The Jungle Jars of Luang Prabang
Jungle Jars is a social enterprise which works with local communities on the production and sale of high-quality water bottles, with the goal of supporting rural development and community empowerment. It was started with the support of staff members from Tiger Trail during the COVID-19 shutdowns that brought tourism in Luang Prabang to a halt.
In partnership with a local Khmu village with which Tiger Trail has long-term ties, local residents handcraft these bamboo water bottles. The production method itself is fascinating to see. Families collect bamboo from the nearby jungle, which is then purified by soaking to kill any insects or larvae present. Once the bamboo is dried, the bottles are shaped into these beautiful designs. After sealing, finished bottles are sealed with an epoxy resin that is safe for food and allowed to cure for 10 to 14 days in a bamboo hut.
The village has provided space for a workshop, which Tiger Trail constructed utilising recycled materials. Jungle Jars provides an additional source of income to participating families, which is often used to support children’s education and schooling. The income derived from Jungle Jars also supports a community fund. This fund is used for health care, school support, the building of public amenities such as roads, water supply and electricity, a social welfare scheme, and members of the community can apply for funds for medical procedures and support if they become sick.
In order not to disrupt the communities traditional way of life, Jungle Jars is seen as an additional income stream and does not replace their existing traditional farming practices. As such the bamboo water bottles are all made to order and not mass produced.
Looking for Partners
Jungle Jars are seeking partnerships with local Laos businesses that have high ethical standards, including hotels and tour companies and offer branded bamboo bottles to support the initiative. The bottles can be laser branded with business logos to create a customized product.
Visit Jungle Jars
The village was a great place to start the programme because of its entrepreneurial spirit which already includes a popular homestay programme that draws tourists from around the world. This on-going relationship with Tiger Trail and Jungle Jars is now expanding to provide educational experiences. Tiger Trail has 21 years of experience facilitating school group programmes in Laos and is already taking bookings for school trips in 2022 incorporating the Jungle Jar programme. One-to-two day tours are also available to visit the initiative and can be booked through Tiger Trail at https://laos-adventures.com/junglejar.