A women-led collective in Chazuta, of Peru’s Amazon, gathers nearly every afternoon for natural paper making. Here’s how they do it.
If you’re interested in learning about the craft of natural paper making, maybe it’s time that you make a visit to Chazuta, located in the jungles of Peru, in order to get a first-hand perspective into this unique art.
What’s the big deal about natural paper making?
Papermaking is one of many types of traditional art that are slowly being forgotten in Peru. For those who are interested in self-expression, learning how to make paper by hand can help you expand your creative horizons. Once you learn how to make paper out of plants from the Peruvian jungle, you can learn to make paper with most any plant-based material.
Where do they do it?
The indigenous community of Chazuta is located in the region of San Martin, about an hour drive outside of Tarapoto. It’s a very small town so the papermaking collective’s building is not hard to find. In fact, it is located right off of the main road.
Visitors will soon discover that Chazuta offers more than papermaking opportunities. The town has many fascinating attractions, from site visits to cacao plantations to courses on chocolate making, ceramics and ecotourism.
With all of these options available to you, Chazuta is a great destination for authentic second city traveling.
How do they do it?
The papermaking collective in Chazuta consists of less than ten women who join together almost every afternoon to make paper together. Also, when people show up with interest to learn about the craft of papermaking, they make themselves available to teach you.
What kinds of plants can you make paper out of?
They make papers from any of many dozens of available plants that grow in the jungle. Each plant has its own characteristics, such as color, texture, and thickness. According to the women at the center, the best plant to use is the banana leaf. There are also many people who request that they make papers out of the ayahuasca vine.
How can I learn to a natural paper making workshop?
If you are interested in taking a papermaking workshop, the best way to participate is to arrive in the town of Chazuta, which is located about an hour outside of Tarapoto. Once you get to Chazuta, look for the papermaking workshop, which is located on Chazuta’s main street.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to get familiar with the process:
This article has been updated from its original version written by Scott Montgomery and published on January 15, 2019.
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