History and Present
- 1990 – The government of Guatemala decrees the Law of Protected Areas and Maya Biosphere Reserve.
- 1994-1996 – Carmelita starts the management for the forest concession supported by PROPETEN
- 1996 – Forest concessions are legally established based on the Law of Protected Areas and under the agreement with the State to be given to community members that already made use of the resources in said area, in compliance with the Peace Agreements signed on 29 December 1996 during the government of Álvaro Arzú.
- 1997 – The National Council of Protected Areas CONAP, approves the pilot plan for Carmelita.
- 1997 – On November 14, a forest concession of 53,597 hectares is granted.
- 1998 – On September 14, the Cooperative arose, under the name of Cooperativa Integral de Comercialización Carmelita Responsabilidad Limitada (In Spanish, Limited Liability Integral Cooperative for Commercialization) and its commercial name Cooperativa Carmelita R.L. due to the need for a legal figure that allows it to comercializr wood and other non-timber products.
Currently, the cooperative manages the Carmelita Management Unit granted by the State of Guatemala for a contract validity period of 25 years and the incidence is currently being carried out with the government institutions in order to obtain an extension of an additional 25 years.
The Carmelita Cooperative now performs various jobs within the community, making sustainable management of resources, in activities such as: Forest Harvesting, Investment in Control and Surveillance, Investment in Prevention and Control of Forest Fires, Reforestation Activities, Carpentry, Xate, Chewing-gum activities, Tourism (Tourism Circuit Carmelita-El Mirador), Tourism in the Laguna de Puerto Arturo Wildlife Refuge, as well as the Enrichment of Xate Plants in the forest through its local nursery.
All of these activities generate the local economy for the 380 people among men, women, boys and girls who inhabit the community.
It has a furniture sales room in Santa Elena, central area of the Petén department, where furniture of different styles; baseboards and floors are displayed for sale. These furniture is made by community carpenters who have been trained by the Cooperative and are currently working in the Carpentry.
Each year, the Carmelita Cooperative generates an average of 20,500 wages. These wages exceed the minimum wage established in Guatemala.