Mapuche people

Organization: Mapuche Cayún Community

Location: Paraje Piedra de Trompul, San Martín de los Andes, Province of Neuquén, Argentina

The project seeks to expand the quantity and quality of the seasonal production of vegetables, eggs and meat from local production. Species that were abandoned due to the loss of ancestral knowledge – knowledge relating not only to crop management systems, but also to the whole worldview around food – are given new appreciation and reintroduced in the fields. This allows for the recovery of territorial identity and the knowledge of what each season can provide, while other plants and animals are also introduced in the food production systems. The breeding of Araucana chickens is promoted, as well as the production and harvesting of seeds and the creation of spaces for exchange in order to preserve the local genetics. 

Through oral transmission, the project looks to rescue the knowledge about farming and the production and preparation of food anchored in the Mapuche identity. Traditional and local knowledge can thus be reactivated and recognized as an intangible cultural heritage, through spaces for training and the transmission of knowledge that bring together teachers with young apprentices. These practices are carried out in the primary school of the community, which serves as a demonstration site for agroecological production and cultural identity. 

Cultural and socioeconomic ties are thus reaffirmed and strengthened: in addition to providing sustenance to the families, the surplus production can be sold through local markets.