Mexico: agaves for tourism

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The Mexicans of Oaxaca earn their living by manufacturing pulque, a traditional drink made from the fermentation of agave. But the drink, considered sacred, is in danger and is intended to save with tourism.

Objective of the project: To  preserve the tradition of making pulque, a drink made from fermented agave juice. Likewise, it is intended to recover the eroded soil, as well as prevent its future erosion, in the Mexican state of Oaxaca.

Implementation of the project:  The organization “Millennial Women” cultivates agaves in a special way so that their roots form networks that retain water and nutrients in the soil, making it more stable.

Size of the project:  The organization “Millennial Women” is made up of about 40 people.

Project partners: Rutopía, an ecotourism company, that connects travelers from all over the world with rural communities in Mexico and reinvest income in projects like this one. Other partners are Slow Food Mexico, an NGO that works to preserve local food cultures.

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Duration of the project:  The project is underway since 2014.

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The inhabitants of El Almacén, a small town in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, have opened their world to ecotourists so that they and the nature that surrounds them can continue to exist. The approximately 20 families that live here do so in huts of clay soil. Water, electricity and sanitation facilities are barely developed.

The only important source of income is agriculture, which is seriously threatened by the progressive erosion of the soil. Pulque, a traditional drink considered sacred in the area, is particularly important. It is made by fermenting the sap of the Agave plant, which has been greatly affected by soil erosion.

To cope with this situation, a local action collective called “Millennial Women” has developed a special cultivation method: planting agaves in rows on the hills so that the roots of the plants grow together. They retain water and nutrients in the soil, which makes the soil stable and fertile.

Rutopía, a company from Mexico City, supports the organization “Mujeres Milnarias.” The ecotourism platform connects travelers from all over the world with rural communities, such as El Almacén. and teach them about pulque and its traditions, so that most of the income stays in the community.

Source: dw

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