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Origins: Amazonia Quest - Amazonas, Brazil
October 6th 2021 - October 12th, 2021
Our first trip to Manaus in the state of Amazonas was primarily designed to quite literally stick our feet in the water. Our team was comprised of a small group of 5 including Gary Granata, a PHD farmer nutritionist; Austin Goodman, professional photographer; Juliana Gomes, Brazilian singer; my wife Christina and myself, both of us are ex-educators and currently chef/owners of two restaurants in New Orleans.
This was a very short quest of only 5 days, of which 2 days were spent in the capital, Manaus, visiting local food markets, Museu de Amazonia, and acclimating to the heat and humidity. The following days were spent staying in the small community of São João, home of the Praia do Tupé (a beautiful white sand beach), visiting two aldeia (indigenous villages) upriver about 20km, viewing communal gardens and and sampling local cuisine.
Origins: Amazonia Quest - Pará, Brazil
May 23rd, 2022 - June 3rd, 2022
Our upcoming quest will concentrate on the neighboring state of Pará. Our team will consist of a diverse group of seven individuals, including Gary Granata, PHD nutritionist and farmer; Roberto Barrios, Chair of Latin American Studies and Professor Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of New Orleans; Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes, award-winning musician, photographer, naturalist, park ranger, Mardi Gras Indian chief, ex NFL football player and many other things; Liam Voorhees: Watson Fellowship Recipient, Naturalist, and Food Enthusiast; my wife Christina do Carmo Honn and me, Dana Honn, as well as a UNO student intern.
We will begin in the capital, Belém, where we will meet with a noted indigenous leader and chef, . We will also be meeting with researcher/s from Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi (MPEG) one of the premiere Amazonian research institutions. From there, we will head to Santarem, which is built on an ancient deposit of “terra preta do Indio” (black soil of the Indians), which is perhaps the most fertile soil on earth, and holds huge promise as a solution for climate change based on its carbon sequestration abilities. We will then make our way to Altamira where we are being hosted by the Juruna, an important and historic indigenous group located on the Xingu river. We will be presenting a “Festival Troco Cultural” cultural exchange festival in which music, food and dance will be shared between our team, the Juruna, and other nearby aldeias (indigenous tribes/villages), then shared/performed collaboratively for residents of the city of Altamira.
Another part of our itinerary involves Juruna member, Amaury Camizão Juruna who will be guiding us on excursions throughout local Juruna lands which will demonstrate the biodiversity and even rare species which are native only to this very special ecosystem, which is now threatened to be devastated by the construction of the massive “Belo Sun” Canadian gold mine.
If you're interested in helping sponsor or participating in an upcoming Quest, please contact Dana Honn at Dana@BioCulturalInstitute.org.
Origins: Amazonia Quest - Peru
O:A Dinner series is a curated dining experience featuring ingredients sourced directly from Amazonian indigenous communities, as well as fresh local produce, seafood and more. Proceeds benefit indigenous communities. All meals are intrinsically gluten-free. Vegan options are available!