The group worked with the Center for Panamanian Women (CEMP), which works with low-income women located in indigenous areas throughout the country to improve their quality of life by strengthening their leadership skills, promoting the formation and strengthening of grassroots women’s organizations for community management and political advocacy, and enhancing skill sets to help provide women with a trade. Phase I of the Panama Beauty Project was supported by Acme-Hardesty, Chemyunion and Croda.
The goal of Phase II of the project is to provide focused training for the women of Portobelo, Panama who already participated in Phase I of the project.
“This training will enable the women to formulate some basic products using locally available ingredients, with a focus on the needs of local hotels, spas and the tourist trade; for example, body scrub, shampoo and conditioner, face lotion and body cream,” said Humberstone.
He explained that two local hotels have contacted the organization to work with the women of Portobelo and buy products. However, one is extremely high end and the other at the other end of the cost spectrum. The high-end hotel expressed an interest in "natural" products, according to Humberstone.
He told Happi that the basic training in Phase II can be completed in five days. Humberstone is seeking volunteers who are experienced formulators and who have the ability to teach and troubleshoot in creative ways.
“As we don't expect anyone to work the entire five days, we are thinking perhaps we can get volunteers who could work, say three or four days, and then hand off to the next group of teachers/formulators,” he said.
The team will formulate with locally-available products, especially the coconut oil many of the women produce at home for their own needs. In addition, Humberstone has identified a local chemical supplier who can source more technical ingredients. Of course, issues such as scale-up, packaging, preservation and fragrance will be addressed as well.
Humberstone and his team seek volunteers as well as formulation ideas for the Panama Beauty Project. More info: Chris Humberstone, Tel: 1 786-586-1348; Email: email@example.com