Learn all about the famous ancient Aztec floating farms known as chinampas, wich are constructed by excavating lake sediments, and creating a system of islets separated by channels. The chinampa has been a traditional land-use practice in the Valley of Mexico since Pre-Hispanic times and is considered a historical sustainable agricultural system based on the efficient use of farming technologies and resource management strategies for horticulture and floriculture production. The villages, that maintain chinampas as farming activity, are located in wetlands of Xochimilco and Tlahuac, counties located at south of Mexico City, featuring a small lake—reminiscent of the great Aztec-era lake system—where traditional trajineras (punt boats of sorts) cruise along scenic waterways surrounded by lush vegetation. For its historical and cultural value, in December 1984, the chinampa zone was declared by UNESCO, a Cultural Humanity Heritage and in 2004, Chinampa’s area was declared RAMSAR site by the convention on wetlands.
This tour will give you a comprehensive understanding of the administration and operation of a typical Mexican irrigation district, including its hydraulic structures and farms. The Irrigation District 023 is located in the central part of the country, in the zone known as “El Bajio”, which includes part of the states of Aguascalientes, Jalisco, Guanajuato and Queretaro. This zone has significant economic and cultural importance since the time of the Spanish viceroyalty, mainly due the mining activity, which propitiated the growth of population settlements, as well as the development of agricultural and livestock activity. At present, the San Juan del Río area, where the Irrigation District 023 is located, is an important industrial corridor, with national and multinational corporations, which promote the economic development of the region.
The Irrigation District 023 dominates an area of 11,835 hectares of which 9,373 are irrigable, distributed amongst 2,625 producers. The sources for irrigation are dams with a total capacity surrounding 115 thousand m3, and 55 wells distributed in the irrigation zone. The main crops are maize, sorghum, alfalfa, barley and wheat. The irrigation district faces a high pressure for the water due to the growing demand for urban and industrial use. The visit will expose the problem and how it is being solved, either through the exchange of water uses, and its more efficient use through the technification of greenhouses. Agropark is an agro industrial park, with 295 hectares of land, of which 180 correspond to greenhouses, generating 2,400 jobs. Nowadays, 11 national and international agricultural companies operate in the park, with an annual production of 81 thousand tons, of which 65% are different tomato varieties and 35% pepper and cucumber. Ninety five percent of the total production is exported to the United States and Canada. Villa Vivé by Freixenet Mexico, in the vineyard zone of Queretaro, offers its exquisite wines and invites to live a wine tourism experience with a guided tour of 45 minutes, through the cellars 25 meters deep, and an explanation and tasting of the method of elaboration of sparkling wines.