Tradition and renovation of the household gardens that preserve traditional varieties and ensure family nutrition.
'Chacanhe ponte': Place of abundance in the Leco language and name of the first productive cultural fair held by the Lecos Apolo indigenous people to celebrate the 21 years of their reconstitution as an indigenous nation, which also coincided with the commemoration of the 23 years of creation of Madidi National Park. The fair was held on September 21 in Apolo, with the participation of the families of producers from 15 communities from the Lecos Apolo indigenous territory that are involved in the project on the integral management of the family gardens and backyards, which also includes beekeeping and conservation of water sources. This project is carried out under the leadership of the Lecos Apolo People Indigenous Central (CIPLA) and the support of the Municipal Government of Apolo. WCS provides them with technical advice within the framework of the Bioculture and Climate Change project, and the financial support of the Swiss Cooperation in Bolivia.
From 2015 to date, 250 family gardens and 250 chicken coops have been established in these communities, aiming at contributing to family nutrition, keeping culture and gastronomic traditions alive, supporting household economy and creating a space for learning and sharing knowledge, this way reappraising local knowledge as well as experimenting with new techniques for the integrated management of the household gardens, establishing an effective strategy to face the problems brought about by climate change.
At the fair, producers had the opportunity to share their experiences managing their household gardens and offered a variety of vegetables and aromatic herbs, eggs and chicken, as well as honey from native bees and coffee. It is important to highlight that some of the vegetables are only produced in these gardens and have an important gastronomic value, such as racacha and hualusa tubers, and other products such as motosio and jamaspeque.
The fair was a great success, and the local population in Apolo made the best out of a festive Sunday to stock up on fresh and assorted vegetables and other products that both women and men harvest from their family gardens. Also at the fair, the artisans of Atén participated with their traditional wooden carved handicrafts, especially important for the Lecos Apolo people since revaluing their culture is a primary objective because it strengthens their identity, preserves traditional knowledge and ensures sustainable livelihoods for the communities.