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While vanilla is more of a side business for cumpa along with coffee, Arturo and his team have dedicated themselves entirely to Pompona Vanilla. With pioneering steps, they are shaping an industry in its birth stage. Together with the regional government of San Martin, they have been developing appropriate regulations for this unprecedented form of cultivation since 2021. In the tough political processes, Arturo is a driver of progress. To that end, he maintains relationships with the leading researchers* in the field of pomponavilla in Peru, Mexico, and the United States.

 

Wawki’s work has already led to countless discoveries for posterity. It shows that minimally invasive agriculture is possible here in San Martin. Moyobamba is the city of orchids, with over 3,000 wild orchid species. By pushing vanilla production, Wawki is internalizing the identity of the region, whose ecotourism is already an important strategic industry. Arturo dreams that one day a sculpture of a vanilla orchid will stand in Moyobamba’s Plaza de Armas. Arturo is the hub of a network of key regional, national, and international actors* for the development of Pompona Vanilla production systems.

 

During our visit in 2021, Don Santos told us that for 6 weeks the area had been under water, about 1.30m high. The inhabitants were completely cut off over this time and spent quiet weeks on the stilt houses in the hammocks, only doing the most necessary things by boat. No one knew during this time how well the plants would take the event. Now everything had subsided again. The pitahayas were not doing well at all, but the vanilla garden had survived the flood well. Here we also saw the mark of the flood on the structure. The native Vanilla Pompona Grandiflora, which makes up the bulk of the cultivation, was thriving. What a relief! I wonder how many millions of years the plant has spent acclimating to the climate and flooding here in the wild?

 

Arturo continues to be politically and scientifically engaged on behalf of Vanilla Pompona Grandiflora. He shares much practical knowledge via a growing TikTok audience. Follow him here: TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and website.

 

More information about our Vanilla Pompona here.

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