L’AMÉRIQUE DANS L’ASSIETTE

Tout au long ce périple, je suis allé à la découverte de nouvelles saveurs gustatives, de nouveaux ingrédients, fruits et légumes, d’assortiments originaux. La richesse du patrimoine américain se trouve aussi dans l’assiette !

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Publicités

A COMER EN TERRITORIO GUARANI

Algunas delicias encontradas en el territorio histórico guaraní (Argentina, Brasil, Uruguay y Paraguay).

DES (PETITES) VILLES À VIVRE EN AMÉRIQUE?

Les 15 (petites) villes de moins de 100 000 habitants les plus accueillantes.

Top 15 de las ciudades mas acogedoras de <100 000 habitantes para vivir.

A partir de mon expérience itinérante à travers 18 pays du continent américain. Voir aussi le top15 des grandes villes!

Mes critères de choix de ces endroits parmi les centaines visitées pendant 3 ans sont :

  • Proximité de la Nature,
  • Richesse socio-culturelle,
  • Coût de la vie
  • Climat
  • Solidarité et authenticité des habitants,
  • Ouverture d’esprit,
  • Alternatives socio-écologiques dans le domaine des transports, énergie, agriculture/alimentation, habitat et économie.

(Par ordre de ma progression du Nord au Sud du continent) : Lire la suite

DES VILLES À VIVRE EN AMÉRIQUE?

Les 15 villes de plus de 100 000 habitants les plus accueillantes depuis mon expérience itinérante à travers 18 pays du continent américain.

Mes critères de choix de ces villes parmi les dizaines visitées pendant 3 ans sont : proximité de la Nature, richesse socio-culturelle, solidarité et authenticité des habitants, ouverture d’esprit, alternatives socio-écologiques dans le domaine des transports, énergie, agriculture/alimentation, habitat et économie. (Par ordre de ma progression du Nord au Sud du continent) : Lire la suite

À MENDOZA POUR UN VIN (DURABLE)?

Mendoza, terre de vignobles et des meilleurs vins du continent. Un terroir privilégié, des sols fertiles sur les premières pentes de la cordillère des Andes, un climat rude et plutôt sec et enfin une eau à disposition en abondance et canalisée pour irriguer pendant la période sèche. Alors que l’agriculture est largement intensive, utilisant de nombreux agro-toxiques, certains ont opté par conviction ou opportunité pour une agriculture respectueuse de l’environnement. Lire la suite

GUARDIANES DE SEMILLAS : PROTEGER LA AGRODIVERSIDAD

La agrodiversidad es la base de seguridad alimentaria de un territorio. En contra de las evoluciones recientes de la agricultura ecuatoriana, la Red Guardianes de semillas esta rescatando el cultivo de variedades adaptadas a las condiciones locales. Las cordilleras ecuatorianas son la cuña de muchas especies de verduras comestibles, entre otros el frijol, la calabaza, la papa, el tabaco, el tomate. Reciente, estudios rechazaron las orígenes de unos en México. Lire la suite

A la source de l’or brun : Le café de Colombie

On associe souvent la Colombie au café, parmi d’autres clichés, et à juste titre. Depuis la Conquête espagnole, le café s’est imposé comme une culture d’exportation à haute valeur ajoutée. Il a façonné les paysages du centre et du Sud du cordon andin, appelé Eje cafetero ou « région caféicole ».

Le café et la Colombie

Mes nombreux détours m’ont amené sur la route du patrimoine cafetier, en pleine saison de récolte. Premier arrêt à la coopérative de Aguadas, après plus de 4600 m de dénivelé cumulé en trois jours de chemin de terre abrupt et caillouteux. Il s’agit d’une coopérative de plus de 1400 associés producteurs d’un produit noble qui a fait et fait toujours la renommée de la Colombie : le café. Lire la suite

Fuente de café, el oro castaño colombiano

A menudo asociamos el café a Colombia, entre otros tópicos, y con razón. Desde la conquista española, el café se ha convertido en un producto de exportación con alto valor agregado. Se ha modelado el paisaje de eje centro y sur andino, llamado « eje cafetero », paisaje y cultura reconocidos como patrimonio de la humanidad por la UNESCO que produce un de los mejores cafés del mundo.

El Café y Colombia

Durant la montée infernale

Durant la montée infernale, station de pompiers de Aguadas

Mis  vueltas cicloturisticas me llevaron por la ruta del patrimonio cafetero, a la temporada de la cosecha. Primera parada en la municipalidad de Aguadas, a la cooperativa cafetera, después de más de 4600 m de desnivel acumulado en tres días de carretera empinada de tierra y piedra. Es una cooperativa de más de 1.400 asociados. La cooperativa de Aguadas, territorio norteño del departamento de Caldas, fue un pionero de la calidad en la cadena de suministro de café en Colombia. Lire la suite

Recovering Co-Existence of Meliponas Bees and Mayas

Stephane Plamieri, a French emigrant in Mexico, lives his dream life in Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico. He is working his fingers to the bone and with passion to recover the meliponas bees tradition in the Mayan communities. The Heritage Route crossed his path in his lovely hotel Don Diego de la Selva to know more about this heritage piece for Mayan and others.
 

