Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What a Wonderful World

Zompopos de Mayo

Every year during the months of May and June the zompopos return. Zompopos are gigantic ants. Each morning they exit the comfort of their subterranean homes as children in rural Guatemala race to capture them, treating this insect like candy being thrown from a parade float.Many people in rural Guatemala have affection for this annual culinary treat. The Zompopos are high in fat and protein. Stripped of their legs and wings they are fried and put on a tortilla. Aficionados swear by their rich nutty flavor. The annual harvest is not only delicious, but also very useful.The zompopos tend to attack the root systems of fruit trees and vegetables, which can compromise the valuable harvest. The collection of these bugs has proven to be more potent than any pesticide. Poor families who benefit from this free protein source also enjoy the supplementary income. One pound of these ants sells for about 40 Quetzal or $5usd.

In many places around the world insects provide an indispensable source of nourishment. Termites, grasshoppers, crickets, grubs, cicadas (to name a handful) are classified as micro livestock whose nutrient value keeps millions of our fellow human beings from becoming malnourished.

Here at Children International we like to celebrate the diversity of the world, believing that it is our differences that make the world such an interesting, dynamic and magical place.

As the locusts howl and crickets chirp think of the zompopos and smile.

Special thanks to Javier Cárcamo of our Guatemala office for his reporting assistance.

No comments: