Site, Modern Town
19th Century: The Finca
and Cultural Challenges
the Town Today
Cautions for Western Visitors
Employment and Other Needs
Tourism and Crafts
Community: Town Needs Employment
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.