Guadalupe Intriago Mera
Fortaleza Cooperative (Cacao)
Guadalupe has been a cacao grower all her life and is currently the president of Chone’s Fortaleza Co-Op, one of five smaller associations that feed into Fortaleza del Valle. Guadalupe, a mother of three, Valeska Antonella, 11, Kenan Noe, 10, and Genesis Domenica, 13. She declares, “I want everyone to know and feel the beauty of cacao, its traditions. It is my heritage that I want to pass on to my children, one that has given me a way of life.”
“Fortaleza” means strength – and strength is what you associate with Guadalupe Intriago. This petite woman is a founding member of the cooperative Fortaleza del Valle in the semi-arid Manabí region on the coast of Ecuador. For four years Guadalupe was also vice president of the young cooperative. Cocao was always a passion of hers. “At a fair in 1999, when I was 26, my husband and I heard about organic production and were among the first who decided to produce our fine flavor cocoa Nacional organically. The taste is unique.” Guadalupe is still a visionary – and a go-getter. When sked about her personal hopes and dreams, she talks about equality, protecting the environment, increasing the number of members and augmenting productivity through training or target performance. She is a real “Fortaleza del Valle”.
Family Status: Married, 3 kids (Valeska Antonella, Kenan Noe, and Genesis Domenica).
Production capacity (per hectare): 460 kg/year
Land: 2 hectares