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Palo Santo, essence or appearance? Is Palo Santo really endangered?

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Is the Palo Santo being offered sustainable? Do you provide fair trade to native communities? These are the questions we receive daily from numerous individuals interested in benefiting from this sacred wood, whether for personal use or to market it under their own "sustainable brand."

During the pandemic, mandatory confinement led many people to turn to the internet to sell their products, and Palo Santo was no exception. With the growing demand, the supply also increased, attracting customers and suppliers who do not care about the sustainability of this sacred wood.

Fabrizio Vera - EcuadorianHands

We constantly receive information from customers who are offered Palo Santo at ridiculously low prices, which makes it impossible to implement reforestation or fair trade programs, let alone sustainable ones.

How is it possible to offer this sacred wood at such low prices when it can only be recollected after more than 30 years of being planted?

They are likely illegally logging trees, engaging in smuggling, and not caring about professional integrity, the environment, health and safety, fair wages, discrimination, human rights, working hours, forced labor, or child labor.

Most regrettable is that brands that base their purchasing decisions solely on the lowest price and market this type of Palo Santo display slogans like "Sustainably harvested," "Produced responsibly," or "Palo Santo Picking up," leveraging a social media marketing strategy and manipulating algorithms to tell beautiful stories of kindness towards the environment and native communities. What a shame…!

Faced with this reality, we decided to further reinforce sustainability, remain true to the values of our brand, and continue working for the responsible development of Palo Santo in Ecuador for the benefit of the dry forest and its beaches, local communities, and all our conscious customers.

For this reason, we want to share with you the socio-environmental achievements that marked our year 2023, reflecting EcuadorianHands commitment to sustainability and environmental protection, aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and fostering positive change in the community.

1. DECLARATION OF THE PROTECTED NATURAL RESERVE (BVP) number 170 in Ecuador, known as "ElArtesan EcuadorianHands," located in the Joá Commune in Jipijapa, Manabí province, represents a significant milestone in the country's environmental conservation, with its 50 hectares and its notable population of Palo Santo trees.

declaration of the protected natural reserve bvp

The Forest and Vegetation Protector (BVP) category issued by the Ministry of the Environment, Water and Ecological Transition, guarantees sustainable forest management with a social, cultural, and environmental focus, including reforested areas and projects for the sustainable production and management of Palo Santo, benefiting local families and reflecting Ecuador's commitment to protecting its natural resources and community participation in the conservation of these vital spaces.

Through various strategies, we initiated an education campaign on the need to protect our forests, the natural habitat of this sacred wood. We reinforced our message of protection in newsletters and social media, participated in tourism and trade fairs to inform the public about the benefits of Palo Santo and the need to use it responsibly and sustainably, taking care of the environment and involving the community in this noble task.

2. EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM FOR BEACH CARE #LlévateTuBasura

On the other hand, EcoPlayas has had a significant impact on environmental education and awareness in coastal communities. A notable example of the work was the installation of signage in restaurants along the Santa Marianita coast on August 27, 2023, to educate people about proper waste management on beaches. This project seeks to promote environmental responsibility and sustainability in coastal areas, involving the community and local businesses in the care and preservation of beaches.

ecoplayas educational program

3. ENVIRONMENTAL MERIT MANTA 2023

In November 2023, the Municipality of Manta awarded us for the second year in a row the Environmental Merit, a citizen recognition of the valuable contribution we have been making through EcuadorianHands with the EcoPlayas project, which seeks to educate and raise awareness among citizens about the care and protection of Manta's most important heritage, its beaches!

We want to express our deep gratitude to all our loyal clients, collaborators and friends who have been part of these achievements for the benefit of a more sustainable world, both in the environmental and social spheres.

To the whole community: You are all invited to join us in this fight for healthy communities. #PaloSantoDoneRight

Palo Santo EcuadorianHands

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