Peasants on their way to work

Rudy Giron: AntiguaDailyPhoto.com &emdash; Peasants on their way to work

Another common sight of the #RealGuatemala around Antigua Guatemala is the peasants on their way to work their land. This is especially so in the south part of town and villages because many per use the skirt of Volcán de Agua to grow maize, avocados, tomatoes, chiles, squash, et cetera, in short the crops of the milpa.

As explained before in the archives of AntiguaDailyPhoto, the term milpa refers normally to a maize field, but it is so much more. In a milpa field there a dozen crops at once: maize, avocados, multiple kinds of squash, chiles (hot pepper chilli), beans, tomatoes, tomatillos, camotes (sweet potatoes), jicama (a tuber also known as sengkwang, yam bean, singkamas, Mexican turnip), amaranth (also called pigweeds) and mucuma (a tropical legume). “Milpa crops are nutritionally and environmentally complementary.” said Charles C. Mann in his book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. H. Garrison Wilkes, a maize researcher at University of Massachusetts in Boston is quoted in the same book, “The milpa is one of the most successful human inventions ever created.”

© 2014, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • Eric

    I can hear my friends out by the lake saying, “Wow! They have something they can RIDE to their fields…?” Thanks for the photo, Rudy.

    • I am glad you like it Eric, and I am sure many campesinos around Ati also have mules y burros.