The devastating earthquake that struck south-central Chile on February 27 destroyed the homes and livelihoods of many of the nation’s food producers, including many involved in the Slow Food Presidia – our projects to support small-scale, sustainable food production. In the aftermath of the disaster, Slow Food has launched a campaign to assist these communities to recover: to rebuild their lives and return to their unique, traditional food production activities as quickly as possible.
In the minutes following the first tremors of the earthquake, a series of tsunami waves hit the Juan Fernández Archipelago, destroying the homes, boats and equipment of many fishermen. On Robinson Crusoe Island – where the Robinson Crusoe Island Seafood Presidium was set up in 2005 to support the valuable work of the archipelago’s fishermen, protect a unique marine ecosystem and preserve traditional fishing activities – fishermen also lost the restaurant, processing workshop and fresh fish shop that they were in the process of constructing.
In villages near Concepción, the city that suffered the most damage from the earthquake, farmers from the Blue Egg Chicken Presidium, created in 2005 to preserve a native poultry breed, have lost their homes and/or animals, and are having difficulty obtaining food for their birds.
While Slow Food first began working with producers of the these two Presidia in order to help them become more efficient, autonomous and competitive, we are now focused on assisting them to simply resume their activities. It is important they can do so quickly, in order that they can have an income once again and to ensure that their unique skills and knowledge are not lost.
If you would like to make a donation to assist the producers, please click here.
Click here for more information and photographs.