Endoca is journeying into the Central American rainforest to meet the people who make chicle – the natural gum made from tree sap – that forms the basis of Endoca CBD chewing gum.
It’s 6:30am. Angelo said that he will wait at the hotel and we will drive to forest. Yet to my surprise there were waiting 3 people and instead of Angelo there was Gerardo who took the lead of the journey.
They all looked a bit confused as they expected me to be a man. I saw questions in their eyes but they did not ask directly.
Here everything is going exactly how you do not plan, or should I say organically. So we jumped into a car and started our trip.
Journeying into the jungle
At first it was still dark. Only after half an hour did the sun light on the road help us see we were driving in the mist.
Gerardo was very talkative. He was in a good mood, a happy man in his 50s. When I told that we use chicle gum in our production and mix it with CBD oil he could not hide his excitement. “Marijuana and chicle – that is the best,” was his comment.
I went into details about CBD properties and its different effects, but he did not care, he simply saw possibilities that nobody else was dreaming about.
After 130 km of highway we turned to the south, the road became narrow and the view changed. We were in the rainforest and after 20 minutes more we came into the village ‘Tres Garantias’.
A selection of our products
It was still morning and we were invited for breakfast at Olga and Pedro’s house. Olga cooked the chicken from her chicken house and served it with black beans.
We talked about life in the village, how people here were growing their own food and sharing it in their community. What they did not eat – they sold to the outside world, but it was not about business, it was simply practical.
After some time we were joined by Señor Raimundo ( the God of people) and he took all conversation into his hands. He is around 6o years, but he was the only one who spoke English! After a short introduction to the life of chiclitos we all jumped into his open jeep and started our journey, 20 more kilometres into the jungle.
I got the possibility to sit with Raimundo as he was driving and señoras and señoritas do not sit in the back of an open top car.
I enjoyed nature from the open windows and Ramon’s stories. From the way he was speaking I understood that I had met a person with a huge knowledge about the plants in the rainforest.
Knowledge of rainforest plants
When we started to walk he at once took some leaves and gave them to me to smell – it is pepper he said. Then we stopped at two trees and he told me that if my skin gets burned by one, who is the angry tree, the friendly one will help me to cure my wound. He was talking very slowly and silent as if he did not want to disturb the plants around.