TOLUCA – Researcher from the Institute of Agricultural and Rural Sciences (ICAR) at the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico (UAEM) are working on implementing a project of mycological tourism, or myco-tourism, in the area surrounding El Nevado de Toluca. The project will provide added value to the region, pushing for the development of the communities involved while also promoting the protection of their environment.
Humberto Thomé Ortiz, a professor and researcher at ICAR, commented that while the main concern of the project are the mushrooms themselves, it will also furnish economic benefits for the harvesters, as well as the environmental well-being for El Nevado.
That’s why he’s been focusing on traditional knowledge, he said. Thomé Ortiz is considering activities like recreational mushroom harvesting with traditional harvesters, who could explain the process of mushroom picking. The harvester would also talk about the several species of mushrooms and teach tourists the right way to harvest them.
The project will also include mushroom photography with a guided tour. The tour would include activities for children, aiming at creating long-term environmental education. Finally, the project aims to establish food tourism that would highlight the gastronomic riches within Mexico’s central region.
Thomé Ortiz stated that the project will begin this year, starting in three communities: Cacalomacán, San Francisco Oxtotipan and Texcaltitlán, although there are hopes for the project reaching Mount Tláloc, in Texcoco.
The idea originated from observing of the unsafe conditions suffered by wild, edible mushrooms harvesters. Thomé Ortiz said that their goal is to reestablish mycological culture and a generation of agro-industrial processes, as well as provide more value to the mushrooms and the territory itself.