We lived in the city, which was close to the ruins. For about a half dollar a cab would drive us out to the ruins, where we would sit and picnic on the hillsides near the archeological site. There were small cherry tomatoes which grew wild on the hills, we don't know if they were native or not.
We enjoyed Comalcalco but Mexico was nothing like the US. It was a much more violent place and we attended a shocking number of funerals. We were about 20 at the time, and had only attended a few funerals in the US. We became good at it in Mexico, if that is possible.
These YouTube videos are pretty good.
When we lived in Colmalcalco we tried our hand at anything we could find. We learned to weave hammocks, lay tile, lay brick, and pick myriad fruits, including cacao.
The video at the end, while not the best quality show the cacao harvest, and processing. When the young man breaks open the cacao pod and the other puts the cacao bean in his mouth, he only eats the soft white pulp casing around the bean. This pulp casing has what all the Mexicans called a "refreshing" taste. I am not sure I can describe it, perhaps a bit like lemonade but not a particularly lemony flavor. It was refreshing. The bean itself, however, is bitter, and astringent. The beans around Colmalcalco are purple. The pods themselves come in a variety of colors.
Beans with their pulp are separated from the pods, piled and sweated, then fermented for about a week, then dried by being spread on concrete in the sun, and raked every few hours. Once dry we would bag the cacao in burlap like bags and hang them indoors. We did not sell the cacao, but used it in the home. The beans were roasted in batches every few weeks as needed.
One use was a drink we called Pozole, which was made with cool water, a small handful of cacao beans, and another small handful of hominy. This was blended. It made about 3 glasses of Pozole.
The first time we had Pozole we had been living in Colmalcalco for some time and had just been introduced to a family (the family we would eventually end up living with for the next many months). We spoke enough Spanish to order beer but not much else. They spoke less English. After everyone was introduced, they brought out glasses of Pozole, it looked like a strange granular, water mixture of white hominy, and dark brown cacao, I had no idea what it was. They drank, I drank. It was terrible. Gritty, partially ground up hominy, and cacao, slightly bitter but not bad, watery. This was not yummy. It did galvanize the drinker with a jolt of energy. By the 4th or 5th day we were looking forward to our two glasses of Pozole each day. How odd is that! We will always think the taste and texture rubbish, but the energy jolt was to behold!
In a strange way, this summarizes our Mexican experience, things often looked familiar, but they were anything but. If one had the patience to let the experience take root, we always found it enjoyable, oddly so, and usually in direct contravention to our expectations.
Wherever you go there you are. Once there it is a good idea to make it as enjoyable and as profitable as possible.