The Toledo Cacao Festival was born in 2007 and has been celebrated each year on the same Commonwealth Day weekend towards the end of May. It attracts hundreds of visitors from around Belize as well as overseas. This year the festival was celebrated this past weekend on the 24-26 May.
This lively festival has helped Toledo shed its worn out image as “the forgotten district” and established it as one of Belize’s vibrant and international attention by re-branding the event as the Chocolate Festival of Belize.
The festival had many devoted followers who returned this year again to sample the chocolate delights available and to find out what was new in the world of chocolate making. The elegant wine and chocolate evening kicked off the weekend’s events as usual on Friday May 24th hosted at Belcampo Lodge (formerly Machaca Hill Lodge and Farm) where USA Ambassador to Belize Vinai K. Thummalapally made his appearance. Belcampo describes itself as: “a 12-room hotel, a 3000-acre farm, planned Agri-tourism center, and a 15,000-acre rainforest preserve… proud to play a part in the conservation of the marine life of the Belizean reef through sustainable agricultural management and conservation of intact rainforest ecosystems.”
The wine and chocolate evening took place in the plaza between their beautiful new Agri-tourism facilities with food provided from Belcampo’s own kitchen. Chocolate confections from all the Belizean boutique chocolate makers were also offered. These included Kakaw from San Pedro and Goss Chocolate from Placencia. Cotton Tree Chocolate and Ixcacao are local Toledo producers.
The Corozal Daily trekked 34 bridges and added almost 420 miles to its dashboard to bring you this story of what was a sweet weekend at the Chocolate Festival in Toledo, Belize. We took the opportunity to visit the Mayan Archaelogical Site at Nim Li Punit meaning “The Big Hat”, its museum and its six stelae; visited the Sleeping Giant and sneaked in some R&R in Placencia on our way back.
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