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An uncommon Camu-Camu story

Camu-Camu is known as a Super Food because of its high nutritional value, great content of vitamin C and probably also due to its exotic origin in the deep Amazon. Epifania, the wife of my friend Jorge, tells me that Camu-camu cures many diseases and she refers to it as a miracle fruit. She claims, that at one point, she couldn’t breath well and while she was waiting for hospital attention during two months, she got cured, just by drinking Camu-Camu juice every morning. No need to go to the doctor after that.

Jorge is a farmer, living close to the city of Puerto Maldonado. He has Camu-Camu trees that grow naturally surrounded by tall trees and dense vegetation. He is very proud about his Camu-Camu trees and he shows me his two hectares of land. He waits for the rain that starts the Camu-Camu season. Sorry, it’s just November, he says, I have to wait until the rain season to see the fruit red and ripe, so big that the branches break and fall down! Just then he knows that the berries are ready.

He takes me on his Mototaxi back to the city and then perhaps the loud “tuc-tuc” makes him come clean about something: He confesses that he works as an Artisanal Gold Miner as a survival activity. During the dry season, no fruit grow and he is pushed to make a living somehow. Hey Jorge, I can’t promise you, but If we find a market for your Camu-Camu, you can transform it to a fruit puree, gain a better living and you won’t have to go back to mine your lands.

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