever since and I ate chocolate but I didn’t realize the diverse products that came from chocolate. I just bought a chocolate cacao soap so when I’m finished I should look very good.”

While oil from the fatty seed has been extracted for use as a cleanser the primary treatment, on display here, is the candy bar. Cyrila’s Chocolates, a mainstay at the yearly festival, thrives on word of mouth advertising.

Abelina Cho

Abelina Cho, Co-Owner, Cyrila’s Chocolates

“Juan and I are trying to promote our culture. We try to get together with other international people like sharing the ideas [through word of mouth]. They’ve been talking a lot about us and we really appreciate it.”

That appreciation is quite evident in the wine tasting. Locals and foreigners alike are gravitating towards Abelina’s booth where samples are being given to wine lovers.

Visitor

“And this is pure cacao wine?”

Abelina Cho

“Yes.”

Visitor

“Wonderful. It’s delicious.”

Isani Cayetano

“Talk to us about the taste and the texture of the wine.”

Visitor

“Well it’s sweet. It has notes of chocolate. It tastes natural and it’s quite lovely.”

Isani Cayetano

“What has been the experience of Cacao Fest for you this time around?”

Visitor

“Well I got to see cacao growth from the ground floor. I’ve been to Cyrila’s several times and it’s nice to see Cyrila’s share their culture and their chocolate with so many other people.”

That exposure has seen tourists traveling down to Punta Gorda for the day to experience the sights and sounds of the Maya culture, their food and dance as well as that of district’s other inhabitants.

Visitor

“We drove down from Placencia today and we stopped at the ruins just outside of town and we’ve had a great time.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Channel 5


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#438921 - 05/26/12 09:30 AM Re: Toledo Cacao Fest 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Toledo Hosts Successful Cacao-Fest

The Toledo Cacao-Fest 2012, which was held this past weekend in southern Belize, drew scores of locals and tourists alike; wanting to experience Toledo's celebration of Cacao and its rich natural heritage. The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) reported being in attendance at this unique and cultural event and had representation from both its National and Placencia chapters.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the Ambergris Today



Toledo Cacao Festival… a Sweet Sensation

Last weekend the Toledo District hosted their sixth annual Cacao Festival. Over the years this sweet event has grown in popularity, with each year offering more variety, entertainment and excitement. This year was no exception and the Festival was very well attended by hundreds of tourists and locals alike.

The Festival kicked off on Friday evening, May 18th with the very popular Wine & Chocolate reception. Held on the lovely grounds of the elegant Coral House Inn in Punta Gorda, the poolside venue and thatch-covered booth areas offered an inviting appeal to a night of socializing and sampling the best in Belizean made chocolates while sipping excellent red and white wines. Guests were also treated to a traditional Maya dinner of pork pibil with corn tortillas, creamy cassava and tasty corn with black bean salads.

Of course dessert was on everyone’s agenda, and four different booths were in attendance to showcase their hand crafted chocolates. The Cotton Tree Chocolate booth was very busy with their dark chocolate with bacon samples, a wild success that disappeared quickly, other treats offered included Ginger S’ mores, Milk Chocolate with Cocoa Nibs and Coconut Dark Chocolate. San Pedro based Kakaw Belizean Chocolate booth was also hopping as guests sampled pineapple, bananas, marshmallows and corn tortilla chips dipped in a variety of chocolate fondue’s, some laced with spicy chili or infused with coconut rum. At Cyrila’s Chocolates, Juan and Abelina Cho offered samples of their chocolate products along with Cyrila’s cacao wine, yum! Also for sale was their powdered cacao, baking chocolate, homemade coco butter lip balm and coco butter soaps. Goss Chocolate offered a variety of samples as well, ranging from extra dark to milk chocolate, all super delicious.

Not only were several types of wines offered throughout the evening but Bowen & Bowen was on hand to showcase their new Chocolate Stout. The dark, rich brew was surprisingly light with just the perfect hint of chocolate, which is made with Cyrila’s Chocolates in Punta Gorda. Live music from saxophone to piano entertained the crowd with a special performance by Florencio Mess, who performed traditional Maya K’ekchi’ harp music.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun


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