The teak wood plantation of Panamerican Woods, located in the mountains of Santo Domingo between Samara and Carrillo Beach, is out of mature trees and has dismissed some of its employees while waiting for more trees to mature.
Martin Barquero Perez, manager of the plantation, assured that the project is sustainable and continues but that they will have to wait four or five years for more trees to be ready to harvest. To date, 15 regular employees have been dismissed and 40 temporary workers, usually hired to work from May to October, have been informed that their work is finished, according to Barquero. However, 55 employees remain active in order to maintain the plantation and care for the trees.
Antonio Pareida Sibaja, originally from San Carlos, moved to Samara to work for the company eight years ago. He said that since there is no more wood, he was dismissed from his position managing purchases in August and was given all of his legal rights as an employee. Rather than go back to San Carlos, he plans on staying in Samara and opening his own business, a workshop to install rain gutters. “We’ll see how it goes,” he said with a positive attitude.
Panamerican Woods has 1450 hectares of land in the Samara area, of which about 800 hectares are planted with teak trees, and Barquero estimated that there are between 700,000 to 750,000 trees. The company has been in the area for more than 25 years and for eight years has been harvesting and exporting the trees to Vietnam, China and India. In addition, Panamerican has 3,000 hectares of land in the canton of Nandayure.
Barquero specified that the entire forestry project has a sustainable management plan and is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The FSC is an international nonprofit organization that promotes responsible management of the world’s forests.