In Chazuta, a little village in Northern Peru, about one hour from Tarapoto in the San Martin Region.
More than 25 years ago, a group of women entrepreneurs with a strong desire to get ahead were formed in Chazuta. They were trained in the production of ecological paper by the Manuela Ramos Organization.
26 members began with great strength and enthusiasm but over the years, these numbers have diminished. At present only 4 brave women remain, led by Mrs. Berta Salas tireless president and followed by: Anita Apagueño, Julia Tapullim and Gilma Shupingahua.
Doña Berta, doña Julia and doña Anita
The paper they produce comes from crops grown in the area such as the banana tree trunk, the shell of the coconut, the bagasse of the sugar cane and bombonaje (Carludovica palmata).
1st phase: The harvest of the crop to be prepared, then the material is cut with a machete in small parts. Afterwards it is left to dry in the sun for a of a couple of days depending on the weather.
Cutting the banana trunk
2nd phase: The material is then covered in water and cooked over the fire. This cooking period is approximately 8 hours, where the movement of the mixture is necessary in order to obtain a homogeneous texture.
3rd phase: Once the material has been cooked homogeneously, the pulp of the material is washed.
4th phase: The washed material is accumulated in buckets and later it is milled. This process is carried out with a stone batan, until the fibers of the material are duly smooth and without any impurities.
5th phase: The paper transformation process is proceeded. For this process the fiber of the material is placed in trays with water, to later place the frame with the requested measure, the frame is introduced to the tray with water, taking the necessary amount inside the frame. It is then placed in cloths between the papers, up to a maximum of 50 units per pile.
6th phase: The pile of paper is placed in a manual press, which will help to remove all the water. The time left in the press is about an hour and a half.
7th phase: Subsequently, the panels are being prepared, where the papers will be transferred one by one, using a roller which will help to have a homogeneous paper without any holes.
8th phase: Drying the paper, in a cool place in shade. This process will depend on the weather, generally 2 days.
If you are interested in learning how to make paper in this workshop using the pulp of Banana trees, normally cut and wasted after the banana fruit is ready; coconut is also used.(https://sacharunadventure.com/artisanal-courses/)
Also if you are interested in purchasing eco-friendly paper made by hand by women leaders and artists with an environmental conscience, you can contact us:
WhatsApp number: 931828324
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