“Chocolate: Drink of Gods, Food of Mortals” – The Traveling Exhibit

This exhibit was created by the Rafael Cintrón Ortiz Latino Cultural Center (LCC) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 2015 as a culmination of a year-long series of public programming. The project was developed in partnership with the UIC Department of Anthropology, the UIC Latin American and Latino Studies Program, and the National Museum of Mexican Art. The exhibit was transformed into a traveling show by the LCC in 2016, and the story of chocolate continues with each unique venue it visits.

Past Exhibition Hosts:

To request the exhibit, contact lreynol4@uic.edu or check out our Host Guide here.




The Online Exhibit is organized into four sections

What began as the favorite drink for the ancient Maya is now a popular and global commodity. The topic of cacao presents a unique opportunity to explore the relationship between culture, memory, food, and identity—from ancient Mesoamerica to the present. As a globally coveted indulgence, chocolate connects a wide web of people and cultures. Who doesn’t love chocolate? Click through these four tiles to explore the online exhibit:

  • Image for Section 1

    Section 1: Chocolate’s Roots

  • Image of Section 2

    Section 2: Chocolate Around the World

  • Image of Section 3

    Section 3: Chocolate in Chicago

  • Image of Section 4

    Section 4: Chocolate Today and Tomorrow


Special thanks to our sponsors: The UIC Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Latinos (CCSL), the Great Cities Institute (GCI), Latin American Recruitment and Educational Services (LARES) program, the Office of Sustainability, the University Library, and the Office of Public and Government Affairs.


See our Collection of Choco-Stories, or submit your own!

What do you love about chocolate? How has chocolate connected to your life? Inspired by the success of our chocolate series, the UIC Latino Cultural Center is collecting recipes and stories about chocolate. Does your abuelita serve her famous mole with a particular spoon? Are there any objects, traditions, recipes and/or stories around chocolate in your family? Do you remember your first encounter with chocolate?

Share a Choco-Story:

  • Story will not submit if 300 word limit is exceeded.