Indigenous Entrepreneurs Inspiring New Agroecological Projects

25 Feb 2020

On day three of Indigenous Terra Madre Pueblos de América in Tloala, Mexico, the delegates visited Cabañas Buenavista, an ecovillage perched on the hill of the Sierra Norte overlooking the valley and mountains around. Surrounded by the spectacular view, the delegates listened to Rosio and Adelfo tell their story. 

They welcomed delegates with traditional local fair of corn cakes stuffed with a giant pea puree, alongside coffee from their farm, and fresh eggs from their chicken.

“The idea with this project was to showcase the beauty of the region and the importance of preserving its natural resources. We started offering trekking services to travelers, while we built the eco-cabins, kitchen and dry toilets,” said Adelfo

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Photo credit Paula Thomas

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Photo credit Paula Thomas

Rosio and Adelfo are indigenous entrepreneurs striving to promote the region, showcasing an ecological model of tourism that respects the earth, their customs and traditions, and the region. They took  the delegates on a tour through the property, explaining the process to build the cabins and toilets with eco-friendly material, the use and implementation of solar panels, and the low-emissions kitchen. Then, they took them on a guided nature tour of the coffee fields hidden in the forest.

“We strive to educate travelers on the importance of maintaining harmony with mother earth, and the impact of the different human activities when traveling. We keep it small to ensure this harmony stays in balance, because if we tried to accomodate more people, we would have to build more invasive infrastructure to serve the needs,” said Rosio

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Photo credit Paula Thomas

This inspired delegates to push for their goals, they engaged with Rosio and Adelfo, asking questions about the different agroecological techniques, like composting, recycling, waste management, etc. 

“This is a goal I have had with my community, to build a place like this, to connect travelers with the local producers, offer them our food, and introduce them to our land,” said Zarasisa from Ecuador.

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Photo credit Paula Thomas

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Photo credit Paula Thomas

This activity’s goal,  like many others this weekend, was to spark thought and promote the entrepreneurial spirit of the delegates. They have the knowledge of the land, and ancestral techniques that protect the environment, promote biodiversity, and the communities. A follow up activity asked delegates to put into words their future goals, objectives, and projects, and how they could merge them with their current work to create a plan of action they could start working on now with an eye into the future.

Slow Food aims to create connections between communities and projects to promote a good, clean, fair system for everyone. 

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Photo credit Paula Thomas

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