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Chocolate in MesoamericaA Cultural History of Cacao$
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Cameron McNeil

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813029535

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813029535.001.0001

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Soconusco Cacao Farmers Past and Present

Soconusco Cacao Farmers Past and Present

Continuity and Change in an Ancient Way of Life

(p.322) 16 Soconusco Cacao Farmers Past and Present
Chocolate in Mesoamerica

Janine Gasco

University Press of Florida

This chapter focuses on the cacao farmers of the Soconusco region of Chiapas, Mexico. The Soconusco region is ideally suited for cacao production; in prehistoric times and historic times the region was one of the chief cacao-producing areas of the Mesoamerica. However, by the turn of the nineteenth century, other agricultural products dominated the cacao production of Soconusco. Bananas, coffee, cotton, and mangos surpassed cacaos as the primary export products. This chapter examines the decline of cacao production and the cacao industry in the Soconusco region. The chapter begins by briefly reviewing cacao cultivation and the environment during the pre-Columbian period in the Soconusco. It also discusses evidence from the Colonial period and the nineteenth century as well as the contemporary trends and issues being faced by Soconusco cacao farmers today.

Keywords:   cacao farmers, Soconusco region, Chiapas, Mexico, cacao production, cacao cultivation, Soconusco cacao farmers

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