You Received The May Box of Goodies
with items from Belizean artisans
Now Read their stories
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Mayan Women's Cooperative
PRODUCT: Jippi Jappa Basket
A group of Mopan Maya women in Santa Cruz village decided to come together and use the time when the men were out on the farm to weave traditional baskets. Their goal was to preserve the art-form and make living conditions better for their community by selling the baskets to tourists. Basket weaving is a skill they learned from childhood that has been passed down through generations of Maya women. The baskets are woven from the jippi jappa plant which grows wild and abundant in the rainforests of Belize. It resembles a type of palm. The shoots and flowers of the jippi jappa plant are edible. When weaving a light-colored basket, the closed palm-like leaves are used. Dark-colored baskets use the open palm leaves. Using a knife, the center of the leaf is removed to expose the fibers. The fibers are then tied together in a bunch and are boiled in water for five to ten minutes to prevent discoloration and fungi. They are then washed and dried in the sun for 2-4 days. Once this process is complete, the basket weaving can begin. The weaving is a meticulous process that takes several days and takes a great deal of patience and skill.
Cotton Tree Chocolate
PRODUCT: Dark Chocolate
Cotton Tree Chocolate is a unique small-batch bean to bar chocolate company located in Putna Gorda, Belize. More than just single origin, each batch of Cotton Tree Chocolate starts with cocoa beans from a single day’s harvest from a single farmer. We work with local farmers towards environmental, economic, and social sustainability. We exclusively use cocoa beans grown by our location in Punta Gorda Town in the Toledo District of southern Belize.
PRODUCT: Cocoa Nibs
OWNER: Zoila and Roger Hale
In 2013 Zoila and Roger Hale had a dream of starting a chocolate company. They were unsure of the concept or even where to start but began doing research in the beautiful country of Belize. They visited the beautiful cacao farms in the rainforest and were so mesmerized at the sight, which pulled them deeper into the dream of having a 100% organic all-natural chocolate and cacao product company. They started developing relationships with the local cocoa farmers who graciously opened their homes. They decided to use exclusively Maya workers and process as much as possible by hand. After all, it’s the Mayas who are known for chocolate and have passed down the art of chocolate making over thousands of years. Their goal is to teach people how to make their own high quality chocolate from the hand roasted organic fair trade cacao nibs.
PRODUCT: Dark Chocolate
OWNER: Kerry Goss & Linn Wilson Goss
We are a small family owned and operated enterprise in Seine Bight Village, in beautiful southern Belize. GOSS CHOCOLATE is 100% natural, made from Fair Trade certified 100% organically grown Belizean cacao beans, Belizean cane sugar, whole milk powder (only in milk chocolate and white chocolate bars), and natural whole vanilla bean. We source most of our beans from TCGA, Toledo Cacao Growers Association. There are no artificial ingredients, flavours, fillers or colours. Our chocolate is full of vitamins and minerals, essential oils, and packed with heart-healthy antioxidant power, flavanoids.
PRODUCT: Whole Coffee Beans
OWNER: James Mesh
Organically grown on the foothills of the Maya Mountain Range in western Belize in the village of San Antonio, Cayo District. Oxmul Coffee derived from the original name of San Antonio in Yucatec Maya known as Oxmul Kah. James Mesh and family Maya Descendants who still speak the Yucatec Maya language decided to name their coffee brand Oxmul Coffee as to keep the original name of San Antonio for Generations to come and to produce organically Grown Coffee.
Lemon Crush Belize
PRODUCT: Body Whip
OWNER: Lara Goldman of 12 Belize
PRODUCT: Mini Garifuna Drum
OWNER: Winston "Wing Wing" Fransisco
“Wing Wing’s” carefully hand-crafts small decorative drums for Belizeans and tourists. Drums are the heartbeat of the Garifuna culture. The Garifuna drum is a connection to the people’s African ancestry. There are two types of drums used, Primero (tenor drum) and Segunda (bass drum). The (full-size) drum itself is unique in design made of hollowed-out hardwood such as mahogany or mayflower. This percussion instrument has one drumhead of skin at the top made from peccary pig, deer, or sheep.
Toledo Organic Tea
PRODUCT: Ginger Tea
OWNER: Amelia Lara
Toledo Organic Teas originated over the summer of 2019 since, as mothers, we wanted to keep our children engaged in positive activities, therefore, we occupied them with harvesting, cleaning, drying, grounding and packing teas. As Q’eqchi’ women, it has always been a part of our culture to ground our teas in the home. We felt obligated to pass on this knowledge to the younger generation. Furthermore, we witnessed the need to support local farmers who were producing a surplus. Finally, our organic drinks combat the rise of an unhealthy population. We have always aspired to be catalysts of change in making positive impacts on our environment, the world populace and economy. Toledo Organic Teas exists to “Celebrate health, planet and tea.”
