Save the Chocolate looks awesome! Id love to be a part of your project. And in the mean time, if you have stock of special criollo varients, I would love to support the farmers you are in contact with and pay premium for the old, unique varieties.
Regarding fermentation in Mexico: some of the latest archaeological findings suggest that beans were sometimes fermented in pre-Hispanic times. Since the beans were so valuable, it is likely that they were sometimes buried in the ground where fermentation may have taken place. Today there are several commercial fermentation plants throughout the cacao zone in Tabasco but many farmers prefer to ferment their own beans themselves. There was a time when the farmers were obliged to take the beans to the cacao union's fermentation plants. Imagine the hodge podge of beans thrown together. The result? Some were under-fermented, some over-fermented. La Joya's neo-criollo beans, for example, were thrown together with beans of lesser quality.
I would like very much to talk to you about the fermentation of cacao in Tabasco. I would also like to hear more about the "white cacao" you discovered in Nicaragua. I presume it is the same as pataxle in Mexico.