Mexican chinampas, a tradition in danger

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    Mexican chinampas, a tradition in danger

    the chinampas are an ancient culture technique is given in the lake district of Xochimilco and Tláhuac currently threatened by pollution and urban growth.

    Xochimilco is a delegation from the Mexico City famous for various tourist activities that result in their area lake south of it. During the fifteenth century it was dominated by the Aztecs and by the time of the colony became an important center of food for its unique and prolific production with the old technique (and since) chinampería .


    the chinampa is a Mesoamerican farming method that takes advantage of natural environmental conditions to produce food. This is some kind of rafts covered land and built a frame of sticks and logs where vegetables, flowers and corn are grown. The land disposed generally contains organic material that enriches, such as leaves, grass and peel fruits and vegetables. As barriers willows on the sides of the chinampas were planted to protect them.

    This culture technique dating from the time of the Toltecs and it is estimated that its peak was in the century XVI ; and that by the year 1519 Lake Xochimilco was used almost entirely for chinampería. This method, although the region has its own characteristics, is not unique in its kind and some other countries such as Belize and Peru used similar techniques for cultivation, though, seems , in the region of Xochimilco and Tláhuac are the only ones currently retain this tradition.



    In 1987 Xochimilco was declared Cultural Heritage by the tradition of his rides on the lake, music and scenery. Its colorful rafts, called trajineras, are adorned with flowers and have become a tourist attraction. However, this same factor, together with others such as pollution, land use and urban growth, have endangered the agricultural tradition of the chinampas .

    it is estimated that at the time of its peak, the chinampas reached the 20,000 hectares, there are currently only 1,800 . The urban encroachment and land use change, as mentioned, are some of the factors that affect them, but also water pollution, change in salinity, and quality sodicity itself; as well as the change in soil moisture.

    The site conditions and the deterioration of the landscape have been in danger of losing the title of Cultural Heritage given by UNESCO and government efforts still seem not reach to reverse the trend of exploitation and alteration of the place



    So is in the Xochimilco and Tláhuac that even this ancient tradition of culture is preserved. Despite the limited area where it is given, it provides a variety of vegetables and ornamental plants. In some places traditionally chinamperos has led to the use of greenhouses, thus abandoning the old practice dating back to the time of the Toltecs.

    However, universities, and now the city government, have turned their attention to the area for conservation chinampería, make a sustainable method and that this in turn better quality of life to the region . At this time se makes a visit to the region promoted by the head of city government, Miguel Angel Mancera, a delegation of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) with the objective that is declared this way culture as Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS).

    watch for it on the future of this culture technique and whether government efforts to halt reach its steady loss. Recall that when a tradition of such disappears is lost a whole way of understanding the environment, life and, in this case, how to understand the land, livelihood ; the exploited and live with what nature provides us and our responsibility to preserve it.


    Mexican chinampas, a tradition in danger
    April 28, 2016

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