The Association of Integrated Development “OX EEK” Santa Maria Cahabón (ADIOESMAC) is situated in the Tzalamtun community of Guatemala, perched on a mountaintop overlooking the beautiful forests of the Cahabón region.
The association of 43 smallholder cocoa farmers, which includes 17 women, was founded in 2004 after encouragement from the local Catholic Church. By 2007, they established a centralized fermentation and processing center. Now, with 33 hectares of cocoa operating under certified organic agroforestry systems, the group has an average yield of 700 to 800 kg per hectare of dry cocoa.;
ADIOESMAC, whose members are indigenous Q’eqchi’ Maya, champions inclusive leadership, with women, men and youth involved in all areas of cocoa production, from business administration to community production processes. Having collaborated with brands like Scharffen Berger Chocolate and Dandelion Chocolate, ADIOESMAC’s focus on partnership building has led to improved community livelihoods with a business model based on fine cocoa cultivation for diversified markets.