Experiences exchange on non-timber products, Mexico – Guatemala

Sensitivity and participation regarding activities that simultaneously generate income for families and ensure the conservation of the natural environment are increasing in the Selva Maya region . The spaces that allow experiences to be shared regarding the development of this type of activities are undoubtedly a substantial source of learning.

In this regard and with the aim of strengthening knowledge in the use and commercialization of non-timber products, such as chicle (natural chewing gum), organic honey and ramon tree products, an exchange of experiences was held among community groups from Petén, Guatemala (Uaxactún Management and Conservation Organization, Carmelita Cooperative and Forest Laboratories and Unión Maya Itzá Cooperative) and residents of Nuevo Becal, Quintana Roo, Mexico from October 10 to 12.

The exchange included a visit to the chicle consortium Chicza in Chetumal, Mexico, with a presentation of the organization and its achievements. In addition, during a two-day stay in the Nuevo Becal community, residents showed their practices in the use and cooking of chicle while the Guatemalan visitors took the opportunity to show and explain the use of xate (Chamaedorea elegans), a specie of palm that grows in the forests of the region with great potential for use. For the closing of the exchange, the Mexican participants presented the advances of their beekeeping activity and the Guatemalan visitors showed what they have achieved in the use of the ramon tree products. This exchange was possible with the support of the project Protection and Sustainable Use of the Selva Maya, of the German Cooperation / GIZ.