How to Help


Project Philosophy

Ancient Site, Modern Town

19th Century: The Finca


Economic and Cultural Challenges

The Cooperative and
the Town Today

Cautions for Western Visitors

Employment and Other Needs

Tourism and Crafts

Development Goals



Chocolá Community: Town Needs Employment

When asked, Chocolenses will say that what they need and want most are jobs, in other words, not handouts but, rather, a dignified and dependable source of income.

The project can attest that Chocolenses are extremely reliable and hard workers. Employment in the town is fortuitous, apart from coffee cultivation. Odd income derives from produce grown and sold for local consumption, labor on sugar plantations, and the running of tiendas or tiny stalls selling snack foods and drinks.

The scarcity of capital—restricted basically to one lump payment per year from the coffee harvest or cosecha—means that capital liquidity and, therefore, the ability to react to emergencies or exigencies of whatever kind, does not exist. Chocolenses do not possess bank accounts.

Indeed, a local man and small-plot farmer hired by the project and on whose small plot project excavations found an ancient structure and a very elaborate water control system dating to ca. 600 BC, required the project to avoid cutting down grass-sized saplings he had planted because, according to the man, the saplings, in many years’ time, would provide wood he could sell in case of an emergency. In effect, the saplings represent the man’s savings account and hedge against unplanned necessity.

Pressing needs for community development include housing, education, clean water, access to health assistance, and a waste management system. The project is pursuing solutions variously for each of these problems. For example, scholarships and maintenance funds for Chocoleño students to attend colegio and university are being collected, principally through the Amigos de Chocolá.

Small-plot farming is a large part of the
economy of Chocolá, but as practiced today it is not enough to sustain the community.

The Project (PACH) provides much-needed
work for local workers such as the
beloved "Three Amigos,"
Tomas Anibal, Mario and Rogelio.



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