Angel Pita-Duque MSc in organising this excursion is gratefully acknowledged. The fruitful cooperation with the Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan in Merida and particularly the support of Dr.
Wilbert Lizama and Dr. Report of a student excursion to Mexico - March 13th March 28th Publisher: July N of copies: Both universities have built a wealth of expertise on tropical landuse systems and the sustainable management of natural resources.
Many of the students interested herein will eventually conduct research in tropical countries - often in the frame of their M. It is obvious that even the best lecture at a university located in a so called "developed" and temperate region cannot substitute hands-on experience while visiting the tropics. Therefore, field trips to tropical countries must be part of the curriculum.
Unfortunately, such trips are costly and require long term planning and intricate knowledge of the region to be visited. It shows the different development pathways that different parts of the sector can take within the overall development of the national economy, and, through the proximity to the USA and the NAFTA agreement offers insight into the effects of globalisation on landuse and the agricultural sector.
Hence, a preliminary programme was drafted and the excursion and the accompanying seminar were announced in early After the participants were identified, a period of intensive preparation for the trip commenced. Funds were acquired, logistics were organised and in March20 students and 4 lecturers set out for Mexico.
Reforma agraria de plutarco elias calles yahoo dating March 13th until March 28th we followed through a very interesting and physically taxing schedule. Every aspect of the programme moved exceptionally smooth, which was facilitated through the excellent support received from our partners - to whom we express our sinbcere gratitude.
Finally, all participating students deserve a big Thank You.
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They worked hard to achieve the predetermined goals. But besides the work we also had a lot of fun together. It was a great opportunity to have had a chance to travel with all of you!
A detailed list of participants is provided on page Having arrived in Mexico on March 13th, the group was joined by Mr. Angel Pita-Duque, a lecturer in agroecology at the Universidad Autonoma de Chapingo, who had shown much enthusiasm in making contacts and preparing and organising the trip in Mexico.
The group met with students of agroecology of the Universidad Autonoma de Chapingo, who had organised a day trip to the "Chinampa floating garden systems" near Texcoco, which provided for both scientific and social exchange.
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The first days served the acclimatisation in and around Mexico City. Agricultural aspects such as urban dairying and periurban opuntia farming where part of the programme as well as cultural activities such as visits to the Virgen de Guadeloupe and to the Universidad Autonoma den Mexico.
The group was set loose to explore Mexico City on their own using the modern and sophisticated Underground system. The excursion then went south into the dry Oaxaca region to visit agricultural systems and dryland reforestation projects. The way led on westward and past the world's largest tree "Arbol de Thule" went to uphill to San Cristobal de las Casas, where coffee farming, small scale agriculture and practical forestry where on the programme.
From there, the group ventured down again into the tropical rainforest area with small scale farming and also the old Maya settlements of Palenque and Bonampak. From there, the path led towards the Yucatan peninsula with livestock operations of varied intensity, as well as integrated horticulture and fruiticulture systems. Discussing Mexican student life and the ecology of Chinampa gardens with Chapingo students A warm welcome was extended by the Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan in Merida, where they joined Mexican students and lecturers and were introduced to the research and training programme of UADY.
The team split up in smaller groups and accompanied their Mexican counterparts on a guided tour around the university s campus and science facilities. UADY students the joined the team for a two day trip to the university's "Reforma agraria de plutarco elias calles yahoo dating" station Hobonil Ranch further south on the peninsula. From Merida, the team went northwards along the coastline to Veracruz, where the aquaculture association of
Reforma agraria de plutarco elias calles yahoo dating had organised for a splendid programme on fish, crocodile and wildlife farming.
The itinerary is depicted in the following map and the excursion programme is detailed below. Tour of urban market, agriculture and dairy systems Morning: Visit to the Anthropological Museum in Mexico City, familiarisation with the agri-cultural heritage of Mexico: From Oaxaca to Tuxtla Gutierrez Afternoon: San Cristobal de las Casas: From San Cristobal de las Casas to Palenque: Visit of an old Maya settlement site Whole day: From Palenque to Bonampak and back: Visit of Rainforest Systems Whole day: From Palenque to Merida.
Livestock experimental facilities, visits of small agroforestry farm systems Afternoon: Visit to Uxmal, tansfer to Merida Morning: Visit of an intensive pig raising unit, Visit of small and large scale livestock farms of different intensity, with beef production, sheep and swine farming and apiculture, transfer to Veracruz Morning: Visit the Cempoala Archeological site Whole Day: From Veracruz via Puebla to Texcoco: Veracruz km Villas Dali?
