“Cacao is a universe. Cacao with water is a gift from Mexico to the world, a national pride.” These are the words of Magdalena Araceli Díaz Ordaz Terrones, a dental surgeon who offers a workshop about the origins of cacao. Does this sound amazing to you? Let’s meet Magdalena and find out what inspired her to begin this work, and what the workshop is all about:
YT: When and why did you decide to begin this work?
M: As a volunteer in various museums and in my social work at DIF Capullos in Guadalupe, Nuevo León, one day I asked the children, “where do you think chocolate comes from?” Some of the answers were, “from cows, from Gansitos (pastries), from Hershey.” In the face of this, I began to imagine and design a work based on the movement of practical knowledge, linking to art, tradition, and healthy nutrition in a meaningful, sensitive, and transcendent way, which would awaken their creativity.
YT: What is the workshop’s content?
M: It is a look, through art, at the history of cacao as a contribution from Mexico to the world, experiencing through our senses the simple transformation of cacao into chocolate in appropriate proportions, making it healthy and nutritious.
YT: Who can participate in the workshop?
M: It is directed at adults and children from the age of 6, to all levels of school, work, or the general public. My philosophy is to do one free workshop for every paid one, in order to reach people, schools, museums, and companies who are committed to carry out social work with those who have limited resources, where they also learn something different, based on knowledge about our culture and healthy nutrition.
At the end of the intellectual and nutritional segments, Magdalena shares the most sensual part of the workshop: converting cacao into chocolate. Participants have the chance to see the mysterious inside of a freshly opened cacao pod, and then to peel and roast some dried cacao seeds. The aromas which are released when the seeds are roasted will astonish and delight you. Then some cinnamon sticks are roasted, and then the participants grind the cinnamon, cacao seeds, and (optionally) some nuts. These ingredients are mixed and kneaded by the participants, creating a sensory experience of sight, sound, smell, touch, and, finally, taste.
YT: What meaning does the creation of chocolate have?
M: The transformation of cacao into chocolate is an experience of life, an awareness to our children of respect for our cultural heritage. It is an act of friendship, of love, of gratitude to our land, to our ancestors.
YT: What is the cost of the workshop?
M: The fee is 3700 pesos plus tax for each conference-workshop. Limited space (everyone participates). Duration: three hours for adolescents and adults, maximum 20 participants. Two hours for children, maximum 10 children under 10.
Contact: [email protected]
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