Bella Dee's Soaps
PRODUCT: Organic Soap
OWNER: Dona Dougall Sosa
Bella Dee’s is a budding, engaging, environmentally and socially responsible micro-business founded in the kitchen of my home in September 2008. Our soaps are produced using a cold process system. The base ingredients in all our natural handmade soaps are the highest quality of exceptional essential oils, vegetable oils and butters which are mixed with lye and water. No animal fats or oils are used. Every effort is made to ensure you get the highest quality handmade soap. Each one is made with a special purpose in mind and we hope you get all the special benefits from each bar. Experience the benefits of aromatherapy in a practical way. Our unique formulas leave no residue on the skin. The oils used are chosen based on the special qualities they bring to the soap such as the ability to moisturize and soften skin and the type of lather they produce. Since all our soaps use only natural products and retain all the glycerine produced during the saponification process, they have a softer, creamier consistency than regular commercial, synthetic soaps. So yummy, you might be tempted to take a bite. Good to the last suds. You may never want to leave the tub again!
Marie Sharp's Fine Foods Ltd.
PRODUCT: Hot Pepper Sauce
OWNER: Marie Sharp
In 1980, in Belize, Central America, Marie Sharp came up with some recipes for sauces, jams, and jellies while experimenting with fresh Habanero peppers, vegetables, and fruits from her farm. She was overwhelmed with positive feedback and encouragement when neighbors and friends tasted them. That was when she decided to turn it into a family business. Initially, Marie Sharp started their production in a small kitchen with help from relatives and an employee. With a determined business frame of mind, it has grown to over 20 employees in their factory in Stann Creek, Belize, manufacturing for the local and international markets. Marie Sharp’s family-owned business takes great pride and honor in producing products with the highest quality, living up to their slogan, “Proud Products of Belize.”
Nature's Homemade Belize
PRODUCT: Mango Jam
OWNER: Christian Windsor
Nature’s Homemade Belize was created purely from the joys of preserving fruits and then being able to enjoy them all year round. Christian Windsor, the creator and founder, due to living in the country side of San Ignacio has always enjoyed the outdoors and her kitchen. Picking fresh fruits, converting them into special treats, and sharing with family and friends has always given her so much pride and joy. Having a family of great cooks, (mother and several aunts) she easily became fascinated with cooking as an art! Now with a decade experience and the confidence in making jams and jellies, Nature’s Homemade was born! During the pandemic of 2020, realizing how important preservation of food was, and how it helped to motivate others in creating their own identity, Christian decided to start her small business! It has been a true delight to many who have tasted these delicious preserves and it is the constant support of her clients that have helped this small business steadily grow. Nature’s Homemade now has over 20 flavors of and the diversity keeps growing! As there are dreams and goals on the horizon, Nature’s Homemade is truly hoping to grow into something better for Belize!
PRODUCT: Belizean Blend Seasoning
OWNER: Kieron Lennan
Kruffy Chicken is an artisan meat company in Belize, offering a wholesome, easy-to-prepare, and delicious meat option for you and your family. We sell many different types of seasonings and also pre-seasoned meats. This business idea came about after realizing that in many Belizean households, both parents are either busy or away from home for most of the day, so having pre-seasoned and ready to prepare meats would be a much easier option. Growing up, we were taught not to litter and keep our environment healthy, which is why all of our packaging for our products are ecofriendly and our chickens are raised locally by us. We encourage Belizeans to start supporting local business, farmers, markets, fishermen, makers, and packaging solutions that share your values and care for BELIZE, and in the process we can create a better tomorrow, together.
Pen Cayetano Studio Gallery
PRODUCT: Art Postcard
ARTIST: Malí Wagunda Cayetano
Malí Wagunda Cayetano, was born 1984 in Dangriga, Belize and nurtured in the home of Pen Cayetano, MBE, Garifuna artist and musician, and Ingrid Cayetano from Germany, artist in her own right. Before the term “cultural tourism” was coined, the Cayetanos of Dangriga have made it their mission in life to preserve and disseminate the Garifuna culture, music and dance. In February 2013 Mali completed her Master’s in Germany at the University of Applied Science Trier where she studied Communication Design with a focus on book illustration. Mali, an illustrator, musician, artist, and youth educator has been teaching children in Belize and Germany. She designed and published two children´s books entitled „We are free – A story about the origin of the Garinagu“and „Wanaragua – A unique traditional mask dance“. Her medium for her art is mixed using acrylic paint, ink, fabrics, paper and other material. Since August 2016 she is the proud mother of Liah Malí.
PRODUCT: Granola Bar
OWNER: Emanuel & Vivianna Salazar
PRODUCT: Cassava Chips
OWNER: Emanuel & Vivianna Salazar