Dir Sean Kuylen
(Belize, 2023) 42 min / Rated G
Once upon a time, all that was needed to extract the sap from sapodilla trees was a sharp machete and a good arm, but over time, as the value of chicle rose, the criss-cross slash marks across the tree trunk was discontinued and production methods became more sophisticated. And with that change, so did the network required to produce, price and export chicle. Who was the ‘chiclero’ responsible for extracting this precious resin? These men who would take on the arduous and dangerous task of scaling the heights of the jungle floor to slash these trees which produce a thick white sap? Camp out during the rainy season and climb huge trees before cutting grooves in the bark and collecting the sap in bags?