Testimonial - Zoe Wiles UK- Visit to Chazuta, Cacao Island.

Swallows and Amazons

When I was a child, the books I would read would transport me into a fantastical world of adventures. Never did I imagine that, one day, I would have such an adventure of my own.

As we climbed aboard the boat, locals, babes and all.  We began our Sacharuna Adventure down river to the Cacao Island, south of Chazuta. Being on the river, I felt the thrill of a true expedition. Away from tourist attractions, we were now entering into the heart of real Peru.

Arriving at the island, unadulterated Paradise, it was as if we were the first ones ever to step foot there. For an hour or so, this Paradise was ours. We met Ediberto and his family, were welcomed into his home and thus began our tour of his grand cacao plantation. For me, the privilege of this tour was the freedom to ask Ediberto any curious question about his work and livelihood that we may have. For instance, it was uplifting to hear directly from a farmer how his life has been transformed by the government’s initiative to turn the prevalent growing of coca in the region into a flourishing cacao industry instead. As we wandered back through the plantation, sucking on the sweet flesh of the cacao seeds, we were greeted with the delicious smells of hot chocolate simmering over the open fire. Heavenly, it was an absolute joy to share such luxuries with this family.

From one heaven to another, before lunch we stopped off at a secluded spot where we could swim safely in refreshing little rapids. Once again, reliving childhood fantasies in a place I’d believed reserved solely for imaginations. Back in Chazuta, we sat watching canoes come and go as we tasted the catch of the day and revelled in glee at how fortunate we were to be living those distant childhood dreams.