Preserving Cajun Culture

Today, we met two groups trying to preserve traditional Costa Rican culture. One of these groups are the Maleku people, an indigenous tribe made up of 650 people that live north of La Fortuna. They make their living by creating artwork made out of plants and trees. They believe that there is an animal spirit inside of every one. They create masks that represent people's animal spirits such as the jaguar or the butterfly. The second group attempting to preserve Costa Rican culture is those working at The Learning Farm. They grow plants native to the area, both for food and medicinal purposes. Some of these plants include citronella, lemongrass, coffee, sour cucumber, sugarcane and cocoa. They also have free range chickens and geese, pigs, and goats. They harvest some eggs from the chickens to use in the kitchen, but leave the remaining eggs to hatch. In addition, they milk their cows and goats every morning. Groups go to The Learning Farm and guides educate their guests about plants, animals, and eco-friendly farming practices.

In Louisiana, there are many businesses and organizations who work to preserve our Cajun culture. For many of these places, tourism is a major component of their revenue. People come to see and learn about our culture and the history behind it. Examples include Acadian Village, Vermilionville, and Acadian Cultural Center. All of these organizations are located in Lafayette and give tours and presentations to groups interested in the cultural history of the area including the origins, migration, and settlement of the Acadians. Louisiana is known for its hospitality, food, and diversity. By keeping its Cajun culture alive, Louisiana remains a popular tourist destination. According to the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism, $16.8 billion of revenue was generated in 2016 from tourism.

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