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Amor America - Perfume from the Fruit of the Palo Santo Tree

An excellent source of income for the poor people of the region

For many years, the dry forests of Zapotillo in southern Ecuador harbored a resource that would offer an excellent source of income for the poor people of the region. In 2007 and 2008, Nature and Culture assisted the communities of Malvas, Chaquito, Paletillas de Malvas, and Totumos (80 families in all), by developing a program to benefit from the fruit of the Palo Santo tree. The local community members harvest the fruit in a sustainable manner (collecting only 10% of the fruit from each tree), and then in partnership with the Technical University of Loja the essential oils of the fruit are extracted. These fragrant oils are sold to Natura, a Brazilian cosmetics company that develops fine perfumes for the international market, who then produces the Amor America perfume, which is currently marketed in a number of countries around the world.

In late 2008, NCI received a Certification of Ecological Operation from the certifying company Ecocert for the development and commercialization of the Palo Santo fruit. With this achievement, we are guaranteeing that the environment will not be contaminated, that the functionality of the dry forest will not be affected, and that the people who live in these natural ecosystems will benefit economically such that there will be an improvement in their standard and quality of life. The Amor America perfume is one more example of how we strive to protect threatened ecosystems while simultaneously helping to improve the livelihood of local community members.

Click here to watch a video about the Amor America perfume







Learn more about our work in the Tumbesian Dry Forests of Ecuador:




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