Our Castle is always full of activity. It is a 150 square metres chocolate factory and constantly growing. With every expansion we aim to create another inspiring building, be it for roasting cacao, grinding chocolate paste or a simple washing area. The Castle is an experimental area for creative constructing in different styles and materials. The castle roofs offer fantastic views over the valley of Matagalpa. To watch the sunset while enjoying some chocolate is certainly worth the trip. In the lands behind the castle you can climb even higher and further on go down in the valley named El Cacao. It is, in short, a remarkable place!
How did it all begin?
CdC: It began with a abandoned stone shed, with no doors and no roof. Our first production site had only 20 M2 of working space.
Why a castle?
CdC: Castles all over the world are inspiring buildings, not only do they represent strength and centers of control and knowledge, castles are often build with a lot of fantasy and ideas influenced from different parts of the world. In our castle we put fantasy first, because power and control are not our main objectives.
On the photo above, it seems like Don Camilo standing there in the gate. Don Camilo usually means construction works, doesn't it?
CdC: Don Camilo is the hero of the castle, he has worked for us for almost two years, building, working with stone, wood, bamboo and whatever material we might incorporate in the construction.
A castle is not only its towers, the yard and stone walls, it also has surroundings? Does the castle have a proper park?
CdC: Two years ago the area were the castle is set was pure grass land, grazed by cows and burned in the dry season, With great effort and lots of care we are rehabilitating the land. We have brought in truck loads of organic compost, sown nitrogen fixing plants, brought in seven types of bamboo and at least 20 different tree and shrub species as well as seeds from all over Nicaragua. The difference is amazing.
And in the more distant future, will it be more CdC castles do you think?
CdC: Our priority is to make the current castle one of the most inspiring constructions in Central America.
We do have our eyes open for other potential sites where we can have an environmental impact. Through our www. chocolatevalley.org program we will be looking for investors to purchase degraded land and use available funds for rehabilitation and reforestation.