Floating Gardens of Mexico City: How the Chinampas in Xochimilco Have Fed the City for 500 Years

Floating Gardens of Mexico City: How the Chinampas in Xochimilco Have Fed the City for 500 Years

An incredible sight, the floating gardens of Mexico City have a history dating back over 3,000 years! These man-made islands grow delicious fruits and vegetables to help feed the fifth largest city in the world. Today, over 90% of the islands are abandoned, threatening to extinguish a critical link to the farming history of Mexico.

We met up with Ricardo, the founder of De la Chinampa, an organization which works with the farmers of the floating town of Xochimilco to supply some of the top restaurants in Mexico City with delicious produce. That help doesn’t end with sales, either. De la Chinampa trains future farmers, restores chinampas, and promotes the techniques of these unique farms. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1987, the canals and islands were formed by farmers during the Toltec era and later the Aztecs, with the peak of production around 1600AD. With the severe declines over many generations of farming, today less than 10% of the available chinampas are actively used as farmland. De la Chinampa aims to reverse that trend, and we toured one of their active farms to see how farmers grow delicious crops in the middle of a lake.

Our thanks again to Ricardo from delachinampa.mx for providing his time, knowledge and a tour of the chinampas with a delicious meal along the way!


International Travel Links and Resources:
Safetywing Travel, Political and Health Insurance (What we use ourselves worldwide!)– Prices start at $37/month for coverage with a $250 annual deductible. Pick any doctor outside your home country. Seriously.
Gasoapp iOS and Android– Think “Gasbuddy” style app, but created for Mexican gas stations by the Mexican government. Prices do vary greatly between stations here, and the app is free!
US Department of State Travel Advisories – Worldwide

New (December 2019) Pet Regulations:
You no longer need a pet health certificate to bring cats or dogs into Mexico by car/rv! This does not change any rules required by airlines if you fly into Mexico.
USDA (English) summary of regulations
Mexico (Spanish) to show to anyone who requests a copy of a pet certificate – Hat tip to Qroo.us!

Process your FMM (tourist visa) in advance:
Have Discover Baja do it for you
Apply for FMM yourself

Facebook Groups:
RV Mexico Facebook Group
RVing In Mexico Facebook Group

US Department of State- Mexico Travel Advisory

Guide Books:

The People’s Guide to Mexico

Lonely Planet Mexico

Katelyn & Howard Newstate

Katelyn & Howard Newstate

Howard and Katelyn Newstate have traveled over 80,000 miles in their Winnebago Navion Class C RV, exploring from Alaska to mainland Mexico since 2018. Joined by their adventure pups, Piper, Ella and Scout, they share how to “Live Like a Local” in every New State they explore. For more information on their travels or the 51 Parks in 52 Weeks tour, visit NewstateNomads.com/NationalParks

National Parks Tour

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