On Compassion and Reciprocity

Excerpts from an interview with Aleya Freeman Fraser and Michael Paris on August 9th, 2022

By Rheanna Chen


The hilltops are covered in green and framed with coconut trees. You can see the outline of the top touching the blue sky. It is lush and full of vegetation; the view from Aleya and Michael’s verandah
The Maracas St. Joseph Valley where Aleya and Michael live


Aleya Freeman Fraser and Michael Paris, are the dynamic duo and founders of Panorama Cacao. They live in Maracas, St. Joseph, surrounded by the hills and forest of Trinidad. Aleya has been involved in permaculture, food justice and sovereignty while Michael has committed to agro-processing and social enterprise. Together, they bring alot of knowledge and wisdom to their offerings. They recently had a baby and have devoted their life to working with the land and supporting other farmers. They value compassion and community. As they venture into processing cacao from the pod into the bars, they are constantly thinking of ways to share their resources with others. They are hard working, caring and a loving family unit.

Listen to hear more of their journey.


The family of 3 sit on a couch with the hills and vegetation in the background. You can see part of the lattice gate and hammock. Aleya is wearing a yellow dress, Michael wears an African textile short with jeans while their baby holds a stuffed toy
Aleya, Michael and the newest addition to their family
Aleya is wearing black boots and standing with hands on hips as she smiles in the field full of banana and plantain trees. There are young cacao saplings with green and red leaves growing in between.
Aleya in the cacao estate among bananas and plantain













Michael is wearing an orange jumpsuit with a white bandana tied around his head. He is holding a young cacao sapling, among others to be planted along the hillside
Michael among cacao trees to be planted

For your consideration:

When raising a family, how do we depend on community- human and non-human beings. Where are the circles of compassion and reciprocity, and the messages to ask for help when we need it?


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