Waluco Maheia is a Rum Expert and Assistant Manager at Copal Tree Lodge. Waluco was born and raised in Belize. He grew up and spent most of his youth in Cattle Landing Village, Toledo District, Belize. Waluco attended Loyola University Chicago, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Policy.
Waluco joined the Copal Tree Distillery team in 2018 where he conducts distillery tours and detailed rum tastings. He is also a Copalli representative for local promotion and sales.
After graduating, you decided to return home. Why?
While I am very appreciative of the opportunity to study abroad and enjoyed my time in the US, I always knew I would return home, to Belize. Few people get to study abroad, many people who do, choose to stay abroad. I wanted to be an asset to the country that groomed me and is closest to my heart. I did not want to contribute to my country’s brain drain.
Tell us about your job.
I am an assistant manager at Copal Tree Lodge as well as Brand Champion for Copalli Rum. I am able to showcase my beautiful country and our stunning property that lies within to visitors. In addition, I am proud to represent such a prestigious and ecofriendly rum that tastes amazing. I love the fact that it is all made in my backyard and hometown.
What do you do in your spare time?
I am always listening to or writing music. Lately I have been spending a lot of time on the cabin I am building in the jungle, as well as working on my small farm.
Why is sustainability important to you?
Environmental studies is my educational background, and I have always had an admiration for nature and the beautiful aspects it offers. Belize is a unique country, blessed with both marine and terrestrial biodiversity. It is important that we protect and preserve the natural resources present around us.
What would you like people to know about Belize?
Belize is a melting pot of cultural diversity. The people and cuisine are vibrant, not to mention that we have both rain forest and coastal settings to enjoy a tropical vacation.
What is your favorite way to drink Copalli Rum?
I love Copalli rum! I prefer to drink the White Rum with a grapefruit juice based cocktail; For the Barrel Rested I enjoy it most with simple ice and coconut water.