Conservation in Latin America: PACHA CHELA

Protecting our planet is not a local issue, it is a global mission. Yakima Chief Hops is committed to conserving and protecting this precious environment we call home, and we are looking at how we can expand our vision to match our worldwide presence. We are not only a hop supply company, but good stewards of the land and we want to ensure we preserve those special places we work, serve, and play. As part of our 2021 Chief Commitments, Yakima Chief Hops is dedicated to protecting our planet. This initiative has inspired us to pursue new ways we can make a positive impact in the conservation and renewal of our beautiful, shared planet Earth.

Yakima Chief Hops is honored to announce we will be participating in an annual brewing collaboration called Pacha Chela with the Latin America & Caribbean Section of the Society of Conservation Biology (LACA). YCH and LACA will collaborate on a beer with different breweries in the region with a percentage of the profits being donated towards economic support for research projects that support the conservation of resources, natural habitats and wildlife native to Latin America.

This year YCH and LACA will be collaborating with Beermex, Cervecera Cyprez, Casa Cervecera Morenos and Cervecería de Cholula in support of the Sanctuary of the Ajolote project by Villa Atl. Villa Atl is a nonprofit youth organization whose mission is to contribute to the development of different sectors of the Mexican society through educational programs for the improvement of their surroundings and quality of life, using the method of “Learning by Doing, Learning by Playing.”

So, what are the Ajolote and why do they need saving?

The Ajolote del Altiplano, or Mexican Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma velasci), is a salamander in La Malinche National Park. The salamander is a celebrated creature that has been influential to Latin culture and is also a fascinating amphibian. The Mexican Tiger Salamander has the world’s largest DNA, aids in pest control and is a bioindicator of water quality.  Unfortunately, the Ajolote is in danger of becoming extinct. Urbanization, pollution and destruction of habitat have all contributed to the decline of Ajolote. Villa Atl is seeking to change that by creating a sanctuary to grow the Ajolote population and Pacha Chela is proud to support this endeavor.

“Latin America has a great diversity of species and sadly is one of the continents that has been more ransacked and where the member countries give little to no importance to conservation efforts. This is why it is necessary to do more projects like this (Pacha Chela),” says Hugo Martinez from Villa Atl.

Why does the brewing community need to be involved in conservation?

The hop and craft beer industry are both equally dependent upon the sustainability of the land and water, and maintaining a healthy eco-system is imperative to the future of beer.

“It is our responsibility to work for a healthy environment and for the species of flora and fauna from our surroundings because all of them are main characters of the natural equilibrium,” says Marko Guevara of Beermex.

YCH’s Mexico and Central America Regional Sales Manager, Rodrigo Plancarte, recognized the opportunity for Yakima Chief Hops to be involved in the conservation of the environment, species and ecosystems in his nearby region. With the goal to create awareness in the beer and brewing communities and an opportunity for others to support these efforts, the Pacha Chela project was born.

 “Everyone is able to help create a positive impact on our environment. The important thing is to start taking action somehow. I hope that this project, Pacha Chela, can create a snowball effect with the brewing industry and beer consumers so that, at the end of the day, we have a healthier planet for ourselves and future generations,” says Plancarte.

Tell me about the beer!

This year's Pacha Chela is a Juicy Pale Ale with Sabro®, Warrior® and HBC 472 supplied by YCH and brewed in collaboration with Beermex, Cervecera Cyprez, Casa Cervecera Morenos and Cervecería de Cholula. YCH, participating breweries and Villa Atl. Representatives joined together on June 14th to brew the Juicy Pale Ale and the beer is set to release this week. The Pacha Chela release event will be held at Cholula’s Beer Garden in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico on July 10th to celebrate the debut of this new annual project.

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