Joanna and Perse pulping mango
"My name is Iris, I am part of the women promoters of “My fruit, my town” project with which we dream of getting alimentary sovereignty for everyone by avoiding waste of regional fruits. In April I started working with Joanna and Mary, who are community liaison coordinators in Chihuitán and San Dionisio del Mar, respectively. These villages have an excess of fruit trees, and in each frutal season, almost 1500 pounds of fruit per family are wasted. During this season Chihuitán was rich in mango and plum while San Dionisio had tamarind and nanche.
We are a total of 26 women organizing between both communities working to transform fruit into dehydrated products, marmalade, ferments, vinegars and even bocashi (accelerated compost). During this season we saved around 150 pounds of fruit per organized session.
Because of the rains and damaged roads sometimes I can’t reach the communities, and with pandemic measures communication it's complicated, but we have found good ways to organize ourselves through local promoters. For me Joanna and Mary are the motivational link, being a local promoter means being the young mind who is not afraid to experiment new things. If women want to try a new process or a new fruit, Joanna always said “Well then, who knows what it will come out but for sure it will be delicious”.
Every time we meet, we share different techniques for transforming fruits and methods for speeding up the processes. Last time in San Dionisio del Mar, we were trying to remove raw tamarind seeds with knives, which is a hard task, when one of the older women suggested cooking them before cutting to smooth the peel. Besides our hands were very grateful, we reduced cleaning time in half. Sometimes the most obvious is not obvious at all!
Many of the women that are part of the collectives are traditional cookers, tortilleras, bakers and other traditional trades in which they are exposed to ovens and heat. What I can see, is that most of them are very interested in changing that economical activity to fruit production in the collective because they can share time with other women and also because it is more profitable in terms of time and money. One of them told me “Imagine, if I am going to fry empanadas it will take me 20 hours, and after that I can’t go out or eat something cold because I can get sick, that’s why I liked to make peanut marzipan, we don’t need firewood to make them”
As promoters we are very excited about creating collectives, we want to save mangos, avoid fruit waste but most of all we want more women participating. We must seek to motivate more villagers to work with fruit and vegetable waste because for us, this represents community progress. We want to embrace productive activities that don't damage the earth and promote preservation and regeneration of soils."
Thanks a lot for being part of UMPO productive programms, we dream with the biggest red of organized local promotores for avoiding fruit waste.
Iris making tamarind sauce
Ana with jam