Most people know balsa wood as the super light-weight wood used for making...
October 10, 2016
Most people know balsa wood as the super light-weight wood used for making little glider airplanes. Several of our artisan partners use it for making turtle, armadillo and other Amazon animal ornaments. While we normally only buy crafts from non-timber products, balsa grows so easily and so fast that there's no danger about over-exploiting it. Camino Verde has a bunch of balsa wood trees growing at its farm on the Tambopata River. Its fruit is a tall spike that's full of fluff when mature. This fluff may have some commercial use, but it's fun to play with.
"While concepts like punctuality, mutual respect, no put downs of self or others, and listening when someone else is speaking may seem like obvious guidelines to form a positive community, a commitment to actually practice and hold each other accountable to observe these agreements is profound in a culture where showing up late, malicious gossip, and interrupting a speaker are painfully common."
"Artisan facilitators should of course share what they know, but beginning and experienced artisans all benefit by remaining humble, enthusiastic about learning, and committed to encourage and affirm their fellow artisans. So many artisans said that the thing they most wanted to bring back to their communities was this spirit of working in a mutually supportive environment."
"Both men and women wore garb made with bleached llanchama tree bark painted with graphic figures from Bora clans. Several wore headdresses made with the feathers from macaws and parrots. They discussed the importance of nature and craft-making in their culture and then launched into a lively dance where the men chanted and pounded sticks into the ground to the rhythm of moving around in a circle. Visitors joined the undulating lines to share the vibrant energy."