These natural bayberry wax candles are handmade by a family business in central Guatemala. Similar to Bayberry candles made in the US, these candles are also made from a tree in the Bayberry family. The burning of bayberry candles is a tradition dating back to colonial times.
Settlers found that the wax had a fragrant aroma and burned magnificently – burning longer, cleaner, and brighter than other candles of the time. Therefore the barberry candles are saved and only burned on special occasions. The burning of bayberry candles on New Year’s, in particular, has become a tradition, along with the phrase “Bayberry candles burned to the socket, bring health to the home and wealth to the pocket!”. It is also believed that honouring someone by burning a bayberry candle in their presence creates a closer relationship.
15cm tall and 1.27cm’s at base
Each candle burns for approximately 1.5 hours and has a natural Bayberry scent.
How these natural wax candles are made
First, the family goes to pick the berries from the bayberry shrub. The verry-type fruit is crusted with a greenish white wax, which is udes to make the candles. In order to separate the wax from the fruit, however, the artisans must noil the berries in hot water, creating a wax residue on the surface. The process requires MANY berries in order to get enough wax! Finally, the artisans mix the wax with natural beeswax to hold the candle together. Each candle is made up of 90% bayberry and 10% beeswax.
How your purchase can make a difference
Your purchase supports a sustainable living wage for the 60+ employed women at the co-operative and their families, as well as funding for a full-day kindergarten through 6th grade school, daycare, and a Montessori-based preschool.
About the supplier
UPAVIM Wholesale is a self-run cooperative of women in La Esperanza, Guatemala that provides leadership opportunities, greater economic independence and education for the members and their families. It represents a colourful beacon of hope and pride for many in La Esperanza. Founded in 1989, UPAVIM Wholesale creates and sells colourful, handcrafted products for markets around the world.