After our joint planting of vanilla orchids in January 2018, there was a lot going on. The idea for cumpa was there and its implementation within reach, although still without a name and business plan. Daniel came to visit Peru in March. In August, back in Germany, we founded cumpa. Later that year Lukas was back in Peru for the first cumpa import. Contact with Arturo always remained, over a phone call, a dinner in Moyobamba, a beer, a coffee. While cumpa went through the wild start-up period, it took Arturo until 2019 before he found a partner with a business background in Guillermo and the two founded Wawki.
After 2018, we didn’t return to Tingana until 2021 to the vanilla orchids we had planted together 3 years earlier. We were amazed. Our plantings grow half wild up the climbing aids and look little better than their wild relatives. But next to them, Wawki’s team has built a structure where they can specifically cultivate the vanilla plants. Everything hangs full of vanilla orchids, with numerous flowers and fruits. Arturo explains that over the years they have had problems with various factors, and they can better control them in the construction. Problems with fungi they treat organically with lime. It is easy to move between the rows, pollinate, tend and harvest. A green net hangs over the construction, allowing just the right amount of light to pass through. Everything is well thought out.
Wawki means the same as cumpa, meaning friend, companion. But while “cumpa” comes from the Spanish language, the word “Wawki” comes from the language of the Aguaruna, an ethnic group living near Tingana in the deep rainforest. But the two companies “cumpa” and “Wawki” are not only connected by their name and identity. It makes us all together proud and happy that we can now turn the dreams of 2018, the visions of a joint production and marketing of Pompona Vanilla, into reality in 2022. Back then, we were two ambitious students with big dreams who got along well. Today we are friends and business partners.
Find out more about our Vanilla Pompona here.