El Viejo Cactus

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EL VIEJO CACTUS

Un empresario a los 26 años, Ángel Daniel Balderrama Cabrera tiene un negocio de un vivero con su familia, donde venden una variedad de especies de cactus. Ubicado en Las Pilas, Metztitlán, Hidalgo, El Viejo Cactus está ubicado dentro del área natural protegida, Reserva de la Biosfera Barranca de Metztitlán. Para proteger las especias silvestres de cactáceas, la CONANP apoya a los comerciantes como Daniel y su familia con financiamiento y capacitación técnica. Con ese apoyo, junto con programas de educación ambiental y monitoreo, han reducido la extracción de plantas endémicas y en riesgo. Ahora la gente puede evitar extraer plantas silvestres y comprar en un vivero como El Viejo Cactus, conservando el medio ambiente y apoyando a la comunidad para llevar a cabo proyectos productivos y sostenibles.

Cactus en venta en El Viejo Cactus
Rango de precios 15-250 pesos cada planta

Mammillaria shiedeana

Mammillaria shiedeana (residente)

Este fin de semana, el 2 y 3 de junio 2016, El Viejo Cactus celebrará 12 años de negocio. Visítalo y aprender más sobre la biodiversidad de la Reserva de la Biosfera Barranca de Metztitlán y otros especies de cactus.

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EL VIEJO CACTUS

An entrepreneur at 26, Angel Daniel Balderrama Cabrera runs a small greenhouse with his family where they sell a variety of cacti. Located in Las Pilas, Metztitlán, Hidalgo, El Viejo Cactus is located within the federally protected zone of the Metztitlán Canyon Reserve. I work with the government agency responsible for protecting the region, CONANP, which is how I know Daniel. As an effort to protect wild species of cacti in the zone, CONANP promotes businesses such as El Viejo Cactus. By providing financial and technical training support to people such as Daniel and his family (in addition to rigorous monitoring and environmental education programs), the rate of illegal extraction of endemic cacti species has reduced significantly.

Cacti that can be purchased from El Viejo Cactus
Prices range from 15-250 mexican pesos per plant

Mammillaria shiedeana

Mammillaria shiedeana (resident)

This weekend, On July 2 and 3, El Viejo Cactus is celebrating 12 years of business and the local public is invited. If you are in the area, please come out and support them and learn something about local biodiversity.

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4 thoughts on “El Viejo Cactus

  1. Hi,
    I’m British, and have visited Meztitlan several times. I am chairman of the Mammillaria Society, and UK and International society dedicated to the genus Mammillaria and associated genera (Coryphantha etc). In Europe as a whole, there are many amateur growers and some professional growers. I know that it is currently very difficult, if not impossible, to gain export permits for cacti to be sent to buyers in Europe. The rules of CITES have to be observed, but the laws of Mexico currently ban the export of both seed and plants, without a license. I understand it is very difficult for Mexican nationals who grow plants to gain licenses for export.
    I am concerned that this means that illegal collecting of newly discovered species, such as Mammillaria bertholdii, Aztekium valdezii, and many more discovered since 1997 (when the laws were introduced) is the only way that they can reach the many people who at interested in them. There are some highly competent nurseries who can produce many plants from small samples of plants by micropropagation techniques. Already I know that the two species mentioned are sold as grafted plants in Europe as a result of this.
    It occurs to me that it would be better if Mexican growers could be licensed in some way to do this it would both provide a healthy income for the growers (and maybe some export taxes from the buyers) and also reduce the incidence of illegal collecting.
    I would welcome your comments on whether this is possible or not.
    Best wishes,
    Chris Davies
    http://www.woodedge.me.uk
    http://mammillaria.net

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Chris,

      Thank you for your comment! I showed Daniel (co-owner of Viejo Cactus) about your comment and we had an extensive discussion on this, specifically in the context of Metztitlán growers (there are just a handful). He explained to me that because his business has legal permission from SEMARNAT, and that they have various plants that are not prohibited by CITES, that he believes that the issue for them would not be gaining a license for export. The issue for them is their capacity, lack of technical assistance and lack of interest. Their main clients are from Pachuca, Hidalgo and Mexico City and currently whatever they produce, they sell to these local buyers. To sell to European buyers they would need to produce a lot more. The lack of interest comes from the perception that trying to export their plants to Europe would be difficult and just not worth the effort. He feels like he can’t compete with European growers, at least not in terms of price and quantity. Basically, they don’t have the knowledge nor guidance and he feels like he needs an expert to help him develop a plan for international export. I understand where he is coming from. Daniel’s family have grown their knowledge of cacti from practical experience and workshops provided by experts. They are very intelligent and hardworking people but their resources are still very limited. They lack basic cell phone and internet service, which complicates communicating with clients and accessing information. I told Daniel that he should get in touch with you-it seems there is a lot he could learn-however is English is limited. Do you speak Spanish?

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  2. Hi Priyanka,
    My name is Paul Klaassen. I am a Dutchman currently living in England but travelling all over the world to see and photograph cacti and other succulent plants in nature. You can read about my travels in my Blog, The Cactus Trip Diaries, at http://www.pkcactus.info

    I have just returned from a seven week trip to Mexican during which we stayed two nights in Metztitlan. This was my first visit to that part of Mexico. We saw so many interesting plants that I’m sure that I will visit the area again in the future.

    I know Chris Davies very well and have been invited to give a presentation at the Annual General Meeting of the Mammillaria Society, of which Chris is the Chairman, in England, showing the audience the cacti that we saw and the environment that they live in. It must seem very strange that there are people from Europe and the United States who travel all the way to Mexico and then travel huge distances (more than 8,000 km. on this last trip, just to see and photograph cacti.

    If you like, I can take some digital images of our meeting on 23 April, so share with your community that can help to explain our hobby. We usually have a display of Cacti – Mammillaria and Associated Genera, presentations where people who have seen these plants in nature share their experiences and there are plants (any cactus or succulent plants) for sale – some grown by professional nurseries, others grown by members of the hobby societies.

    My Spanish is not very good, but on-line translation sites are getting better all the time, even though they can sometimes make quite funny mistakes.
    Best wishes
    Paul Klaassen
    email: pkcactus@hotmail.co.uk
    Blog: https://pkcactus.info/

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    • Hi Paul! I am sorry I am just now responding. I am a Peace Corps volunteer in Metztitlan and my internet access is very limited. I haven’t blogged in a long time. If you have images of the April meeting I would love to have them. You can send them to my email at psjagtap98@gmail.com. Metztitlan is a beautiful place. I work with CONANP. They are the government agency responsible for the protection of places like Metztitlan. I have saved this letter for my office and would like to attach the pictures. We do a lot of environmental education and outreach, and it would be neat to share this letter and photos with the public. My Spanish is great, so I can do a translation. I really appreciate that you took the time to write and share your experience. Thanks!

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