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EcuadorianHands plants more Palo Santo trees in the Ligüiqui commune in Ecuador

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With emotion, we started this new reforestation of trees Palo Santo 45 minutes from the city of Manta in the ancestral commune of the Ligüiqui site, with an intense sun typical of the coast of Ecuador we started and do not know how incredible it feels to reforest trees again of Palo Santo. In the trip, the landscape is observed. An environment in which the beige and brown colors of the trees and shrubs of the dry forest combine.

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Our reforestation program grows every day. And this time, together with the municipality of the city of Manta, the environmental remediation group Tu Conciencia Verde, and the community members of Ligüiqui, we planted the amount of 200 native trees of the dry forests, including 50 palo santo trees. In a day full of great enthusiasm in which volunteers from other places also joined who had the same desire to make a small change in the world and give back to a little piece of land, the abundance of its trees.

Let's get to work! At the place of the call, where the trees of the carob and palo santo species were located, each volunteer took the little trees together with transparent bags of hydrogel, a substance that, when placed in the planting of the trees of the program of reforestation would help keep them hydrated for three months, just in time for the start of winter here in Ecuador.

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It should be noted that dry forests have a peculiar behavior since during the summer they lack much foliage, the soil fractures due to the lack of water and the plant and tree species of these forests tend to shed their leaves and trigger a mechanism saving water because during the dry season it does not usually rain. Already in winter with the consecutive rains, the dry forest reverts to green foliage and the humidity is palpable, capturing as much water as possible to survive the dry season.

When we were ready to go up, since the area to be reforested was at a very high peak, each volunteer climbed his tree and his bag of hydrogel with great enthusiasm. The way up was quite a journey, I looked with fear as on such a narrow and steep path we were advancing in single file in an orderly manner. The vast majority of us did not know each other, but on the way up, we supported each other by shaking hands and encouraging us to continue. As we climbed, the pleasant view of the ocean and the beach was perceptible, surrounded by the immense hills that adorned the beautiful community of Ligüiqui.

Once at the top, we all gathered to receive the guideline of where each tree was planted. Not without first asking permission from our ancestors, with the guidance of one of the community members, who explained to us that the place where we were was the place where people of the Manteño-Huancavilca culture lived. Place where our ancestors developed their daily life, there was their ceremonial center, their astronomical observatory, their water reservoir, in short, their home where their daily life was developed. Therefore, we ask permission to step on their land and to be able to return the foliage that once existed and that they surely cared for with great respect.

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Our palo santo trees had a strategic place because due to how large they can grow, they are perfect for the edge of the hill, thus we protect the space and prevent the soil from eroding. These sustainable Palo Santo trees will have the mission of protecting the ancestral vestiges found in the community of Ligüiqui, they will help to keep the memory of the Manteños - Huancavilca.

After the planting was finished, we proceeded to label each of the little trees with a code that would differentiate them. Within our reforestation program, we are very clear that trees are not numbers, they are our children and our most precious treasure. We proceeded to georeference each tree to register it in our geoportal to give it constant monitoring.

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The first thing that is done is to take the GPS point of the tree to be recorded, the data such as its code, height, and basic description are uploaded, at the end a photo is taken and our tree is already uploaded to the geoportal. Once the georeferencing process of the Palo Santo trees was finished, we proceeded to descend from the summit, very tired, yes, but comforted that once again we had left our mark with more planted trees.

The first saplings of our new nursery in Santa Marianita

It is important to mention that the 50 Palo Santo trees that we have chosen for this reforestation come from our new nursery in Santa Marianita. After the perseverance put into this nursery, we have finally obtained new trees to reforest. During the process of preparing each Palo Santo tree to be transplanted, we first wet the earth to extract the trees, then we left them in water for an hour to hydrate, and then we proceeded to cover their roots with newspaper to keep them moist. during planting. This way we ensure that each tree remains strong during its adaptation into its new home.

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Sustainably harvested Palo Santo

Our goal is to take care of the Palo Santo tree, as a company we have focused on the Palo Santo being harvested in a sustainable way and its life process can be respected until its natural death. We are aware that the only way to obtain sustainable palo santo is to wait for it to die and decompose naturally in the forest, only then can it be collected. We are against putting Palo Santo endangered, as this sacred wood is important to us for all its benefits on a spiritual level and as it has become a source of healing.

We hope to continue reforesting more palo santo trees, we will continue to tell you about our experiences and how we are progressing on our way. More and more trees are being reforested, currently, we have already reached the number of 10500.

We thank all our friends who support us with our reforestation project, community members, artisans, children, families, and our clients who with the purchase of our Palo Santo products (essential oilssoaps, pearls) and Palo magic bracelets Santo help fund our research and reforestation program and our Ecoplayas beach cleanup educational program.

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