Pedagogical forest is born in the Pantanal

The community of San Salvador arises in the Municipality of Puerto Suarez in the middle of the Bolivian Pantanal. Among its virgin forests is a hidden natural treasure: the totaí (Acrocomia aculeata), a place that has been cared for for generations.

In December 2023, the activities in the San Salvador community took an exciting turn through the Las Caluchitas Association (of women users of totaí derivatives), led by Maritza Cayú Chuvez.

Maritza, a woman who fights for local conservation, embarked on an ambitious project with the support of the SEMILLA Foundation and the NbS small donations programme of the Voices for Just Climate Action – VCA project with the aim of strengthening the sustainable use of totaí and promoting environmental education in their community. Her vision encompassed not only the protection of the forest but also the economic empowerment of the women of Las Caluchitas.

The women of Las Caluchitas, known for their entrepreneurship in the production of totaí oil and its derivatives, gathered enthusiastically to improve their facilities and capabilities. Together, they have promoted the construction of a space to process and store these forest fruits while receiving training in productive and commercial management.


The project, which was born with a lot of energy and enthusiasm, is promoting a greater challenge: achieving a future where the children of San Salvador learn to love and protect their natural environment. With the help of local schools, it has achieved the creation of the Pedagogical Forest through a communal norm, where the forested area neighbouring the community has become a space for more children and young people to learn about the functioning of the forest, its components, roles and particularly, about totaí and its benefits.


Las Caluchitas will now not only produce oil more efficiently but also become guardians of the Pedagogical Forest, teaching children and young people about the importance of preserving their homes. The journey does not end there. Maritza and Las Caluchitas are working to strengthen community governance, creating a local management platform that will promote inclusive participation in forest preservation and community well-being.

With each step, with each drop of totaí oil produced, with each child who discovered the magic of the Pedagogical Forest, the San Salvador community grew stronger in its resilience, its love for nature and its commitment to a sustainable future. The story of the San Salvador Pedagogical Forest became a symbol of hope and action, demonstrating that when people come together for a common purpose, they can achieve great things and protect the most precious treasures that nature offers us.



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