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.
Preparing the Chicle
Our young chiclito, Miguel started silently to prepare his shoes and rope after he made the first cut at the bottom of the tree. He then fixed the bag to collect the sap.
Silence took me completely into the jungle. All of a sudden Raimundo turned to me and asked if I could hear monkey howling. I listened more to the silence and yes I did hear but I had never heard it before so for me it was just a sound. It was not just a sound for the people from the village. I could see how happy their faces were, they were smiling like children and all very silent.
Miguel started to climb higher and higher, the sap was running and then again the silence was disturbed by a bird. They did not bother to explain to me what kind of bird it was, just one of chiclitos started with his hands at his mouth to imitate the bird. Then we could hear that they responded and as there were several of them.
The sap normally runs through the night but chiclitos have had the other bag of sap from the previous day and we started to drive further on into the camp in the forest. They called it “bogota” the place in the forest without trees and down a hill. There was also a little pond for the chiclitos to wash their hands.
From the fire boiling chicle sap emanated an unfamiliar but very pleasant smell. It took an hour to boil it, although nobody looked at the watch as they have experience and know how long it has to boil to be ready.
Paolito was the man who was working now and he was very happy and proud to do this job, as we were very interested in this small miracle happening right here in nature.
When the consistency was right, he formed it in a special shape, wrote his initials on it, and that was that. If the consumer was not happy with the quality he could contact Paolito and complain. I hope he never gets a complaint because he was doing what he knows how to do, had done it many, many times and most importantly, he likes his job.
A selection of our products
An unknown feast
We returned back to village and we were very exited as we all witnessed how nature was sharing its fruits with us and we were proud and happy that these secrets of nature did not disappear with the thousand years of Maya civilization.
Back in the village we were again met at Olga and Paolito’s house and Olga cooked some wild animal for us which I did not have imagination to guess what it was. I later found out that it was a lowland paca or tepezcuintle, which looks like a rat but is a highly prized food supply in the tropics.
Then after some talk during meal, I asked Paolito to sing a song – and we did not have to wait long for long before there came a saga from his heart. He was singing an old song about love which was not very happy, but as we all knew – love can change our faith and it doesn’t matter whether you are in the jungle, in a village or in a city.
When we were driving home, Gerardo was singing all the way home to some Mexican singers that I did not know, but I liked the music and my new compañeros.