Mexico is a country of mixtures. Its fabulous richness comes in part from its pre-conquest past, which, thanks to the women and men of the indigenous communities, is still miraculously part of the social and cultural landscape of the Republic. The truth is that a trip through Mexico is already a bit of a trip to the indigenous communities.
In fact, their skills and beliefs live on in so many things in the country, be it through gastronomy, handicrafts or certain ceremonies, that you have surely crossed the path of indigenous communities without even knowing it. But each of these encounters is a new opportunity to learn to exercise our senses in the face of new stimuli. Without being exhaustive, here are some of the reasons why traveling and meeting indigenous communities will change your life.
A gastronomic journey through time in indigenous communities
Indigenous communities have a very special relationship with nature. Immersing yourself in one of their villages or their families is an opportunity to learn to look at nature in a different way, not only during the immersion, but permanently. The preparation of a meal will become a walk through the fields to harvest food or participate in the collection of banana leaves for tamales for example. The tasting of the meal will be a fun and informative event to overcome their culinary prejudices and discover new, improbable and exquisite flavors.
Sharing a meal with indigenous communities is also an experience to learn to look at insects in a different way. In fact, among the most appreciated foods in Mexico since the time of the pre-Hispanic civilizations are escamoles, tasty ant eggs, and maguey worms, delicious cactus larvae.
In addition to the unknown flavors, pre-Columbian food has surprising textures. This is for example the case of pulque, a delicious traditional alcoholic beverage obtained from the fermentation of agave syrup and very viscous.
But even more important than what the palate discovers, the precious exchanges that accompany the whole process are food for the spirit.
Look and touch around you to refocus
As already mentioned, the close relationship with nature that indigenous communities have is everywhere and is also reflected in many traditional skills. In fact, in different parts of the country, the techniques used and the specificities are intrinsically linked to the fauna and flora of the environment, which inspire the designs or support the different arts.
A jicara engraving workshop is a perfect example of a project that preserves both the environment and Mayan culture. By using the fruits grown in the Yucatan peninsula for handicrafts, the indigenous communities take advantage of the nature that surrounds them to express their art in a respectful way. Engraving on these fruits brings a sense of peace and communion with their environment that is increasingly rare in our modern societies.
Similarly, dipping one’s hands in freshly picked cold clay is extremely relaxing and is a totally ecological and sustainable activity that has been practiced for centuries. It is surprising and pleasant to see how the fingers get used to this natural, raw material and to feel the imagination soar when touching it.
The indigenous communities are valuable relays of ancestral knowledge that we still have to learn from today. Being in contact with them puts things in perspective and often considerably changes the way we see the world. Rutopia takes you to discover their practices as close as possible to their traditions and with a respectful and responsible attitude.
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