The following section of this document contains these individual reports in chronological order. Arnd Zschocke After a long trip from Germany to Mexico the day before the group had enjoyed a good night s sleep and met at the bus in front of the hotel in Texcoco at The Bus started into the busy traffic of commuters and soon was in the middle of street markets.
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Especially the open air meat and butcher shops we passed awoke the interest of the participants and gave a first impression on how food markets in Mexico work. Urban dairy production Our first destination was a dairy operation in the city.
To get there we first had to meet up with our Mexican counterparts and leaders for that day. We met them and they led our bus to the dairy operation. The farm exists since around 35 years and there are around 20 other similar operations in that area of the city. When we arrived 15 Holstein Friesian cows were standing in the feedlot and in the process of being
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Additionally there are around 10 Zebu cattle Criollo being fattened in a separate space for the meat market. Farm outputs and inputs: The main feed for the cattle is organic wastes from the big wholesale market like cabbage leaves, ground bread etc. Which is balanced with alfalfa from Hidalgo province and some bough-in concentrate. The manure is collected for free by farmers who spread it on Nopal Opuntia ficus-indica field which are a two hour drive away.
The urine is drained into the public sewage system Calves are fattened and sold if they are not used to replace old milking cows 11 cows are milked twice a day and give an average of 20 l of milk per day. After around 9 lactations the cows are replaced. Three resellers distribute it on motorbikes to private households in an radius of around 25km around the operation.
Very few consumers also come to buy at farm gate. He said that demand had decreased and prices had fallen, also because some more professional competitors who produce packaged and pasteurized milk have entered the market.
Also the hygienic standards of the milking use of plastic buckets and handling of the milk were quite low. A better management would improve quality but maybe also increase costs. After around 30 min we left around Wholesale market The marked occupies around ha and has different sections for the different products from meat, to fish to vegetables to fruit and others more.
Most of the products are delivered and sold in the early morning or in the afternoon and big quantities
Reforma agraria de plutarco elias calles yahoo dating normally auctioned. We went through a small part of the vegetable section and were impressed by the logistical challenges that appear when feeding a 22 million city and how they are dealt with in Mexico City. Especially the waste management impressed when seeing the big mixed waste heaps and knowing that they would be cleaned and selected for further use i.
We got back onto the bus and drove for a while to the outskirts of the city where we rested at the roadside at around After an hour of lunchbreak we went to a Nopal field Opuntia ficus-indica which was the main crop, covering all the hillsides in that region.
Nopal production For most of the group it was very interesting seeing this cactus being cultivated on such an extensive area. Farmed nopales are most often of the species Opuntia ficus-indica, although the pads of almost all Opuntia species are edible.
Nopales are generally sold fresh, bottled, or canned, less often dried. They have a light, slightly tart flavor, and a crisp, mucilaginous texture.
From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia The plant is propagated by planting half of a leave into fertile and manured soil in July and August. The plant is used for around 8 years until it becomes less productive and
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The leaves are harvested daily and thus constitute a steady income for the farmer. The plot we visited was cultivated by a wage laborer from the poor southern province of Oaxaca. Most of the Nopal plantations around Mexico city are owned by investors and real estate speculators. The soil was of volcanic origin and fertile but the limiting factor for production of.
The plantations are heavily fertilized with manure. Mexico City Cultural Part After around half an hour on the sunny Nopal plantation we boarded the bus back to Mexico City with the plan to visit the anthropological museum and afterwards the sanctuary of the Virgen de Guadalupe.
The murals of Diego Rivera, covering whole buildings were very impressive. After the walk through the university campus the group got some time to explore the City independently.
This is a quite impressive modern religious building and the center of Mexican some say even Latin American Catholicism. With this cultural experience and the sunset over Mexico City our first day of the excursion ended and was concluded by a 2 hour drive back to our hotel in Texcoco.
They had arranged a boats tour through the Chinampas of Xochimilco. During this trip not only the agricultural Chinampa system was discussed, but also the social and educational situation of the students was brought up.
It deals with important facts about what chinampas are, their history, biodiversity, productivity, and development. To reach Xochimilco, the place where our boat trip started, we took the bus from Texcoco and passed the former area of Lake Texcoco.
The lake was drained in by constructing the Drenaje Profundo "Deep Drainage System"a network of several hundred kilometers of tunnels, at a depth of 30 to meters. In addition mail:
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