Native cultures in what is now Mexico are credited for introducing chocolate to the world. The Mayan culture used chocolate as currency and the Aztec culture used the cacao bean as payment for tribute because it was so highly revered. The Aztecs also created xocoatl, a spicy hot chocolate drink that mixed cacoa beans, corn flour, water and chilies which was popular with the upper classes. This drink later evolved into the hot chocolate drinks we enjoy today, and the beans were exported to Europe, where the chocolate bars we love so much were created. The link between chocolate and Native culture continues today at the American Indian College Fund, where The Hershey Company has announced this month that it has created a new scholarship program to help increase the number of Native American students studying Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) disciplines at both tribal colleges and mainstream institutions. For the 2011-12 academic year, The Hershey Company Tribal Scholars Program will support 12 native students attending schools at tribal colleges and Native students attending schools in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Illinois, and Tennessee.
Help us meet our Native American Heritage Month $35,000 fundraising goal by making a donation today.