|The fungi variety found competes with the colorful suits of the salespersons|
As part of the activities related to the Arboretum of Universidad Francisco Marroquín, a group of directors, professors, students, administrative personnel and friends of this house of studies visited the market of San Juan Sacatepequez in search of the fungi of San Juan and other edible fungi.
The excursion also included a walk through a private forest, where different members from the fungi kingdom were found, such as poisonous fungi, hallucinogenic fungi and medicinal fungi.
The visit was celebrated last June 24th of 2007, with the guide of mother Ivonne Sommerkamp, from Hogar Rafael Ayau, who in addition, is a mycologist. Sisters Ines Ayau and Maria Amistoso also participated. Mother Ivonne lectured an introductory conference on Thursday June 21st at the UFM. In it, she explained details of the mysterious world of fungi, how to keep it, and some peculiarities of the fungi that would be found in San Juan. She also shared prescriptions on how to prepare them and information on medicinal fungi.
In the market of that population, the visitors found the fungi of San Juan ( Amanita casarea), blue and red fungi and some extraordinary delights. The market of San Juan offered other new features to the visitors, such as the fruits commonly known as mamones. Since it was the day of the celebration of the local patron saint, there was a procession, a Deer Dance, parties and other attractions.
Among the objectives of the UFM’s
Arboretum are to conserve and exhibit live trees and plants, native and exotic; to conform an ecological refuge for animal and vegetable species of the area that are in danger; to recover the ecosystem of the University campus; and to have an inventory of the biodiversity in the area.
The UFM Arboretum offers lasting lessons for those interested in protecting the environment: 1. that it is individual persons who must worry and take responsibility of their surroundings, processing specific information of time and place of their localities to discover ecological niches; 2. that there is no mutual incompatibility between economic growth and the environmental quality and 3. that the effective environmental protection depends on the establishment of institutions that protect individual rights and that the recognition of private property constitutes an essential condition to improve the quality of the environment.