The first meeting of the Slow Food network in the Caribbean was successfully held from May 31 to June 4 involving representatives from the Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Virgin Islands and Venezuela, together with the host country, the Dominican Republic.
The Chavón Yuma Convivium, the event organizer, scheduled a range of activities, such as visits to school gardens, the De Corazón a Corazón Foundation, protected areas and the Puntacana Ecological Foundation.
During the meeting, several agreements were concluded relating to adding to the Ark of Taste, with products such as Samia, Callaloo and Aliñao, to name a few; participation in the We Feed The Planet event was promoted and the commitment to strengthen the Slow Food Youth Network was upheld. Participation at Terra Madre 2016 with an all-inclusive Caribbean stand was arranged and planned out. A videoconference was held with with Slow Food Venezuela on analysis and implementation of projects such as “Yuca, cultivo de sustento” and “La Educación del gusto”. In addition, it was planned to expand experiences in school gardens in the area, with the active participation of children and young people.
The presentation on the initiative for an integrated approach to dealing with lionfish, based on practices in the Cayman Islands, attracted great interest. The mood of the meeting was very enthusiastic and productive, and advice was given on the garden of the Chavón Yuma Convivium, with regard to composting and agroecology techniques.
The attendees were happy and grateful to share in harmony, growth and a spirit of solidarity. “I was very happy to have had the opportunity to meet Slow Food representatives from each Caribbean country. The discussions were meaningful and the outlook is very positive and interesting,” said Yvette Browne, head of the Virgin Islands Convivium. “The Caribbean network has a lot of work to do to ensure that we remain connected. There is a lot of important information and cultural practices that we can share between each country. I hope that this process of collaboration and development goes from strength to strength.”