Please note that the purpose of this announcement is to invite NAMA members interested in learning more about NAMA_MX23 Regional Foray in Mexico to click the link below, which will take you to our event coordinator (and active member of NAMA's Culinary Arts Committee) Zachary Hunter's customized prescreening questionnaire. This link contains further detailed information. Completion of this prescreening questionnaire is a requirement to reach the next step in registration but please note that it is not a guarantee of attendance. This unique event is currently set to be capped at a maximum of 40 attendees; as with all our in-person events, registration is limited to NAMA members in good standing. Please do not fill out the questionnaire unless you are a NAMA member. You can join NAMA by clicking here: https://app.glueup.com/org/nama/
Besides requesting information, the questionnaire provides ample space to express your individual interests, questions, concerns and even ideas! Please note that completing the questionnaire is a requirement for -- but not a guarantee of -- participation in NAMA_MX23. There is no payment required to fill out this questionnaire; NAMA members who agree to the event's basic participation requirements will receive information from our event coordinator about next steps to register.
NAMA_MX23 planning is shaping up beautifully! Below is an up-to-date, more detailed (but still evolving!) itinerary.
NAMA_MX23 will have a more peripatetic itinerary than our familiar Annual Forays, beginning with arrival in Mexico City on July 30 for two nights’ stay at the comfortable Hotel Condesa MX in Mexico City. On August 2, a bus will depart from the hotel heading toward our main location of Hotel Rodavento Valle de Bravo, the base for all foray activities. Attendees will return by bus on August 5 for a final night at Hotel Condesa MX before departing on their own for Mexico City Airport on August 6.
Day-to-day General Planned Itinerary
This event is an inaugural one for NAMA, which we dare to hope will be far from the last adventure of its kind. Event plans continue to evolve as of the moment we are opening event registration but what follows below is what our event organizers have planned as of now. Please note that this itinerary is, by nature, subject to change as opportunities reval themselves and the event continues to evolve.
Sunday, July 30: Our trip begins with an easy arrival day–we have reservations at Hotel Condesa MX. Check-in time is 3:00 PM Mexico City time. We will have volunteers on site until 8:00pm to check in attendees as well as administer COVID tests. Check-in will resume at 8:00 AM at breakfast the next morning for attendees arriving late. There are no official events planned for this first night, but there may be break-away groups, as well as guidance on what to do in Mexico City via the event’s WhatsApp Group.
Monday, July 31: Check-in for later attendee arrivals begin at 8:00 AM near breakfast, as well as our first mandatory COVID testing location. All attendees must test negative for COVID in order to join the first day’s activities. Breakfast is served at the Hotel, and we will be met by mycologist Dr. Roberto Garibay-Orijel to talk about our field trip the UNAM Botanical Gardens and Arboretum in University City, for which we will depart when attendees have eaten and shown their negative COVID tests.
We will eat lunch during our field trip at one of the many fine eateries surrounding the university and return in the afternoon for a short siesta before we go to Monstruo de Agua Cerveceria for some mushroom beers made with local matsutake (Tricholoma colposii) and Blue Lactarius (Lactarius indigo) and our first mushroom dinner. Zachary and Kimberly Hunter will emcee this evening event and give an idea of what to expect in the coming days. We will recognize our NAMA_MX23 Foray Scholarship recipients as well. Following introductions and dinner, we will enjoy a brief presentation on the Mycology of Mexico, focusing on Mexicans view their mycological heritage, mycopreneurship and more.
Tuesday, August 1: Our shuttle bus will depart from Hotel MX Condesa after breakfast for a roughly 2.5-hour journey Southeast to Hotel Rodavento Valle de Bravo, our home for the next four nights. Buffet-style lunch and dinner will be served by Rodavento. After check-in, Adriene Rivera Jauregui and Waldamor Franco, General Manager and Owner of the resort, respectively, will give an introduction to Rodavento, explain the grounds and various amenities available, and then the afternoon is for attendees to relax, explore the resort and make themselves comfortable.
