Meeting in Acateyahualco
Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 5:08PM
[chuck] in Science, mescal

Have just returned from a meeting in Acateyahualco, Guerrero where villagers presented their data on the density and size-distribution of local maguey (Agave cupreata Trel & Berger) populations.  They harvest wild maguey to make mescal (see Mescal), and they need inventory data to develop a management plan for this resource and to monitor its behavior over time.

Some of the attendants initially appeared skeptical about the utility of resource inventories, quantitative data, and histograms, but by the end of the meeting, it was hard to argue with the logic that knowing how many maguey plants you have is much better than blindly harvesting the resource until it disappears.  Very impressive what these folks have done.

As frequently happens in rural Mexico at the end of community meeting like this, when there was nothing left to say we were all offered a half liter of Coca-Cola and a package of cookies. And, of course, the obligatory copita of mescal to give a toast for a job well-done.  [NOTE: Acateyahualco will soon have a verifiably sustainable system for exploiting Agave cupreata. I know of no other place in Mexico where this is occurring. Nice job, GEA].

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