Endoca is back in the Central American rainforest as it meets the people who make the chicle – the natural gum made from tree sap – that forms the basis of Endoca CBD chewing gum.
Endoca meets Raimundo – the Chicle Chief
Raimundo the chief of the chiclitos is a very respected man in the village and the chicle factory. While chicle sap was boiling on the fire, we could have a conversation together.
At first we asked interviewed him on camera. He answered nice and easy, but his talking was not so natural as I could see that he wanted to say a lot. But time gets cut short when you talk to camera.
So when Roberto turned his camera away and went to film the process of chicle sap becoming chicle gum, we relaxed with Raimundo. He told me stories about how his father was one of the men who founded this community of Chiclitos, how they had lived in a village near Belize and how 500 families left the village.
A special rainforest community conserving nature
It was decided which community members would individually farm designated parcels and collectively maintain communal holdings. The system of ejidos was based on an understanding of the Aztec calpulli. The ejido
So in 1943 They cleaned 43. 000 ha of tropical forest, build houses and they worked together in a community. The village is a locality of the state of Quintana Roo. And is a key location in the conservation of nature in Mexico. It has reached a sustainable forest management. There is a community of chiclitos, of people working with mahogany trees and people working in agriculture.
In the village there are 216 private dwellings. Total private homes with electricity is 198. The number of private homes that have water service is 197. 5 dwellings have at least one computer but only one house has internet service.
There is a chief appointed by the government and there is a chief elected by people. But Raimundo is ‘the God of people,’ as he told us laughing.
Young people leave the jungle
We discussed why young people leave for higher education and do not come back. It was difficult for him to find an answer and he really believed that here is the best place for people to live in harmony with nature, to eat your own grown fresh food. He was not disappointed that the young generation is leaving as they take education in forestry and engineering and they are working in other places. For him most important was that they work with the forest.
Raimundo told that he has so many ideas still and he has to work hard to preserve the forest and to show to people from outside how important it is to live here where they live and that people have to return back to nature. He said that they here in the village they take it for granted all that good that they have. But he knows that people living in other places suffer and they are very welcome to come and stay in the village to get back the energy they lose in the big cities.
Climate change affecting the rainforest
He was worried that the rainy season is becoming shorter each year and this year the rain stopped 1 month earlier than normal. That means that the chicle harvest is smaller as chiclitos work normally during the rainy season. He told us that they were still using the old Maya weather predictions for the year, meaning that the weather 1 of January tells how will be the winter, 2nd of January about spring etc, but now it has become more difficult to predict because of climate change.
We discussed that for Endoca the hemp harvest in Denmark is not good if there is too much rain and as the chiclitos need the rain, so we agreed to exchange sun for rain. I think many North Europeans would be happier if there were more sunny days at home. But there is no need to discuss what we are not able to change.
Tomorrow I go back to the village and Raimundo will show me all plants he has in his land. I am excited and am preparing myself for the meeting with plants I only recognise from books.