Indigenous peoples from Mexico and the Americas met Friday in the Mexican city of Tlaola, in the central state of Puebla, during the first meeting convened by the Slow Food organization to promote projects in favor of their traditional foods.
The so-called International Meeting of Indigenous Peoples of the American Continent convened by Slow Food Mexico, which will conclude next Monday, aims to preserve the food and cultural biodiversity of indigenous peoples.
It is also intended that women and young people take action to promote projects that preserve their food traditions because it is possible to achieve autonomy and stop consuming industrialized products that can damage health.
Tlaola, municipality of Puebla, was the stage for training the inhabitants, young people, and women in native issues, as well as for sharing experiences among the 70 representatives of the delegations from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Cuba, Peru, and the United States.
All of them agreed in highlighting that 40% of the world's biological diversity lives in Latin America and between 8 and 10% of the population is indigenous.
Alfonso Rocha Robles, International Councilor of Slow Food Mexico and Central America, shared that the importance of the Meeting is to integrate 70 young people to ensure that food biodiversity is preserved naturally, as well as to achieve economic income from these practices.
"Because of a wave of industrialized food, we are displacing, forgetting, and stopping eating or producing the traditional foods that nature offers us, linked to a biocultural region, territory, and culture," said Rocha Robles.
He noted that currently "we are homogenizing taste. What the industries, the companies, and the government want, is that we leave behind the production of food or that we buy all the industrialized food," he said.
María Lucia Cruz de la Rosa, the founder of the Network of Indigenous Women's Organizations of Tlaola, said that the most important thing for development is to start working in the native communities, which have a great culture that has to be a reason for pride and growth for the inhabitants since the change has to be made from the inside out.
"The important thing is to achieve change from the inside of the community, from there we must begin to develop, because many times we want to do things out there, see the change from the outside and we do not change. To start a development we have to start changing from our homes, from our families, and our community," he said.
An example is the creation of Serrano chili sauces in various combinations with the MOPAMPA brand, which means "It's for you" in Nahuatl.
Alma Delia Vargas, who is in charge of production, said that they have been preparing this product for seven years with local chile harvest, which is consumed by the villagers, and that it was processed naturally without preservatives.