Hamburgers made out of cactus?

To see the original new in spanish from the colombian newsletter EL TIEMPO, click here
Happy new year!
Sorry for the silence of this blog in the past days, but as in many latin countries, we were on Xmas holidays. The good news are that there are lots of entrepreneurial stories to share after this break!
Let me start with this first one, that I found particularly fascinating.
In the northern colombian departament (state) of GUAJIRA, a team of wayuu indigenous secundary school graduates started recently what they call "the first bakery in the desert". Before having this bakery, sure they could get somehow bread, but this one would be already old and hard, in all cases not an attractive thing to buy or eat.
The innovative aspect of their bakery, is that they have discovered in the cactus, one of the most common plants in the desert, a great insume to produce food and drinks such as sweets, wine and even hamburgers! What for the "white men" (called by the wayuus white mean arijunas) is an useles plant, for the young team of wayuu entrepreneurs became a source of work.
Their endeavor started after they visited a zone in the desert full of medicinal plants and other native species of flora ... after this they talked to their grantparents about the old traditions and came to the conclusion that their environment was ruled by three main things: SUN, SAND and CACTUS. So, they had to find a way to make use of them, specially with the cactus. For that, they contacted Rafael Márquez, who is known as one of the most experienced individuals in cactus in Colombia.
This sounds like a great story (and it is!) however the limitations and difficulties to make all this happen were ane are many. Lack of efficient transpotation means, energy, computers and internet have made the education of teh former secondary students and set up of the business very hard. The government has tried to offer some help in equipement and energy plant, however a big proportion has been useless. And here is when the real entrepreneurial challenge starts, a good idea is not enough, resources are needed, and this search of resources and the balance to keep still their products of high quality is the current day to day of this wayuu entrepreneurs. I really hope to read and hear much more from them in the future.
If anyone is interested to support, let me know!

1 comment:

Russell Maddicks said...

This is a great story... I'm so glad the Wayuu people are getting covearge of this initiative.

If you want to read some Wayuu myths in English:

Wayuu Myth 1: The Way of the Dead Indians