Campeche State is in the far southeast of Mexico, and forms part of the Yucatan peninsula. It borders Belize and Guatemala, as well as having a long coastline with the Gulf of Mexico. The name of Campeche is derived from the Maya name of a settlement called “Ah-Kin-Pech” where the city of Campeche is now. Most land is owned and managed communally, with 65% being exploited for forestry products. Only 3% is used for agricultural crops such as corn or fruit trees, as the soil is not very fertile. The state has a population of over 800,000 people, most of who live in urban areas with good access to services.
The terrain is relatively flat, but it is rich in biodiversity, with remains of various types of rainforest along the southern borders of the state. Hundreds of species of fauna and flora still exist, in the four distinct ecosystems. But while the State is still rich in wildlife, much has been decimated because of agriculture and exploitation of forest resources destroying habitat.
Campeche state has three main protected areas: The Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, the Laguna de Términos Reserve and the Los Petenes Biosphere Reserve with total an area of 1,810,597 hectares. The Calakmul Reserve was created in 1989 and is made of over 723,185 hectares. It consists of Yucatán and Tehuantepec moist forests, containing high and medium growth semi-deciduous forests and seasonally flooded low height semi-deciduous forests. Many trees here can reach heights of 30 meters.
The Reserva de la Biósfera Calakmul, Mexico’s largest nature preserve, covers nearly 15% of Campeche, and it gives sanctuary to most of the region’s 400 endangered species. Jaguars (one of the largest populations in the world), eagles and over 230 bird species make their home in the sprawling sanctuary, as well as many native orchids and other plants. The biosphere also features several archeological sites, including El Ramonal, Hormiguero, Chicanna, Río Bec, Becán and Calakmul.
Why it is good for them: This trade with smallholder farmers living on the edges of the rainforest provides a sustainable income, and reduces the need for them to chop down trees or compromise the local resources.
Is virtually indestructible and can grow on the most infertile terrain. It grows up to a meter tall and has no stem just thick rubbery grey-green leaves which fill up with a thick gel during the rainy season, which helps the plant to survive long periods of drought. The flowers grow on a long spear and are a yellow-white colour.
The Community Trade organic aloe vera we use in our products is made from 100%, preservative free concentrated aloe vera gel. Aloe vera leaves are made up mostly of water, so they have to be processed as soon as they are harvested before they dry up. The leaves are sent to the processing plant within 6 hours of cutting, the inner gel filet is extracted by hand, and is then concentrated to a preservative free organic powder. This ensures that any irritating alonin does not contaminate the ingredient, preserves the essential properties of the gel that make it a key skincare ingredient, and avoids shipping 200 tonnes of water. As the gel is converted into a dry powder, it does not need preservatives to be added.
Ruben, one of the organic farmers growing aloe vera, tends to his plot
Did You Know
400 kilos of raw harvested leaves contain 200 kilos of gel, which is then concentrated down to 1kg of organic concentrate powder.
The Aloe Body Butter will contain aloe from nearly 1/4 of a kilo of aloe leaves or over 100grams of gel.