The Pure Nacional tree once at the heart of South America’s chocolate industry was believed to have been lost forever – until it was recently rediscovered by accident. [HCP note – this article features HCP Board Member, Dan Pearson]

By Lavinia Wanjau, 17 September 2019, BBC Travel

Travelling to the Marañón Canyon in northern Peru is like stepping back in time. Mud-brick houses dot the hilly landscape. Electricity, which arrived in this area just three years ago, is only available in a few homes, and supply can be inconsistent. It only works about five days a week and you never know which five days these will be. And with few paved roads, residents of this remote region rely on mules and bicycles for transportation.

That the Marañón Canyon has remained relatively untouched by modernity has been a blessing, as it is here that the Pure Nacional tree, which produces some of the world’s rarest cacao, has flourished.