Situated right on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, Esmeraldas is one of Ecuador's top provinces for tourism. It is home to several centres of tourism, including Atacames, where Martin's cocoa gardens are.
For some, the sloping beaches in Atacames are heaven amongst the hills and mountains that dominate the Ecuadorian landscape. But for Martin, heaven is the 10 hectares of cocoa garden behind his house.
"Living here feels like being in heaven. Peaceful. I don't smoke or drink (alcohol). I've only been to a party once. And that was with my wife," Martin adds glancing at his wife, smiling.
His wife was shy when we met beside their house. Martin's second oldest daughter chatted to us while enjoying a mango from their garden.
That afternoon the sun in Esmeraldas was starting to set. Its dimming rays flickered through the mango, cocoa, and banana trees in Martin's garden. It felt warm and peaceful.
Like most young people in the village, Martin had once migrated to the city. He worked for an insurance company in Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest city. But after saving up enough money, he returned to the village of his birth, bought land and started work as a farmer. "While continuing to work for my parents," he added.
Three of Martin's ten hectares are devoted to cocoa. On this land, some of which is hilly, Martin grows cocoa trees, some of which are more than 20 years old. For sustainability, he also plants new cocoa trees on this land.
The rest of the land is given over to other commodities, such as bananas, coffee and mangoes. But, he says, cocoa is the mainstay commodity for Martin and other farmers in Esmeraldas.
Some say that this province produces the finest cocoa in the world, called Fino de Aroma. In the world of coffee, Fino de Aroma, which means it has the finest aroma, is a speciality coffee. But, while speciality coffee grows in several locations, cocoa of this type grows only in Esmeraldas and Manabi, another province south of Esmeraldas, and in parts of Peru.