Pre-Conference Field Trip
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August 18-21, 2011
Agroecology, Succession Management and Tropical Forest Restoration in the Selva Lacandona of Chiapas, Mexico
Instructor and Guide: Samuel Levy Tacher
Language: Spanish & English
- Lacandon Maya TEK and its applications for tropical forest restoration
- Traditional Lacandon Maya agriculture based on the milpa system
- Lacandon Maya agroecology and succession management following abandonment of cultivated plots
- Rehabilitation of tropical forest areas dominated by bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum)
- Rehabilitation of abandoned pastureland
- Archaeological site of Bonampak, famous for its rare painted murals dating from the height of the Mayan Classic Period (600-800 C.E.)
- Lodging and accommodations at the idyllic Río Lacanjá Ecotourism Center, surrounded by lush native forest and abundant wildlife
This three-day pre-conference field trip offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to stay in a remote Lacandon Maya community in Chiapas, Mexico and learn about traditional subsistence agriculture, agroecology and forest succession management practices among this unique and fascinating group of people. Dr. Samuel Levy Tacher, of El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR) in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, will be your guide and instructor as you visit field sites and talk with Lacandon subsistence farmers about their traditional approaches to managing vital forest resources and ensuring both the productivity of their agricultural plots (or “milpas”) and the health of the surrounding forest. From your accommodation at the beautiful Río Lacanjá Ecoturism Center, you will journey with the group to a number of nearby sites of interest in order to learn more about the native forest ecosystem and some of the issues and concerns regarding its management and restoration. These sites include: mature stands of native forest vegetation; abandoned milpas in the process of being restored using Lacandon traditional ecological knowledge and management (TEKM) practices; abandoned pasturelands at varying stages of rehabilitation; fern-dominated clearings in the process of being restored using principles of Lacandon TEKM; and native tree nurseries. At every stop along the way, you will enjoy captivating panoramas of a landscape and people that evoke awe and inspire the imagination.
This field trip will begin in Villa Hermosa, Tabasco on the afternoon of August 18, 2011. Participants must arrange their own travel to Villa Hermosa and arrive in the city by mid-day on the 18th, as transportation to the nearby state of Chiapas and the community of Lacanjá Chansayab will depart Villa Hermosa in the afternoon (more specific details will be provided to field trip participants well in advance to aid their planning). The trip to Lacanjá Chansayab takes approximately 4 hours and will be made by bus. Field trip participants will be lodged at the Campamento Río Lacanhá and will have all of their meals provided by this same establishment. (Please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have dietary restrictions that should be taken into account.) Primary field sites to be visited during this trip are located near the Mayan villages of Lacanjá Chansayab and Nueva Palestina, and all required transportation is included in the cost of registration. Participants will spend the nights of August 18 and 19 at Río Lacanhá, and will then travel to Palenque, Chiapas (approx. 2 hrs) on August 20, where they will spend the night. The following day, Sunday, August 21, participants will arrive at the conference site in Mérida in the afternoon by bus.
Field trip participants should come prepared to spend time outside in a tropical forest! It is recommended they bring light clothing that dries quickly (long sleeves and pants; no shorts!) and sturdy, protective footwear conducive to walking in a variety of conditions. Other recommended items include a raincoat, hat, bathing suit, handkerchiefs, insect repellent and sunscreen.
For more information about the village of Lacanjá Chansayab, click here.
To read an interesting article in SERNews 24-3 about Lacandon TEKM, click here.
Please contact us at email@example.com if you have any questions or would like any additional information about this field trip.