Recognize and treasure corn, preserving knowledge and promoting its development: Fundación Tortilla’s mission

Recognize and treasure corn, preserving knowledge and promoting its development: Fundación Tortilla’s mission

By Victoria Villalobos
Pese a que el maíz y la tortilla aparecen sin falta en la cotidianidad de los mexicanos, tanto en calidad de alimento como en representación de una identidad nacional, muchos solemos ignorar la verdadera dimensión e impacto de este cultivo. 

Despite the fact that corn and tortillas appear without fail in the daily life of Mexicans, both as food and as the representation of our national identity, many of us tend to ignore the true dimension and impact of this crop.

Corn may be an indispensable part of our diets and an essential element in endless recipes, but we don’t know about the magnitude of its care process, about the immense diversity that sprouts throughout the country, of all the trades that derive from corn, of the place it occupies in the identity of many groups and, therefore, of how important its protection is for the ecological, food, cultural and economic well-being of the country.

Fundación Tortilla is a civil association that since 2015 has been working on these issues under the slogan of promoting the appreciation of corn (in its entirety of 59 native corn races) in its different presentations, thus considering it as a foundational element of the character and national welfare.

In this sense, the foundation has five main focuses: the planning of an agenda to influence public policies around corn and tortillas; the promotion of the conservation of the biodiversity of corn and different species associated with the milpa; the dissemination of knowledge through different media, such as publications, audiovisual materials or exhibitions; education and institutional collaboration and; lastly, the promotion of social and economic development around activities associated with corn and tortillas.

While all of the above taken together seems immensely ambitious, Fundación Tortilla has a communication strategy that is both attractive and affordable as well as effective. In first instance, the dissemination of information and knowledge takes priority in its information display, which is notable when entering its website or any of its social networks. The scope of its themes is diversified through the promotion of different activities and through different media.

Thus, one can go from research on tamale and atole to the introduction of a national brand of chocolate with corn miso, or to the infinite culinary traditions that exist within the republic, such as that of the famous ‘agua de barranca’ tlaxcalteca, a frozen drink made from cocoa, corn, beans and wheat. It is added, for example, that the peculiar name is due to the fact that the color and sound that results from its preparation is the same as that produced by the water that falls from the ravines in Zacatelco, and the transmission of this kind of knowledge is likewise essential for its practice. On the other hand, there are interesting news about the National Association of Rural Women Entrepreneurs A.C., or the Network of Sustainable Agricultural Alternatives (RASA), agricultural organizations that reinforce unity in the field and make their products visible. The knowledge that the foundatiom promotes also gives frequent answers to questions about why it is dangerous for national food well-being to plant corn in other countries, or how agricultural lime works to restore soil fertility.

Invitations to cultural events, details of traditional recipes, curious facts, short articles on the agricultural impact and an immense list of activities, conferences, courses and news are available on their platforms. Fundación Tortilla represents a comprehensive organization that is worth following up on.

Victoria Villalobos

Victoria Villalobos es estudiante perpetua, le interesa la comunicación, la interdisciplina, y todo lo que yace en medio.

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