In order to help conserve the millennial food and farming systems of the Central Andes, La Paz on Foot has launched a new Andean Food & Farms Tour. Designed to get participants directly engaged with farmers, markets, restaurants, local farmers organizations and rural communities, the tour starts in Lima, Peru and finished in La Paz, Bolivia, traversing the Andes from coast to cordillera and even managing to get folks up into Macchu Picchu, an agricultural wonder to itself!
According to La Paz on Foot’s Director of Programs, Stephen Taranto, the tour “hopes to provide additional incentives for small farmers and business owners in the Central Andes to keep doing what they are already doing and perhaps with even greater commitment and more benefits.”
The Central Andes are known for their great diversity of cultures and landscapes, however it is less well known that the region is the birthplace of many of the world’s most important crops, including the potato and quinoa. However, rural to urban migration, climate change and changing consumer attitudes are causing the loss of agricultural knowledge and agro-biodiversity, as well as the abandonment of traditional practice.
“The people, places, farms and markets visited during the tour,” comments Stephen, “are all committed to the conservation of Andean food and farms. By visiting them, we can contribute to their economic stability and also to the conservation of regional farming practices. Plus, we can have a fantastic adventure traveling through some of the world’s most spectacular landscapes and sharing delicious, authentic and interesting meals. A positive experience for everyone!”