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Updated: Feb 18, 2019

It didn't get much more laid back than leaving Guatemala coming back into Mexico.

We left the magic of Lake Atitlan behind and began our journey back to Canada by driving back across the border into Mexico. We were curious what the border officials might say about the boxes full of chocolate we were bringing back with us. Keith had assured us that there was nothing illegal about it and relayed to us a story of driving back to the USA with a huge heap of cacao in the back of his truck with no problems.

Keith teaches a “Go to Glow” meditation (listen above) at his #ceremonies and he shares that when you use this simple technique, in otherwise awkward or uncomfortable situations, the results can be quite incredible. We have used it a LOT ourselves while travelling and going through borders and inspection stations, even though we have nothing to hide, it’s amazing how seamless your travels can be when you are smiling from the inside out!

Can you see the GLOW!!? It works ;)

So when we approached the Mexican border we used our “Go to Glow” and when the border guard asked us to get out of the car and open the trunk we weren’t the least bit surprised when he proceeded to let his #chocolate lab doggie sniff all around inside the car. We smiled at each other as it was happening and laughed ourselves silly once we had pulled away from the border station.

Our Chilean brother and sister, Bernardo and Natalia.

We had arranged to meet our friends Bernardo and Natalia, the Chilean couple who encouraged us to host our first ceremony a few months prior in the Yucatan. This time we would meet them in a beautiful city in Chiapas, the southern most state in Mexico, called San Cristobal de las Casas. It was a full day's drive to get there and we had arranged to stay at a small local hostel called Casa Vegano Sol, House of Vegan Sun! It was dark when we arrived and the directions were a bit hard to understand, and the streets were far from the normal north-south, east-west of a typical Canadian or American city. I remember asking some local ladies if we were close at one point and they were like, "NO, you're on the wrong side of town!"

Me standing next to a beautiful mural painted on the wall in front of Casa Vegano Sol. - "Hug a Tree"

We did finally find the hostel and the lovely couple who ran it were so accommodating and friendly to us when we arrived. We told them about #cacaoceremonies and they insisted that we should host one that weekend in their garden in the back yard of the hostel. We have had so many people who encouraged us over the years and Gerardo and Blanca were definitely some of them. Gerardo went around town putting up a poster for our #cacaoceremony, he even made the poster in proper Espanol!

Gerardo showing off his creation of "Pad Thai" with Blanca smiling in the background.

We were grateful for Gerardo's effort to make us a poster and hanging it in some good places around town!

Kristin and I had heard a lot of great things about San Cristobal and we enjoyed our time walking the cobblestone streets so much in the week we stayed there. By the end of our time there we both agreed that it was the most beautiful city in Mexico that we'd been to so far. This may have been at least in part because of the incredible amount of #cacao-influenced stores and cafes that we found, not to mention the cacao museum that is there. We wandered through the #cacao museum, thoroughly enjoying the experience and learning as much as we could from each display.

When we gathered to host the #cacao #ceremony at Casa Vegano Sol, we felt a bit uncomfortable that our Spanish wasn't good enough to host in both languages, luckily sweet Natalia had agreed to translate for us if there were people who didn't speak English. It was a lovely #ceremony and we sang together at the end with a couple of the ladies sharing songs in Spanish that were so beautiful. Gerardo and Blanca even brought their little boy, Omatli, down to sit with us toward the end of the #ceremony and it was sweet to watch him play with our rattles and join in the sacred space we had created together.

One of the ladies shared a beautiful song with us and Natalia was enjoying it too!

Mixing #cacao paste to make into a ceremonial drink.

Getting ready to pour a #ceremonialdose for everyone, back in the days when we used plastic cups while travelling.

Each ceremonial dose is approximately 1/3 cup of finely ground Keith's Ceremonial Grade Cacao paste.

Slowly adding hot (not boiling) water and stirring creates beautiful pudding like paste.

Kristin made some delicious #cacaoballs rolled in peanuts for the #ceremony. Yum!

Getting ready for the #cacaoceremony in the garden at Casa Vegano Sol.

The altar for our #cacaoceremony was beautifully adorned.

Omatli enjoyed playing with a rattle and became mesmerized by the candles when we lit them.

Some cute art inside Casa Vegano Sol.

When we left San Cristobal we vowed to return at some point to stay for much longer. Gerardo and Blanca had offered to rent us a room for the month and it was SO hard to say no. Unfortunately, we had to continue making our way back home to Vancouver Island to move some things we had stored with a friend before we had left on our trip in December of 2014. We said goodbye to our Chilean amigos, Bernardo and Natalia, and wished them well on their cycling trip through Mexico. Little did we know that the next time we would see them would be back in Canada!

Visiting Bernardo and Natalia in San Cristobal was unforgettable!!

Cacao Connection 2020