Gabriel PopCo-Founder, Field Director
Proud father of three sons, cacao farmer from an early age and one of the key actors in the development of Toledo’s cacao industry for over seven years, Gabriel has been with MMC from the beginning and is largely responsible for its success. Native of the village of San Pedro Columbia, he can name the owner and acreage of the bulk of cacao farms in southern Belize. Gabriel’s greatest pleasure is growing fruit trees and harvesting perfectly ripe cacao pods.
Maya GranitManaging Director
Originally from New York, Maya grew and led sales for two years at San Francisco-based Dandelion Chocolate, where she quickly got hooked on cacao. After visiting Belize to learn more about cacao farming, she fell in love with the Maya Mountain team and joined operations in March 2014. As Managing Director, Maya splits her time between managing the books, meeting with the team to drive progress, overseeing quality control, developing new farming opportunities, working with our customers and partners, and networking with stakeholders.
Anna Marie ChoKiva Coordinator + Administrative Assistant
Anna Marie is a proud K'ekchi Maya from the village of San Pedro Columbia. She graduated in the 1st class of Julian Cho Technical High School (2004) in Computer Science. Anna Marie has 7+ years work experience in administration, including database management, compliance with international certifications, and accounts. Together with MMC's team and Kiva she enhances the organization's effectiveness in furthering the mission and objectives of Maya Mountain Cacao.
Herminio ShoField Officer
Hailing from Pueblo Viejo, Herminio holds an Associate Degree in Natural Resource Management from University of Belize and brings five years of experience working as a field officer at the Belize chapter of Sustainable Harvest International (SHI). Herminio started in March of 2013, with 43 MMC farmers in his zone – the villages of San Antonio, Santa Elena, Pueblo Viejo and Santa Cruz. He will work to apply his technical expertise of organic farming and cacao agroforestry and create a system for knowledge sharing among farmers.
Emeterio ShoField Officer
Emeterio oversees a network of over 70 farmers in the area of San Jose. Rain or shine, Emeterio hikes daily from the village of Na Luum Ca’ to provide technical assistance and preharvest financing, as well as plan and execute buying routes. Our most senior team member, Emeterio covers more ground on foot than the rest of us put together! Emeterio’s mind and heart are with MMC since he gets to help his fellow farmers improve their livelihoods directly through his work.
Lawrence Deon ChavarriaDriver and General Contractor
Deon manages logistics for MMC and is accountable for all vehicle management, including driving the truck on buying days and making sure our cacao orders make it to our domestic customers. He has also designed and constructed all of MMC’s fermentation, drying, and warehouse facilities. Importantly, Deon is great at making sure our goal of “having fun at work” is on track!
Mercedes IshimQuality Control
From San Felipe village, Mercedes has been with MMC since the beginning. She is an asset to the sorting and Cacao House team and is always implementing ways to improve operations at the sorting facility.
Samuel TzuiCacao House Manager
The youngest member of the team, Samuel brings energy and innovation to the Cacao House operations. Samuel loves telling jokes and keeps the spirits high even during the peak times of the harvest season.
Roxanna ChenAdministrative Associate
Roxanna was born in the village of San Pedro Columbia. She attended high school and pursued a degree in Business Science at the University of Belize . As an Assistant Administrator at Maya Mountain Cacao she works on bookkeeping and data management.