The Melipona bee is the symbol of the wisdom of the Mayans. They were living together for more than 3000 years, feeding each other. Deforestation and loss of interest in their honey were the major threats that caused the destruction of 80% of meliponas population up to less than 1000 colonies in Quintana Roo. Lire la suite

The Chocolate Farmer Has a Lot to Tell

When I was living in Vancouver, Canada, one year ago, I saw the « Chocolate Farmer » documentary at the city library. It talked about the life of Eladio’s family, a traditional Mayan family living in South of Belize. I was inspired by this story, full of passion and respect. I decided « I want to visit them during the journey through Americas ». Here we are! Spending 3 days in San Pedro Columbia, Toledo district, Belize.

The Agouti Farm

Avec Eladio dans son agro-forêt, Toledo

Avec Eladio dans son agro-forêt, Toledo

Agouti Farm is a family owned and operated cacao farm, focusing on organic production of cacao. Our cacao is shipped all over the world, through Maya Mountain – where it is turned into delicious chocolate.
Here on the farm, you can have a farm experience like no other! Jungle hikes, medicinal plant tours, cacao harvesting and chocolate making – these are all just some of the activities you will do here at Agouti Farm! The entire Pop’s family helps run this farm, using traditional Mayan techniques and knowledge in our operations. You’re welcome to visit their family and lovely place anytime…

Multicultural Environment in San Pedro Columbia

Eladio is a Q’eqchi Maya, born in Southern Belize. With Virginia, a Mopan Maya, they raised 15 boys and girls. This is prolific family! It means Eladio and Virginia have a huge love to share! They all speak both languages, plus English and some Spanish.

In the San Pedro Columbia’s community, a bit more than 2,000 inhabitants, religion has always played a major role in the daily life. But since few years, many others churches started to develop their « business », trying to attract new practitioners. Now, the community’s member identify themselves more about their church membership than their proper identity. « People are much more individual than before, with a competitive spirit » confessed Eladio. Watching the party organized by one of the church in this end of week, we have the feeling that churches are exploiting poverty and lack of (good) education. « Twenty years ago, there were two churches in the community. Now they are fourteen », asserted Eladio.

Education is another constraint to the community development in Belize more than in other Central American countries. Since our arrival in the country, we saw many schools, even in very remote areas. The pity is that they were most of the time « offered » or linked to a church (Nazarene, Adventist, Methodist,  Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Evangelical, etc…). Here in Belize, powers are not separated. We think that this prevents young people from acting free-minded and to improve their living conditions. As Eladio says, « the best education is in the Nature« . As schools keep children partly away from the family life (it is obligatory to go to school), traditional knowledge is getting lost little by little. « My children are spending more time on a bench, getting lazy, than in the farm with myself, helping me and learning all about Nature, how to grow food which the most important for their future », regretted Eladio.

Agroforestry As An Alternative to ‘Slash and Burn »

As in many Central American countries, Belize is dramatically affected by deforestation. One of the reason is the development of cattle and the use of slash and burn technique to create new fields. This involves the cutting and burning of trees and plants in forests or woodlands. It is subsistence agriculture that typically uses little technology or other tools. Although a solution for overpopulated tropical countries (which is not the case of Belize!) where subsistence agriculture may be the traditional method of sustaining many families, the consequences of slash-and-burn techniques for ecosystems are almost always destructive. The principal vulnerability is the nutrient-poor soil, pervasive in most tropical forests. When biomass is extracted even for one harvest of wood or charcoal, the residual soil value is heavily diminished for further growth of any type of vegetation. And moreover, this involves the destruction of tropical forest ecosystems. Slash and burn is a headlong rush. This is different from « burning » techniques that can be sustainable if applied regularly in the same field… 

Eladio learnt from his father to use this technique of slash and burn as well. But Eladio did not want to contribute to the destruction of the Nature and tried to find out alternatives. That is how he started to use agroforestry techniques, associating plants and trees that could benefit from each other.

Palapa being built

Palapa being built

He re-forested his land, reintroducing native plants, helped by birds and animals. Cacao trees are shaded by taller trees and produce a very good cacao. Among them, you can enjoy bananas, heart of palms, mangos, corns, medicinal plants, etc.

My farm is my life. I work with my birds, my ants, my trees, all together to make the best. I learnt from Nature how to grow plants, how to take benefit from natural processes, acting in the same direction.

And experiencing his farm tour is really a unique experience. You can hear many birds, feels trees, have a bath in the brook, enjoy shaded path under « tourist trees » and male cacao trees, finishing by a tasting of home-made fermented beverage of cacao and coco. After that, you can’t even see the uncovered fields of the neighbours…

Before leaving Pop’s family, we saw the preparation the pig into various specialities like chicharones to celebrate the renewal of the palapa (palm leaves roof) of one of the family cabin. A community event where many neighbours helped.

It was a great experience to meet them after one year that I have them in mind, Another nice life lesson!

If you want more information on the cacao farm, or want to volunteer there, please visit the website and contact Eladio!