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Fatua
Founder of Soul Melody Cacao

From love at first taste as a child, to her first cacao ceremony in the desert, to working on an herb farm harvesting and processing cacao fruit on Kauai, cacao has always been a part of Fatua’s life.

 

Living on an island for 5 years brought her into deeper connection with the earth,

and she desired to learn more about herself through the use of ancient plant medicines. She followed her heart to Peru, and she never could have imagined how this would change her life.

She fell in love with Peru’s majestic mountains and mystical, ancient Amazon Rainforest.

In 2018 she volunteered at Novalis, a center for rainforest conservation that supports and works with various indigenous peoples and their ways of healing with plant medicines.

At Novalis she first experienced the delicious magic that is Jane’s cacao, who lives up the river. Right away she could feel its potency, and how it holds the sacred feminine power and wisdom of the ancient Amazon. She felt her heart and soul expand with its presence in her body and she knew she desired to share this special medicine with others outside of the jungle.

She shared her vision and intention with Jane’, and the dream became a reality.

The team at Novalis became family, and now she is grateful to return every year to facilitate and assist in various medicine ceremonies, and continue co-creating with Jane’.

Fatua is passionate about exploring and learning from cultures outside of her own, and she is grateful and happy to now be supporting women-operated cacao farms and collectives in Peru and Guatemala, so their beautiful medicine can be shared around the world.

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Jane' Ruio
“Amazonian” Cacao, Peru

Jane’ Ruio (pronounced “hah-nay”) is our farmer in Peru, and loving mother to her family and cacao trees.

She is the original heartbeat that allowed the dream of Soul Melody Cacao to come to life and expand outside of the jungle.

Jane’ lives in the Southeast Peruvian Amazon Rainforest, in the small indigenous community of Boca Pariamanu,

nestled alongside the Las Piedras River. 

Jane’ learned how to grow cacao from her Ashaninka grandmother when she was eight years old, and now has her own farm just steps away from the front door of her home.

Janes’ harvests and processes her cacao by hand, by the help of her family and the women in her village. After the fruit is harvested from the tree, the beans are wrapped in banana leaves and fermented in the sun for 5 to 7 days. Once dried, the beans are lightly roasted, then the shells are removed and ground into a paste. The paste is placed in a mold which hardens into a block, and then the cacao is ready to be enjoyed!

 

She considers the entire cultivation process a sacred ritual. On holidays and the new year, she comes together with her family and friends to celebrate and drink cacao. They even perform dances for the cacao spirit, whom she believes to be the woman of cacao, during holidays.

Jane’ considers herself to be a doctor for her cacao plants, she cares for them and speaks to them with love. They support her, and provide her with delicious chocolate she shares with her community.

 

Jane’ primarily works with women, and she has this message to share, “for all the women, when we have sickness such as sadness, or feeling heavy from all the work that we do, all we need to do is drink the cacao, and our hearts will be lighter, our work easier, and our lives will become more satisfying.” 

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Mayan Cacao
“Mama Amor” & "Ullulawl" Cacao, Guatemala



 

Mama Amor cacao is grown in the Suchitepequez mountainous region of Guatemala. In Pre-Columbian times, this region on the Pacific front held the largest area of cacao forests in Central America. Mama Amor cacao is grown on land owned by six different local families. After fermentation, the beans are taken to a Mayan Women’s collective called Nuevo Amanecer, or “New Dawn” managed by Odilia. She formed this collective in 2013 so the women in her community could support themselves and provide abundance and stability to their families and communities. 

 

Ullulawl cacao is grown in the mountainside valley of Alta Verapaz, close to the famous waterfalls of Semuc Champey. It is grown by 60 local Q’eqchi families organized into a cooperative, managed by a regenerative center named Tuqtuquilal, which promotes community development through artisan production, organic agriculture, & more. After fermentation, the cacao beans are taken to a Mayan Women’s collective to process the cacao with love. 

 

Our Guatemalan cacao source supports farms in 3 different regions, and now has 7 different Mayan Women’s collectives that process the cacao beans into ceremonial grade cacao paste. Soul Melody Cacao has chosen to offer these two varieties because they are so rich and delicious!

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Co-Creators & Partners
 

Novalis

Juan Zuninga and Cassandra Carswell, are the founders of Novalis, a center for conservation

and cultural preservation association in the Southeast Amazon rainforest of Peru. 

They are beautiful friends and are an important part of making sure the cacao gets from Jane’ to the USA. 

Cacao Source

Cacao Source was founded by a group of cacao enthusiasts in San Marcos de Laguna, Guatemala.

They partnered with isolated Mayan forest garden communities & women’s collectives that work for fair wages and grow rare and organic strains of cacao, in a way that supports the regeneration of forests. 

 

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