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"Teo, Heather, and Fernando are traveling to Ecuador to finish a design on a chocolate factory for Kallari, thanks to a grant from Architecture for Humanity and the support of RATIO and RAYae."

The Night shift at the Salinas Chocolate factory…

We were on our way to Salinas at 9am this morning to meet up with Carlos (one of the Kallari leaders) to visit the chocolate factory…The journey is about 6 hours from Quito and we were driving in an extremely foggy condition on the Andes mountains….it was pretty dangerous as the edge of the road is literally by the edge of the mountains…dropping down at least a few hundred feet..but we managed to arrive in one piece…Pheww!!
The air is pretty thin here in Salinas and the weather is very cool…and misty...but this small self-sustained town is great...We took a tour with a local guide to a few micro-factories here in Salinas…the cheese factory, candy and chocolate factory, handicraft and soccer ball factory..Etc…we then were showed the machinery for chocolate making process...just heather and myself is allowed into the room…or I would call the ‘The secret chamber’…haha..but we did take some pictures as the manager of the facility explained to us on how it works…we then head back for dinner at the hostel.

...It’s 12:30 am now, Mee Leng and I just got back from the chocolate factory with Carlos (one of the Kallari leaders) both of us volunteered to help out by making chocolate bars..Yes! 85% cacao content..pretty good stuff. There were 7 of us working on this shift…Carlos, Melaina, Thomas, Mee leng, myself and two other locals….as Kallari is renting the facility at night to produce the chocolate bars for an order to export to Japan. It was awesome….both mee leng and I enjoyed a lot working through the process of actually making the chocolate bars..and of course having some fun as well and getting to know more about the other volunteers ..we will be posting some videos and images soon once we have the chance to edit it to make it shorter….

By actually making the bars…it made me appreciate a lot more on how the locals here strive to make a is certainly not a huge factory that it is fully automated but rather using an extensive hand made process…starting from scratch to the final product. The process of chocolate making will also inform and help me in the process for designing the upcoming 2nd stage of the Kallari chocolate factory in Baeza …and being there tonight will help me in the upcoming weeks of planning and designing for this great cause!

- Teo and Mee Leng -

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