The United States started going into lockdown in the weeks preceding Palm Sunday, a Christian festival many celebrate by displaying palm fronds woven into the shape of a cross. This year, as Covid-19 swept across the globe, the celebrations were muted – and the small Guatemalan community that harvests these fronds, known as xate, almost immediately lost tens of thousands of dollars.

“We’ve worked for 20 years with communities in the Maya Biosphere Reserve,” says Nigel Sizer, chief programme officer at the Rainforest Alliance. “These are communities that manage the forest very successfully, ...


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