A few years ago, before I founded Bambootique, I picked up this gorgeous blue candle at a little corner shop by the city’s famous arch. I was drawn to the candle not only because its color and texture were unlike any other but because it claimed to help preserve the cloud forest. I didn’t really know then what that meant, but I bought it and when I returned home gave it to my dear friend Lisa as a birthday present.
Fast forward a year or so when I established Bambootique. I was on the hunt for great fair trade products and remembered that candle. I called up Lisa and thankfully she still had the candle and its wrapper, which connected me with Proyecto Eco-Quetzal, a Guatemalan non-profit that sells the candles.
Now candles from Proyecto Eco-Quetzal are one of the central product lines for Bambootique. They embody every value central to my company. First of all, they are incredibly beautiful candles. They are produced primarily by skilled women. They are a traditional craft of the Mayan people. They are produced in a community village setting. They are 100% natural vegetable wax and dyes, with no added scent and lead-free cotton wicks. The best part is, these candles really do save the native cloud forest of Guatemala.
The candles’ wax comes the seeds of a native tree, the arrayan tree. The seed pods are collected and cooked to extract their natural wax. Because of the economic possibilities of these trees, the native people are fighting to keep their forest intact rather than cut it down to make farmland. The arrayan tree also happens to be part of the native habitat of a Guatemalan bird, the quetzal, hence the organization’s name. Both the trees and the bird have been threatened in the past, so the work of Proyecto Eco-Quetzal and its Mayan artisans is essential in preserving both.
Check out the full line of eco-friendly candles from Proyecto Eco-Quetzal here.