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Mayan chewing gum employs thousands with exports to Europe, Middle East

Chetumal, Q.R. — More than two thousand people from Mayan communities in the Yucatan have income thanks to the production of natural chewing gum.

Chicza, which is an organic food, is a traditional Mayan rain forest chewing gum that has become a global trend, popular especially in Europe and the Middle East where they have been exporting the gum for several years.

Part of the Chicza success is that it is a 100 percent natural product, certified as organic, free of preservatives and also biodegradable and sustainable.

Andrés Aldrete, operational director of the brand, explained that it is produced from the “chico zapote” tree in Mayan communities by farmers from Campeche and Quintana Roo. It is manufactured in Chetumal.

He says that although the product is not widely valued in Mexico, it is one of the favorites of European and Middle East consumers where it has been exported for several years.

Aldrete explained that instead of regular chewing gum made with polymers (plastics) which are petroleum products and can really be harmful to health, the Mayan chewing gum is a better option.

He added that in an area where very few job opportunities are presented, the Chicza natural chewing gum industry gives thousands that opportunity.