Castañero Stories: Snakes, thieves and falling nuts

Every wet season in the Western Amazon, Peru’s castañeros (brazil nut concession holders and harvesters) gather the huge brazil nut fruits from the forest floor, crack them open to extract the nuts inside, and carry them out of the forest to market.

It’s physically hard, and there are dangers — from wild animals to falling nuts. But owning a Brazil nut concession is also a responsibility: owners have to defend their forest from incursions by Brazil nut thieves or illegal loggers.

Every Brazil nut you’ve ever eaten was gathered from the Amazon rainforest by a castañero — and they want you to know more about their lives.

To learn more, and for more stories of CIFOR’s work in the Amazon, visit

MUSIC: Special thanks to composer Oscar Alberto Macedo Mejia for allowing us to use his song “Rio Madre de Dios” from an album composed for the centenary of Madre de Dios.
Phone (Peru): 966382109