After dinner, we will gather in the presentation space to listen to Dra. Cristina Burrola-Aguilar talk about mycology of the State of Mexico, where we will be collecting specimens. Our foray leader will talk about the other locations will be visiting as well. There may be options for an open mic for later in the evening.
Wednesday, August 2: We will be set up to take our second mandatory COVID tests before and after breakfast. Please note that we will be traveling to a protected Indigenous Community as part of our Science grant, and thus it is imperative that everyone tests COVID-negative to join this field trip in order to protect our hosts and hopefully new friends.
Attendees will split into two groups: Group 1 will be the first to travel to Oxtotilpan for the first day of mushroom collections. The Community of Oxtotilpan will provide us a late lunch and demonstrate how they cook and eat their mushrooms, as well as join in discussions about their particular traditions. Group 2 will be heading to another location where we can harvest fungi, but these fungi are for ID purposes only, and cannot later be used for science.
Both groups will return in the later-afternoon. Mushroom specimens will be dropped at the ID table with the volunteers there. Vouchered specimens will be processed and the rest of the afternoon is for attendees to clean up, siesta, stroll, swim or soak. We will reconvene for dinner at Rodavento at 7:00 PM, dining in front of a moderated panel of esteemed Mexican mycologists who will be talking in greater depth about the current state of mycology in Mexico, hopes, setbacks, wins and what to look for in the future.
Thursday, August 3: Almost identical to Wednesday except that the foray groups will switch places; we will again foray under the guidance of expert mycologists, collect for vouchering with the Indigenous Oxtotilpan Community and collect for ID-only at our other location. Our return times and dinner times will be the same as Wednesday; however, we will be joined by members of the Indigenous Oxtotilpan Community and other representatives of Indigenous groups for a moderated panel on ethnomycology and ecological heritage.
Friday, August 4: On Friday, the entire group will remain at Rodavento and we will have several foraging groups led by mycologists to roam about the hotel property and gather what they find for information and possible mycophagy! Some forays will be shorter and others longer; these options will become more clear as we get closer to the event. For those not wishing to roam in the woods, there will be plenty of other options including microscopy table, observing the process of specimen vouchering, talking to mycologists, walking around by themselves, browsing community vendors. At 2:00pm, attendees are welcome to joining in the public food preparation for the final meal at Rodavento.
Our final panel will be a selection of chefs and mycophagists from around Mexico who will talk both about the traditional ways of cooking and eating, as well as the modern food movement in Mexico City and beyond. So far we expect to have Chef Daniel Freydman of Le Chese, from Valle de Bravo; brewer and mycopreneur Mathias Vera-Cruz Dutrenit from Monstruo de Agua Cerveceria; Chef Mario Espinosa from Tencüi, whom we will join on Saturday night for our final dinner in Mexico City; and local cocineras from the communities in the area.
Saturday, August 5: Please plan on packing up in the morning ahead of or just after breakfast. At 10:00 AM, bags in tow, we will gather around the ID Tables and Voucher Lounge for a final presentation on our finds, vouchering successes and what the next steps are for NAMA with regard to Mexico; we will pose for final group photos and load up the buses to return the Hotel MX Condesa for our last night in Mexico City. In the evening, we will gather for the last time for a very special dinner at Tencüi Restaurant in Mexico City, where Zachary and Kim Hunter will close our adventure with a short talk, recognitions and final words.
There may or may not be a post-dinner dance party!
Mexican Institutional and Business Partners
Following is a partial evolving list of entities working with us on this inaugural venture:
The Fungivore - Myco- Education and Community Building through real world experiences
UNAM - Universidad Autonomia de Mexico
MEXU - National Herbarium of Mexico
Monstruo de Agua Cerveceria
Tencüi - Restaurante de Hongos
Symbiosis Viva La Funga
Hotel Condesa MX