Mango wood is a hard, beautiful wood and throughout Southeast Asia has been a sustainable resource for furniture and other goods for decades. Although the mango tree is prevalent in Costa Rica, it is the sweet fruit that is harvested here, not its lumber. Presently, mango wood furniture is imported to Costa Rica from a small manufacturer in Indonesia.
Costa Rica offers incredibly talented wood craftsmen when it comes to producing quality furniture. Although milled wood is available in Costa Rica, mostly it is softer woods, such as Melina and Cedar, that are available; harder lumber such as Cenízaro and Guanacaste are becoming more difficult to acquire.
Due to the high demand for lumber in Costa Rica, for both furniture and building, local craftsmen are more frequently forced to order their wood inventories a year in advance, often catching the manufacturer short for custom or larger orders. Add to the fact that country officials,fortunately, have begun to clamp down on the illegal felling of endangered trees, which until recently had mostly gone unchecked, depleting one of Costa Rica’s most precious resources.
Processing lumber for furniture involves drying the raw wood; there are a few manufacturers in Costa Rica who implement a kiln to dry their lumber, however, most let the wood air dry. This air curing method can result in cracking or warping with climatic changes of the dry and wet seasons. Moreover, the softer woods are susceptible to marring and scratching of the finished product.
In Indonesia, as well as other countries throughout Southeast Asia, sustainable plantations utilize the timber once the mango tree stops producing quality fruit after approximately twenty years. A small community factory on the island of Java in Indonesia mills and kiln dries plantation mango wood to produce handcrafted quality hardwood furniture for export to clients worldwide.
Handcrafted mango wood is an eco friendly furniture option when looking to furnish a home, condo or hotel in Costa Rica, thanks to Turi Imports, an import company based in Costa Rica. The inventory is available for viewing by appointment and special showings.
Previously an importer of sustainable mango furniture to the United States, Turi Imports’ proprietor moved to Costa Rica and was surprised to learn that furniture makers were not incorporating mango wood lumber in their offerings.
Hopefully, in the not too distant future one will be able to select from the local furniture artisan pool to make a purchase of eco friendly furniture made from Costa Rica’s own mango wood; for the time being, however, mango wood furniture is imported to this country.