Belize Chocolate Festival: More Than Cacao

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On the very same day one month ago, I was partying on the lawn of a resort in southern Belize, attempting to dance to the local Garifuna music without looking like a total and utter idiot.

There was a wine and chocolate tasting on the first night of the Belize chocolate festival. It was not a fancy schmancy occasion like you may have thought; rather, it was done in the Belize way. There was not just wine, but also rum, a ton of chocolate samples, and hors d’oeuvres made with seafood. Additionally, there was a fantastic band called the Garfuna Collective. Already, my taste buds are tingling with the anticipation of returning to the Chocolate Festival in Belize.

Memories hazy as the evenings that were perfectly clear.

Punta Gorda’s Chocolate Networking

A couple random people came up to me and offered their assistance in locating the first bus that was going to take everyone to the isolated site of the celebration. Bear in mind that I was first marketed this as a “Wine and Chocolate Welcome Party.” Under a tent that had been built up on the grass, we all unloaded our vehicles and then had our tickets checked or bought (for a total cost of thirty dollars USD each). There were already dozens of individuals who had been dropped off, probably by other buses, and were conversing in small groups. They were scattered about the area. After that, I spotted the merchants setting up with an unlimited supply of free samples, and that’s when I felt like the party had really begun for me.

For at least a couple of hours, everyone milled around, ate, socialized, and daydreamed about going swimming in the pool. But after a while, the band started playing better, and they never stopped playing after that. In spite of the heat and the oppressive humidity, we all began to shake and went completely insane. Both of those items were present in large quantities as well.

When I hopped into the back of a vehicle with twelve of my newest acquaintances for a lift home from another stranger, my dress was completely drenched in perspiration by the time we left the party. It seemed that the bus had driven out without making any kind of announcement or providing any kind of prior notice. Even if you don’t ask for assistance, people seem eager to provide a hand in this nation, which is something I haven’t experienced everywhere else I’ve been.

Occasionally, the music was accompanied by a dancer dressed in traditional ceremonial costume.

Trying Belize Chocolate at The Source

I strolled around with Rose, a lady I had met on the bus the day before, to have a look at the many booths that were present at the festival on the second day. She traveled all the way from Belize City to set up shop in order to sell her spices at the festival. Eventually, I made a purchase from her of some exquisite cinnamon, which is now used to perfume my cherished cacao glyph bag (seen in the header picture for this post).

At the event, local chocolatiers will most likely be selling their creations, so keep an eye out for them. Ix Cacao, Cotton Tree Chocolate, and Che’il are among the companies that produce cacao products. In addition, there will be restaurants selling cuisine from Belize, cacao cooperatives selling cacao, non-governmental organizations selling handicrafts, and chocolate delicacies marketing themselves.

There were performances of music and dancing going on all throughout the day on a central stage, and many activities for children started and stopped throughout the day. Find out more about the activities that will be taking place during the yearly event here. After killing some time until it was time for me to go out at night, I went shopping and got some cotton tree chocolate bars, the handbag that was described before, as well as some handmade soaps.

The label on my brand-new purse made of cacao!

Because this chocolate was so delicious, I devoured the whole bar before I could take photographs of it or write a review of the bars. In addition to that, they melted really rapidly!

Oh, the schemes that I concocted in my head! Because the night before was such a good time, I had no reason to believe that the second night would be any different. But holy cow, was I ever wrong. I soon came into a bunch of other individuals who seemed to be tourists and asked them what they thought about the possibility of going on an expedition to hunt for the after party. The streets were completely desolate.

After walking for about two miles farther, I finally made it to the almost deserted reggae club, where I met three wacky white guys from West Virginia University and we had a good time. Even more surprising was the fact that a lady approached me and complimented my rhythm! It was a pleasant surprise, but walking the rest of the way home was not nearly as entertaining as the activity itself.

What a lovely weekend. #Belize #PuntaGorda #ChocolateFestival #cottontreechocolatefactory

Max Gandy | (@damecacao)님의 공유 게시물님, 2016 5월 23 오전 11:14 PDT

In the end, I chose to sleep in and as a result, I was late for the bus to the third and last day of celebrations. Even more odd, I met two Belizeans the same evening on the pier that triggered so many ideas. They spent the greater part of Sunday simply chatting with me and passing the time. It brought to mind the reasons why I like traveling so much, as well as the incredible amount of natural wonder and welcoming culture that can be found in even the smallest of nations. So I remained an additional day.

How To Visit Belize Chocolate Festival

If you are interested in attending the Belize Chocolate Festival, the best way to keep up with the latest information is to follow their Facebook page. The next event will take place in the end of May in 2020.

Punta Gorda plays host to the annual Belize Chocolate Festival in May; do you plan to go to the event the following year?

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