EVS GLOBAL CHANGE

03/09/2010

YUCATAN: THE LAND OF “FAISAN AND DEER”

Filed under: Mexico, Yucatan volunteers — evs global change @ 01:13

Part of my tasks during the EVS is to share with tourists my experience inside Chac Lol Cooperative and introduce them to Chac Lol’s projects thus they can have a glance in local community’s daily hard work and way of living.

 1)      Gilberto’s Molino and tortilleria

 Maize is the basis of Yucatan people’s food. You can consume maize in different ways: corn, flour, tortillas, corn chips, tacos etc…Corn crops are very numerous and are part of Yucatan Agriculture. However the quality of the crops depends a lot on the climate yet farmers need rain to see their seeds grow. That is why praying “Cha-ac” (God of rain) through important rituals is part of a farmer’s daily life. First Gilberto is delivered corn in his factory and then the whole process to obtain maize flour from corn starts. Gilberto has equipment to help him to work.

 2)      Maria-Dulce’s Molino and tortilleria

 Maria-Dulce is always glad to open her door to welcome us while she is working. Work is a family experience and it is very often that members of the same family work and support each other. Here, Maria-Dulce works with her daughters: Magali, Rosa, Blanca, Claudia and Maria-Libertad, 5 of her 9 children. They are Carlos’ sisters, our colleague in the eco-tourism centre. The main difference between her tortilleria and Gilberto’s is that here people bring their own corn to see the whole tortilla making process.

 3)      Rusel’s bakery

 The third project is a Mexican bakery. Victor, Carlos’ elder brother, is one of the bakers. Their specialty is to decorate cakes. You can actually see all the diplomas and certifications they exhibit proudly in their bakery’s wall.

The cooperative recently supported the bakery to buy a brand new machine to prepare the dough for breads.

Rusel’s team is posing proudly for us with some fresh french bread (“pan frances” o baguette)

 4)      Oxkintok archeological site

 Located at 28 km from Chac Lol, the city of the “three shining suns”, smaller than the other sites of the Ruta Pu’uc, offers a nice possibility to discover a 2000 year old Mayan archeological city away from the crowd. The first construction started in 300 after Christ and the city was achieved in 1050. The whole site had been restored but it gives a good idea of the structure of Ancient Mayan cities with pyramids, palaces, squares, carving stones etc…Structures are smaller than other important cities built at the same period of time such as Uxmal or Chichen Itza.

 5)      Visit of a Mayan Family

 Our craftsman friend Pedro introduced us to a Maya Family who lives in a “palapa” (typical house made of wood and palm trees) and still speaks Maya to each other. They live in a traditional way: use the water from the well, cook outside their kitchen with their home-made oven, use barely electricity and finally lead a decent life thanks to what their land allows them to grow. They are actually the ones selling to Pedro the fruits he works with for his hand craft (jicara). They also have some palm trees and sell the leaves for the constructions of roofs. They are always very nice and friendly and we enjoy to have a small talk with them.

 6)      Kopoma Cenote

 The word “Cenote” comes from the Maya word “dzonot”. They are underground natural lakes. Some of them are open others are closed. The one of Kopoma is totally closed. You can access only by going down through a narrow ladder. It belongs to Maximo’s family who discovered it while he was building a well in their yard to have water. Now it helps to sustain the family. Cenotes are very mystic places to Maya people. They used to do human sacrifices to praise gods in the ancient time in these cenotes. One of the reasons why is because according to the Maya Cosmo vision, the water was the principle way out for sacrificed people to go to the underworld and to see what is beyond.

Chloé Bergerot

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