Whether consumed as an esteemed drink or exchanged as money, cacao (Theobroma cacao) was one of the most important plant products of ancient Mesoamerica. The seeds derived from the pod of the cacao tree were widely used as currency and John Lloyd Stephens reported the use of cacao as currency as late as the mid-19th c. in Yucatan. When ground into powder, the seeds were mixed with water and flavoring agents to create a frothy beverage greatly favored by the native elite. Recent epigraphic research has established that the word cacao was fully presented among the Classic Maya; in fact, many of the fine Classic Maya polychrome vases are glyphically labeled as cacao drinking vessels.
Botanical illustration from "Der Cacao und die Chocolate",
by Alfred Mitscherlich, Berlin 1859.
Choco Guate Maya is a nonprofit NGO in Guatemala whose vision is based on good will, good science and commitment to social justice. Our Objective will raise awareness through the information that Theobroma Cacao Criollo originated in Central America, more precisely, in the Mayan region.