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There is a critical point in relation with the environment in the process of making ixtle products related directly with the way the fiber is obtained. Two methods have been identified:

Environmentally friendly
Ixtle´s agriculturists look for the leafs that grow from the center (heart) of the maguey plant and secure them to the end point of a stick that is rised and lowered continously, with which the fibers start to tear. The agriculturist stops this process leaving enough leafs in the center to allow the plant to regenerate itself, maintaining it alive for many years. This process is repeated in 10 to 12 plants to obtain a handful of fiber which is the measure with which it is commercialized. Afterwards the fibers are worked in the agriculturists houses until they loose their green tone and adquire a white to yellow color.

Environmentally unfriendly
The other method to obtain ixtle´s fiber, ahd the one most of the ixtle artisans use, consists in cutting all the maguey plant and taking it to their houses to work with them. This method requires a whole plant to obtain just a handful of fiber, with the consequence of the diminishing of the maguey plants in the region.

This is the reason why our artisans decided to use only the fibers obtained by the first method to preserve the number of plantes in the region.

With Dertracs´support we are about to start a project to repopulate our lands and those of our fiber providers with maguey plants.

According to Dertrac calculations 5,000 square meters of magueyes must be planted to assure minimum environment impacts in the next 10 years of fiber production. To achieve this goal in the next year (2008) the repopulation of maguey will be through the “Pro Arbol” program of the “Comision Nacional Forestal” (CONAFOR; www.conafor.gob.mx) in the state of Hidalgo.
 
If you want more information about the repopulation project contact: mgarcia@arteixtle.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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