Our history



Successful in the fourth generation


The present Hylea 1884 S.R.L. has its roots in the company Braillard & Co., founded in 1884, and the fol-lowing companies Seiler & Co. and Hecker & Co.

The foundation of the family business, which is still successful to this day, was laid by Friedrich Hecker in Riberalta and Fortaleza in northeastern Bolivia: he built up trade with natural rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) in the late 19th century. Hecker’s descendants from Switzerland followed in the 20th century and successfully continued the business. We traded with natural rubber until 1988.

The Hecker family also made pioneering achievements in the production of Brazil nuts in Bolivia and is today one of the six largest exporters of Brazil nuts worldwide. We have been offering premium quality Brazil nuts since 1919, which we mainly supply to Europe and North America.

Since the foundation of the town of Riberalta in 1884 the Hecker family has also addressed the concerns of the local population. For example, it founded the first rural schools back in 1932: state schools did not exist until 1953. The family has also set up infirmaries. This progress will continue in future.

fortaleza-luftbildThe village of Fortaleza viewed from the air. It lies directly on the Río Beni.



  • 1884
  • Foundation by Friedrich Hecker
  • Trade with natural rubber (Hevea brasilensis)
  • 1919
  • Pioneering achievements in the production of Brazil nuts: first exports of Brazil nuts to Europe
  • The Hecker family buys the estate Fortaleza in the twenties
  • 1932
  • first exports of Brazil nuts kernels to Europe
  • Friedrich Hecker founds the first rural school in Riberalta
  • 1988
  • Discontinuation of the trade with natural rubber
  • 1996
  • The Hecker family is awarded by the Bolivian Chamber of Industry and Commerce for a contribution of more than 100 years to Bolivia’s economic development.
  • 2000
  • The Hecker family is awarded by the Bolivian government the “El Condor de los Andes” Order for outstanding social commitment.
  • 2006
  • Pilot project in Fortaleza: farming of the fine wild cocoa “Crú Savage”
  • 2011
  • Start of plantation farming: first Teak plantation in Fortaleza
  • 2013
  • Pilot project: farming of pepper
  • Hylea opens first branch in Germany
  • 2015
  • Hylea enters the cocoa sector
  • Hylea plants more than 30,000 wild cocoa seedlings in the rainforest
  • Pilot project with the WWF in the National Reserve Manuripi in Pando, located in the immediate vicinity of the areas administrated by Hylea