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Mar 21, 2022

Prince William Grinds Cacao on First Tour

Due to a protest staged on Friday by some villagers from Indian Creek, there was a last minute change over the weekend to the royal itinerary. Another cacao farm was substituted, this one in Maya Center. News Five’s Marion Ali was on hand for that first leg of their tour and here’s her report.


Marion Ali, Reporting

The first stop for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on Sunday was at a cacao farm owned by the Saquis of Maya Centre. Narcisio Saqui greeted the Royal couple and showed them how the cacao is grown. They were shown the various types of cacao that are harvested to make chocolate, and were given a brief display of how the hard cacao shell is cracked open before being offered a sample of the sweet pod inside the fruit. The tour then took the Duke and Duchess a few minute’s drive up the Southern Highway, to the Che’il Mayan Chocolate Factory. By this time, a crowd of fans had gathered across the street to see the Royal couple up close. A marimba band played cultural Maya music as an elder burned the sweet-smelling incense from the copal tree. They were followed by the owner of the Che’il Chocolate Factory, Julio Saqui who welcomed the royal couple. They were escorted to the second floor for a demonstration of how cacao beans are grounded manually. Kate tried her hand at grinding the beans first, followed by William. And for their effort, they got a sample of what the chocolate drink tastes like. On their descent, the marimba dancers were already performing for their entertainment. After the tour, Julio Saqui told News Five that while he had less than a day’s notice to prepare for the Royal couple after the original tour in Indian Creek was canceled, it was not burdensome for them because they had most of what they needed already prepared.


Julio Saqui

Julio Saqui, Owner, Che’il Chocolate Factory

“It was not too difficult. We already knew what we were doing when they made their request to us, so we just tweaked it a little bit and make a little more additions to it. I could not do – like invent new things because it would not work, so we just did what we do naturally, normally and I think it went well.”


Marion Ali

“What was his reaction, having toured your factory?”


Julio Saqui

“From my observation, he seemed to have enjoyed himself very well, he did the chocolate grinding, he ate the chocolate he made. He was tasting most of the stuff we make up there, so my impression was he did enjoy himself.”


Saqui said the Prince also had some questions for him, after the cameras had left.


Julio Saqui

“Basically, talking about the life of the Maya people, he was asking me other things like how we do what we do. How do we go about our daily lives, and stuff like that. He’s more interested in the daily livelihood of the local people. So we had that conversation.”


Marion Ali

“Any pledges?”


Julio Saqui

“No, no no, just strictly chocolate-making (chuckles).”


Once the visit was complete, the Royal couple headed towards the villagers that had gathered across the street to see them. They chatted with the people before they were escorted to Hopkins Village.


Marion Ali reporting for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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