Friday, July 19, 2013

Costa Rica Study Abroad Day 18- Don Juan Eco Farm & Rainforest Experience Chocolate Tour

Day 18

Day Eighteen started by departing Tirimbina after our two week stay and heading up in elevation an to the La Fortuna area and the Arenal Springs Resort and Spa

On our way to Arenal Springs Resort and Spa we made two stops, first to Don Juan's Eco Farm and then on to the Rainforest Chocolate Tour.

Don Juan who is a retired school principal now runs a farm that offers a special Costa Rican agricultural and culinary experience. We had the opportunity to learn about his ecological farm's organic and sustainable production techniques, meet his cows, visit the biodigester, flex our muscle in the manual processing of sugar cane and sample the fruits of our labor 
and enjoy a traditional Costa Rican lunch.

With the view of the majestic Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna of San Carlos, we enjoyed this sweetest rainforest experience, discovering the ancient secrets of chocolate: from its discovery and use, in tropical America, to the processing of the product we know and enjoy today.

Considered as “a gift of the Gods”, the cacao tree was very important to the ancient culture, it was not only used as a ceremonial drink, but its seeds were also used as currency because of its economic value , in many regions of Mesoamerica, including Costa Rica.

In this 2-hour “hands on” program, we had the opportunity to learn interesting aspects of cocoa and chocolate, from its origin and history, participating in all the production process, from the harvesting of the fruit, drying and grinding of the seed, also the developing of the traditional drink of our ancestors, and of course enjoying a high quality organic chocolate.

This was a very enjoyable this journey through the history, culture, traditions and the flavor.

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