Expedition mexico city 2018
The Xochimilco wetlands, located just south of Mexico City, help to filter water, regulate weather, protect against storms, support clean air, and protect native species of flora and fauna in Mexico City and neighboring regions. This water system also forms a unique ecosystem for aquatic species, including native species such as the Mexican axolotl salamander and the acocil crayfish, as well as over 140 species of migrating birds.
However, these wetlands are being threatened by changing agricultural practices which have turned from traditional small scale farming (a practice that has been around for at least six centuries) to environmentally-intensive agriculture. The purity of the water in the chinampas "floating gardens" is crucial to the farmers' way of life. One huge challenge is that these farmers grow organically, but have no channels for selling it as such and their products end up selling for much less. Not only that, the introduction of exotic species such as carp and tilapia has altered the natural food chain, threatening endemic species.
Conservation of native plants and animals in Xochimilco is strongly linked to the preservation of its wetlands as well as “chinampas” - areas of dry land within the wetlands that support traditional agriculture.
Researchers are looking to understand how land use, agricultural techniques, and seasonality affect the conditions around the chinampas. You’ll help to gather critical data on the presence of endemic species and water and soil quality around the chinampas. This data will be used to increase local awareness of the benefits of traditional agriculture and subsequently, improve ecosystem health.
Fees & Additional Cultural Activities :
Travel dates are confirmed at February 17-25 for $2175 + airfare, including the following extra activities:
·Visit to a partner farm to meet local farmers and enjoy refreshments
·Tour of the Coyoacan neighborhood, including a walk through the market, church of San Juan Bautista visit, and Frida Kahlo house tour
·Eco-meal led by a local chef
·Dinner out at a local restaurant
·Visit to Teoteuacan Pyramids