A woman stands smiling while holding a pink bowl filled with some sort of seed or crop.

Noémie Graas and Jorge Luis Calderon Chavez, Cocoa Maleku

After a devastating fungus that depleted 80% of Costa Rica’s cocoa crop, the town of El Sol is making a comeback through the reforestation of a species-rich cacao agroforest. Noémie Graas and Jorge Luis Calderon Chavez have created the Cocoa Maleku project to improve the livelihood of the indigenous Maleku people through trainings in sustainable management and linking them to fair trade and organic markets for high-quality products. The Maleku are fighting to preserve their culture and regain land rights and through this project they will not only bring back the cocoa culture but also conserve the biodiversity while providing employment opportunities.