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Photographs courtesy of Francisco Costa
I had actually never been to the Amazon before. It was something I always wanted to do, but at the same time the idea intimidated me. I also thought I'd feel like an intrusive tourist in a land so sacred. But the truth is, the rainforest welcomes you. There is a force there that navigates you. I call it clarity.
I landed in Acre, an isolated Brazilian state which borders Peru on the northwest coast of the Amazon. It’s a very spiritual area with hieroglyphics everywhere. I drove five hours to embark on a six and half hour long boat ride along the Gregório River. I was overwhelmed by a mixture of exhaustion, wonder and excitement, as I headed to finally meet the members of Yawanawá tribe.
When there, I experienced thick fragrant smoke from elusive Breu resin, which is considered to be sacred by the Yawanawá for its abilities to calm the mind and spirit. It was magical.
Six months later, I headed further east to Belém do Pará, the gateway to the Amazon River. The bustling port city is home to the legendary Mercado Ver-o-Peso, one of the region’s largest open-air natural markets. Frenetic and spontaneous, the waterfront market sells a cacophony of rare native fruits, serums and medicinal herbs. Being as sensitive to scent as I am, I indulged in the bounty of new spices and aromas I had never experienced before.
Next, I visited Natal, the capital city of the state of Rio Grande do Norte. There, I was lucky to work closely with a small science laboratory. I worked with local chemists and botanists who opened my mind to new ingredients and possibilities. They shared with me some of the rainforest’s best kept secrets and I challenged them to show me new things, too. I was introduced to seeds from ancient sapucaia trees. After refining our extraction process over and over again, we crafted a cold-pressed oil richer in antioxidants, minerals, micronutrients and vitamin E than most other substances in the world.
Kaya is now wild harvested exclusively and sustainably for Costa Brazil by local farmers from the northern coast of Brazil.
The journey to the Amazon led me to another journey. My schedule was dictated by the movements of the sun and the moon, just like all the trees, plants and wild life around me. I was one with the earth. I found strength in taking it slow, getting into flow.
Costa Brazil to me is a way to express and share this powerful reconnection to the earth that I experienced. Our products have this raw magic that talks to you, and invite to to look within, to nurture your body with nature’s most healing elements. Beauty is inseparable from the health of earth.