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Hidden deep in the tropical forest was a sacred place; A place where only a select few could visit. Where trees rose from the ground and carried the fruit of the gods, a magical bean reserved for kings. Whose skin healed wounds and whose juice was drunk by chieftains and high priests; Cacao has been used by our culture for centuries. Here in this tropical forest the land was made for growing cacao, due to the convergence of a hot and humid climate with the cold winds and water stream from the Humboldt Current.
This combination of hot, wet and dry was perfect for agriculture, and it is no surprise that the Las Vegas culture, the oldest known culture in Mesoamerica lived here in this forest, on the Ecuadorean coast from 8000 B.C to 4600 BC; discovered in 1985 by Dr. Karen E. Stothert from the University of Texas. Here in Ecuador the first traces of cacao have been found, and from here it is thought to have spread to the rest of the Americas. It was considered sacred to some and a necessity to others, and has been part of our culture throughout time. Evidences of cacao were discovered in all archeological digs from the Valdivia Culture to the Inca Empire.

Cacao was found in the vast forest that once covered the basin of Guayaquil, where the Las Vegas culture chose to settle. They started developing farming in the region, giving way to a new way of life, revolving around agriculture, where they built villages and left behind their nomadic lifestyle. Here the Las Vegas took the first steps towards building a modern society, and with this forest, the port city now known as Guayaquil was built. A tropical basin whose wood was used to build the docks that held the ships, to build the houses of our first settlers, to fuel the fires that kept them warm. Together with a growing city and climatic change, the tropical forest began to shrink. The forest turned from humid to dry and the fruit began to disappear.

Here at Hacienda Victoria, a place where the ground was considered sacred and the ceiba trees are thousands of years old, with ideal climate and superb environmental conditions, along with a sustainable and socially responsible crop management that begins in our nursery and ends in the drying of our beans after careful fermentation, we are making the famous cacao of Ecuador. Cacao with a fruity floral aroma and strong chocolate flavor, and it is here at Hacienda Victoria that we are bringing the lush forest back to life, bringing back the tradition of growing the world’s best cacao, the Cacao Arriba Victoria. Bean by bean we are bringing back the fruit of the gods; we are bringing back a taste from the past.



Within the most recent investors that had their eye on the agriculture in the Chongón area, we can find Charlie Garcia, a successful businessman dedicated to trade, who with Francisco Aray Roca with the coastal camp encouraged him to dream of one day dedicating himself to the cultivation of land. And just on his first visit to this sector where an interesting property sale was being offered, to give wings to his dream, with a vision of provoking a radical transformation for the agriculture of cocoa.
In November of 2009, he decided to buy the first property of 497.62 acres, which he named Victoria (his wife's name). Immediately, conscious of his lack of experience in the cultivation of cocoa, he resorted to the advice of foreign and national technicians, to who he proposed his revolutionary project of planting national cocoa of a fine aroma in the chosen lands.

A man of challenge, who was taught to set goals considered impossible to others, ignored the comments about his "madness". In 2010 he drew up a plan of action that involved some scientific agriculture professionals and young technicians to entrust the study of soil, electrical conductivity, availability and suitability of nutrients, etc. Meanwhile he established agreements with the INIAP to guarantee the delivery of certified seeds with which he'll initiate the modern plantation and create his own nurseries.

Our mission in Victoria is to maintain an environmental awareness with social responsibility in all of our practices with the objective to produce the best quality Fine Aroma Cocoa with certified traceability that will allow to gain the right prices for producers.
“When I find a plantation of cocoa like this one, I'll buy you a ticket and invite you”
- Anonymous -
“Very Good Arriba, strong fruity bitterness, dry raisins to banana noet, medium remaining”
- Samuel Von Rutte -
“This is the best thing in the world, there is no plantation like this one”
- Francisco Aray -
“Victoria, the hacienda, will change the history of the cocoa of fine aroma”
- Lourdes Delgado, Empresaria -
“It's an authentic revolution in the camp of the cocoa agriculture and a reaffirmation of the quality that these lands had historically”
- Jenny Estrada, Historian -