Sociedad cooperativa de productores de cacao de
El Salvador de R.L.y C.V. (ES-CACAO)
All Rights Reserved
Cacao was cultivated and consumed over 3,000 years ago in this area, the Mayas who inhabited Mesoamerica, what is now southern Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and western El Salvador were true cultivators of cacao, they perfected its cultivating techniques, they learned how to cure and keep the seeds as well as to make a palatable brew for their consumption. This was not only used in ceremonies, but also as coins. "Long before the Spanish conquest of El Salvador (1524), use of cacao had spread throughout Mesoamerica.
The genetic quality of the cacao cultivated by the Mayas in this area was and is called CRIOLLO, which is considered to be cacao of the best quality.
Joya de Ceren is a Mayan settlement circa AD 650 preserved by a volcanic eruption. There are 10 prehispanic structures exposed, including 2 houses, 2 storehouses, a kitchen, and a temascal (sauna).
Joya de Cerén is a unique site in Mesoamerica by virtue of having been a living settlement that was covered by a sudden volcanic eruption. Its extraordinary importance merited the inclusion of Joya de Cerén in the List of World Heritage.
Joya de Cerén
(with documented cacao artifacts)
Cacao residue in a painted Mayan vessel, El Salvador
To learn more about cacao and
Mayan ruins in El Salvador,
please visit FUNDAR at:
Young cacao tree trunk, with flower just beginning to open. Had Loma Caldera not erupted, the flower would have grown into a cacao pod. More than 80 cacao trees were found near structure 4, giving us an idea of everyday life in Joya de Cerén.
Left: The eight oldest cacao seeds (approximately 1,360 years old) in the world are displayed in the Museum of Joya de Cerén, El Salvador.