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Reforesting our future: restoring Ecuador's dry forests through reforestation of the Palo Santo tree

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It is with great joy that we give you the news that on October 23, 2021, a link agreement was signed with the Technical University of Manabí (UTM), for the development of a project called "Afforestation and reforestation with dry forest species in urban areas and peri-urban areas of the Manta canton, Manabí, Ecuador". This allows that together with the academy we can develop an effective program that will consist of the construction of a new nursery, in which there will be new Palo Santo seedlings and partly, we will proceed to the construction of a new site where they will germinate new seeds of palo santo. This project has a duration of 4 months, from November 2021 to February 2022.

During the execution of this project, we have the participation of 20 students of the Agronomy career who with their knowledge apply techniques for the construction of a nursery, where there is a study space in the use of good cultivation practices for the reproduction of a species. In this case of the Palo Santo species (Bursera graveolens).

CONSTRUCTION OF OUR SEEDBED (Palo Santo Bursera Graveolens)

The students have enthusiastically attended every Saturday since November 9, to fulfill the objectives of the project, under the direction of technician Adrián Murillo, from the Ecuadorianhands Research Department. The construction of the seedbed began, which has the following measurements, 9 meters long by 2 meters wide and 2.50 meters high. In addition, the structure was covered with saran, a special mesh that provides optimal shade for the plants, especially to help their germination. This way our seedbed is precious and protected.

After finishing the construction of the seedbed, on Saturday, November 27 we proceeded to create 4 wooden terraces, which were placed on each of them with Palo Santo Powder and organically fertilized soil, to maintain optimal soil for germination of main seeds of the dry forest with Palo Santo, Ceibo and Pepito Colorado. Also, we undertook a 3-hour tour to visit our friend Dante Bolcato in Puerto Lopez, who kindly donated trees from Palo Santo, these trees will add to those we have in our nursery and we will proceed to plant them in our next reforestation this 18 of December. All the trees that we reforest will be georeferenced and entered into our geoportal to be able to give constant monitoring.

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SEED COLLECTION

On Saturday, November 4, the seeds were collected at the Lodana site of the Santa Ana canton, where the Faculty of Agronomy of the Technical University of Manabí is located. All those summoned prepared to climb the mountain, with great care and dedication they proceeded to collect the different species of seeds. During approximately 3 hours it was possible to collect a large number of seeds that will be germinated in our recently built nursery by the students in Santa Marianita - Manta. A tough challenge, as many of the seeds, are very small. Upon completion, all the collected seeds were collected to be able to classify and preserve them until they were sown in the seedbed. Among the collected seeds we have Ceibo, Pepito colorado, Jaboncillo, Aile, Palo Santo, among others.

All this is very important since having seeds of the species that make up the dry forest, contributes to general and diversified care. Germinating different seeds will allow us to reforest other species, not just Palo Santo. Thus, we will take care of the natural composition of the dry forest.

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1° Reforesting phase: 500 reforested trees

On Saturday, December 18, together with the students of the Faculty of Agronomy of the Technical University of Manabí, we reforested around 500 Palo Santo trees in San Eloy - Montecristi, thus adding 11,000 Palo Santo trees reforested so far.

All participants proudly wore our red bracelet with the Palo Santo pearl. Symbol of our effort and dedication to plant more trees and take care of the environment.

Each student took their group of assigned trees and planted them with their respective identification plates and georeferenced it in our geoportal, where all the reforested trees are located, in order to be permanently monitored.

Learn more about this beautiful day and live it wherever you are, here.

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We are the hands of Mother Nature, and the best inheritance we can leave to our children is love, knowledge, and a planet where they can live. We are on the right track and with a firm step to fulfill our objective of regenerating the dry forests of Manabí.

As part of the outreach component to the community, students must socialize all the work done and hand out informative brochures. Giving talks to the inhabitants near the forest, so that they too are participatory actors in the care of our dry forests. Thus, we reaffirm an alliance between private companies, academia and the community.

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Phase 2: We planted 500 Palo Santo trees in educational units in the city of Manta during 2022.



Continuing our PaloSanto Done Right campaign. We have considered reforesting 500 Palo Santo trees in alliance with 10 Educational Units in the urban areas of the city of Manta - Ecuador (which is a dry forest) with the help of the second linking group of the technical university of Manabi, thus achieving a total of 11,500 palosanto trees reforested from 2015 to date.

This time we have chosen the urban area, because we are aware that it is alarming how trees and endogenous species of our territory are cut down, in exchange for cement buildings and asphalt streets.

The idea is that in each educational unit the following is carried out:

- Training and exchange of knowledge to prevent climate change caused by deforestation and disappearance of green areas in the city. Educate students, creating awareness for the care of tree species.

- Development of a day of reforestation of 50 little trees of Palo Santo per educational institution. The trees will be planted by the students.

- In conjunction with the second linking group of the Technical University of Manabi, carry out the Georeferencing of each reforested tree to have constant monitoring and take care of its growth.

(We have chosen Palo Santo bursera graveolens, since this species is endemic to the dry forest. It is low maintenance since it can remain without water for a long period of time).

The care of our ecosystems is substantial, especially the dry forest, which is one of the most important in South America, due to its capacity to store carbon, something very important, since it helps to reduce temperatures caused by global warming.

Phase 3: Monitoring 2023 of reforested palosanto trees in the protective vegetation forest El Artesan EcuadorianHands


 On Tuesday, January 17, 2023, We visited our protective vegetation forest, El Artesan/Ecuadorianhands, located in Joa, Manabí, Ecuador, together with students from the (UTM) Technical University of Manabí to monitor our reforested palo santo trees and learn about the conditions in which our forest.

In addition, together with the students of the UTM, we registered each PaloSanto tree in our Geoportal, taking gps point, height and diameter of the stem, placing its respective identification plate.

This information is essential for future tracking and monitoring of tree growth and development.

It has been a truly satisfactory day, the trees have developed very well and the forest is in good condition. However, it is important to remember that the work does not end here. It is essential to continue monitoring and caring for our forests to ensure their long-term conservation.



Deforestation and illegal logging are serious problems in Ecuador and throughout Latin America, and it is our responsibility to work together to restore and protect our forests.

We are committed to promoting sustainable forestry. We limit access to the forest during the winter months (January to May) to ensure natural regeneration, soil health and wildlife conservation. This means that we do not source any palo santo logs during this period and we work with supplied stock until the rains begin.

It is important to remember that we only process palo santo that has died naturally in the forest. This is essential to ensure that the health of the forest is not damaged and natural regeneration is not affected. We also work to foster the circular economy, conserve water, reduce waste, reduce our carbon footprint, promote animal welfare, and invest in the communities where we operate.

JOINT RESEARCH WITH THE ACADEMY

With the Technical University of Manabí (UTM) we have been working together for two years, not only on issues concerning the reforestation program but also in the development of studies within the dry forest, as an option to prevent damage to these ecosystems, because The benefits of keeping dry forests intact are ignored, here you can find out about the studies we have developed:

It is planned in the future to continue with the second phase of this project and plant 1000 more trees. Follow us on our social networks and continue learning with us about the palo santo tree and its ecosystem.

We want to thank in a special way, each of the people who follow us and buy our products based on Palo Santo wood, since part of our sales go to finance studies and reforestation campaigns. Especially our red magic bracelet that contains a small pearl of Palo Santo wood, to carry with you the aroma of this sacred tree. Dare to take care of the forest with us!

Take the exquisite aroma of Palo Santo with you wherever you want and recharge yourself with positive energy always.

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