Harvesting palm products is an important source of supplemental income for many indigenous families and communities in Guatemala and Mexico. However, over-harvesting palm can threaten the livelihood of these communities as well as the forests where the palm plants thrive and provide the shade required by the palms.
The palm producing areas tend to be the home of poorer segments of the rural population where the people rely heavily on the palm harvest for income. But, although purchases of palms in the U.S. may reach as high as $4.5 million each year, the palm harvesters themselves earn very little. (more…)