« On the Heritage Route – A Personal Experience » (Press)


« David Gasc shares his travels to more than 60 World Heritage sites as part of the project On the heritage route (Sur la route du patrimoine): Yosemite, Calakmul, Los Glaciares, Cusco, Colombian coffee landscapes, Trinidad of Parana… »

For more to read, download the full document and look at page 81 unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002482/248235e.pdf

Version en français : http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002482/248235f.pdf 


10 Nuevas Vistas de los Prejuicios de México

Al viajar, todos tenemos , por suerte o por desgracia, los prejuicios y las expectativas en relación con el país visitado y sus habitantes. Oímos mucho acerca de México . Antes de nuestra salida de Francia, pero sobre todo aquí en el continente americano , los medios de comunicación , las personas que , antes de entrar en el país o para mal en el mismo país que bebe de las declaraciones erróneas o malas rumores sobre las regiones vecinas…
La mayoría de las veces, la inconsciencia y la falta de conocimiento conduce al temor de los vecinos , que establece estos nuevos rumores, estos falsos información. Puede ser simplemente que egoísta de sentirse superior y mejor que el vecino ? Desde otro punto de vista , hablar con la gente local y aprender sobre el país a través de las guías es particularmente útil . Esto le ayuda a prepararse para el viaje , sumérjase en la cultura , las tradiciones, comprenden y anticipan algunas situaciones , los conflictos , los problemas que se encontrará pronto , o no! Se trata de aprender de su propia experiencia de mantenimiento de sus críticos en cualquier momento habilidades analíticas para tratar de mantener cierta objetividad .A propósito de México , lo cual hemos cruzado por no menos de seis meses en bicicleta a través de 17 estados de la República , hemos descubierto muchas cosas que eran falsas, parcialmente falso o verdadero , desde NUESTRA experiencia personal . Debido a la experiencia de cada persona es única. Algo que parece bueno y especial para ti puede parecer horrible o desagradable a alguien más …
Aquí están nuestras 10 verdades sobre México, país mágico .

Lire la suite

10 Statements on Most Common Assumptions about Mexico

When traveling, we all have, thankfully or unfortunately, predispositions and expectations. We have heard a lot about Mexico. Before our departure from France, but mostly here in the American continent, from the medias, from people, before entering in the country, here in the country from people talking about neighbouring areas…

Experience It Yourself!

Most of the time, unconsciousness and lack of knowledge drive to fear of the neighbourhood, that make new rumors, incorrect or partial information. Thanks to or because of bad information the TV and other medias, supported by governments.

Also, talking to people and informing about the country you are visiting is well worthy when traveling, in order to prepare your journey, immerse yourself in the culture, understand some traditions, situations, conflicts, problems that you will face soon, or not. It is all about learning from your virtual or living experience, keeping your critical abilities. Lire la suite

Nos 10 Contre-Vérités sur le Mexique

Lorsque l’on voyage, nous avons tous , heureusement ou malheureusement, les préjugés et les attentes vis-à-vis du pays visité et de ses habitants. Nous avons entendu beaucoup de choses sur le Mexique. Avant notre départ de France, mais surtout ici sur le continent américain , les médias , les gens qui, avant d’entrer dans le pays ou pire dans le pays même vous abreuvent de dires erronés ou de mauvaises rumeurs sur les régions voisines …  (Ah la peur du voisin a la peau dure!).
La plupart du temps , l’inconscience et le manque de connaissances conduisent à la peur du voisin, ce qui établit ces nouvelles rumeurs , ces fausses informations. C’est peut être tout simplement de l’égoïsme que de se sentir supérieur et mieux que ce voisin? D’un autre point de vue, parler aux gens locaux et s’informer sur le pays à travers les guides notamment est utile. Cela permet de vous préparer au voyage , vous immerger dans la culture , les traditions, comprendre et anticiper certaines situations , les conflits , les problèmes que vous rencontrerez bientôt, ou pas ! Il est question d’apprendre de sa propre expérience en gardant à tout moment ses capacités critiques d’analyse afin d’essayer de garder un peu d’objectivité.
A propos du Mexique , que nous avons traversé pendant pas moins de 6 mois à vélo, à travers 17 Etats de la République, nous avons découvert beaucoup de choses qui étaient fausses, partiellement fausses ou tout à fait vrai, à partir de NOTRE expérience personnelle. Parce que l’expérience de chacun est unique. Quelque chose qui paraît bien et extraordinaire pour vous peut sembler horrible ou dégoûtant à quelqu’un d’autre …
Voici donc nos 10 vérités sur le Mexique, notre ode à ce fabuleux pays!

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!

The Source Newspaper Talks about the Project, Vancouver

It is with pleasure that we share with you the latest article about the project just released in ‘The Source » magazine, in French, for the French speaking community in British Columbia, Canada.

The Source Mag – Forum of Diversity since 1999 – encourages the development of alternative ideas and ways of thinking. With ease The Source plays a leadership role within Vancouver’s complex intercultural communication network, as nowhere else in the world can you find a city more inclined to experiment with the idea of multicultural harmony.

Genuine in its wish to assist communities, whose origins are often wildly different, to understand and communicate with one another, The Source actively participates and sponsors major events throughout the city.

Naturally, the Project team’s Sur la Route du Patrimoine met Ms. Julie Hauville, Editor of the newspaper, to introduce and promote the cross-continental initiative.

You’ll find the full article here enclosed : Source Mag #vol13no17. For other articles, please refer to the dedicated Press page.

Good Reading!