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Recovering ancestral recipes in the Serranía del Perijá

From September 12 to 16, 2022 

Tourist Routes through Forests and Peace is a project that aims to demonstrate the potential of community ecotourism in ecosystems of great biodiversity. The project seeks to improve rural livelihoods, conserve and restore flora, fauna and water sources, contributing to the fight against climate change, and strengthening the consolidation of peace in the Serranía del Perijá in Cesar. 

The course “Recovering ancestral recipes” in the Serranía del Perijá was held from September 12th to 16th in the municipality of La Jagua de Ibirico, district of La Victoria de San Isidro, within the framework of the project “Tourist Routes through the Forests and La Paz.” This course aimed to explore and put into practice tools that helped us understand the use of biodiversity and local traditions to improve the culinary experiences of tourists and residents. In addition, tools on new economies were provided, to continue diversifying local economies through community and regenerative tourism and the creation of gastronomic products. In essence, contributing through community actions to the mitigation and adaptation to climate change. 

This process of creative learning and knowledge exchange was developed within the framework of the UK-PACT Colombia program of the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Strategy – BEIS UK, and is being developed under the general coordination of E3 – Ecology, Economy and Ethics, together with the Cesar Development and Peace program – PDPC, Think Tourism and Acorn Tourism contributing as experts in community tourism and the Royal Botanic Garden of London – KEW which is supporting with scientific knowledge of biodiversity. This course included the special participation of chef Jennifer Rodríguez, owner of the Mestizo restaurant, winner of the Cocineros al limit program and the National Award for Traditional Cuisines of Colombia (2016), as well as Alejandra Sánchez, chef, producer and food stylist. 

The course also recognises the traditional knowledge of more than 35 women, young people, girls and boys – who were active in their participation – from the communities of Victoria de San Isidro and the United States who exemplified how the biodiversity of a territory can be celebrated, recognized and protected. 

This strengthening process culminated in the expansion of local recipe books and the possibility of varying the participants’ pantries. The gastronomic offer to welcome tourism is growing as increasingly healthy and nutritious foods are included. Likewise, the fundamental dialogue around food security and sovereignty and new economies further explored. 

To see what we experienced, we invite you to enter the networks of @Turismobiodiversoenelperijá 

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