Valhalla, macadamia project

Left the colonial-styled streets of La Antigua, the road heads directly to the impressive Amatenango volcano, under which is placed the village of San Miguel Dueñas. Here, hidden by the green vegetation, we discover the “Estación Experimental Valhalla”, a project of sustainable agriculture dedicated to the production of organic macadamia nuts. The lovely people of the staff explain us that macadamia is a plant coming from Australia, whose properties have been extensively investigated in the last years and whose fruit is currently used in order to produce oils, cosmetics (facial creams), flour and many other products. Various hybrids of the two original species of macadamia grow in the plantation, representing a botanical variety appreciated all over the world (no grafting is performed, thus preserving the genetic purity and diversity). The evergreen plants give fruits all the year round and easily adapt to different climatic conditions, moreover they allow to absorb much more carbon dioxide than many other plants and turn it into water vapor and oxygen. The nuts, once collected, are processed with a handmade sheller (maybe in the future it would be replaced by the bicycle nut-sheller, fruit of the collaboration with Maya Pedal) and left drying for a month, before being washed in order to obtain the end products. While we have an exquisite macadamia breakfast, we feel the enthusiasm demonstrated by the people who work in the plantation. They tell us they accept volunteers for the collection of the nuts and any person who could carry new and productive ideas in this activity. They already count on the enthusiastic support of the rural indigenous communities, which are beginning projects of reforestation, planting macadamia instead of more aggressive cultivations. It’s another successful idea coming from people who love Guatemala and its beautiful land. For further information, visit their website: www.exvalhalla.net.

Macadamia nut handmade sheller San Miguel Dueñas Antigua Guatemala volunteering images photos Latin America

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