Thanks to all participants for making this 2017 General Assembly such a special event!
Photos of the event are available here in a shared google album:
The 2nd RI General Assembly is taking place September 22-24 at Vía Orgánica Farm School and Ranch. It will begin at approximately 10am on September 22 and finish at 5pm on September 24. Please plan to arrive/depart around this schedule. We have lodging arranged for people arriving on September 21 and departing on September 25.
Vía Orgánica Farm School and Ranch is located in the Jalpa Valley of Central Mexico, just 15 minutes outside of the beautiful World Heritage City, San Miguel de Allende. The ecological ranch serves as an educational farm and training center for farmers, students and activists in the organic food movement. The ranch includes a natural retreat center with adobe buildings, walking trails, solar power, rainwater catchment, and grey water and composting systems. It is also home to Granjas Regenerativas or "the regenerative poultry project."
Learn more about Vía Orgánica's work: http://viaorganica.org/
Learn more about Granjas Regenerativas: http://www.granjasregenerativas.com/
For participants staying in San Miguel de Allende, shuttles will depart daily from Hotel Mansion Virreyes (Canal 19, Centro) and Casa Angelitos (Calle Faroles # 3, Colonia Atascadero). Please ensure you arrive promptly at scheduled times or prior to.
Day 1 | September 22:
San Miguel de Allende to Venue: 8:15AM
Venue to San Miguel de Allende: 8:00PM, 11:00PM
Day 2 | September 23:
San Miguel de Allende to Venue: 8:15AM
Venue to San Miguel de Allende (Dinner in town): 5:00PM
San Miguel de Allende to Venue: 10:30PM
Day 3 | September 24:
San Miguel de Allende to Venue: 8:15AM
Venue to San Miguel de Allende: 8:30PM, 10:30PM
For people renting cars or traveling by car: Directions can be found on this map (in Spanish): http://viaorganica.org/mapa/. If you need more clarification on directions to the ranch, please contact us (see contact information below).
Leaders in the regenerative agriculture movement from the RI network will come together for a dynamic networking event to further the global transition to regenerative food, farming and land use.
We have arranged lodging for participants throughout the conference from September 21 to September 25. We will be covering the lodging costs for these dates but if you want to stay longer you can work directly with the hotels to arrange this. San Miguel de Allende and the surrounding areas are beautiful and we encourage anyone that can make the time to spend an extra couple days to explore. We will be providing organic meals throughout the conference.
We recommend flying into Leon (airport code BJX) or Queretaro (airport code QRO). RI will sponsor airport pickups to these two airports (more information in the section below).
Mexico requires citizens of certain countries to obtain visas prior to arrival. Please double check if you need a visa. If you do, please let us know and we can help provide the necessary supporting documentation.
We will provide pickup from either the Leon, Del Bajio Airport (airport code BJX) or Queretaro Airport (airport code QRO). A private shuttle by local transportation company Bajio Go will take you directly from the airport to your accommodation. Both of the airports are small, easy to navigate, regional airports that receive many tourists and have bilingual staff. You will be given a temporary visa form to fill out on the airplane. Airport staff are bilingual and will assist you in filling out your visa form if you have any questions. When walking out of the airport into the arrivals terminal, there might be a lot people (taxi drivers, rental car people, etc.) offering to help with luggage and transportation. Do not allow anybody to handle your luggage. Look for the person holding a sign with your name. If your flight is delayed, do not worry, the transfer company have your flight number and will wait for you.
México’s currency is the peso (sign: $; code: MXN). The Mexican Peso currently exchanges at around 17,99 MXN per US dollar. No U.S. dollars are taken locally; only local currency.
The conference will provide 3 meals a day. However, we recommend you bring some extra cash (between 100-250 USD) for extra beverages and snacks, souvenirs and tips.
In order to get Mexican pesos, you can either exchange your USD to MXN or you can withdraw MXN directly from an ATM.
- Making a withdrawal from an ATM is generally the easiest and cheapest way to get cash abroad. This rate is often significantly better than what you can get from exchanging money at a local exchange counter.
- You can exchange your US Dollars at the airport exchange counter and also in local banks in San Miguel de Allende. However, if you decide you want to exchange USD to MXN, we recommend exchanging at the local banks, not at the airport.
Other things to consider:
- Let your bank or credit card company know you’re traveling. Banks and credit card companies often have fraud-monitoring systems that may interpret unusual card activity as potential fraud. And when they see a purchase come in from another country, they may decline the charge as a way to protect you. Setting a travel notice before departure lets your bank or credit card company know you’re in control of your cards, so you can use them worry-free.
- Find out which banks and ATMs partner with your bank. You can help avoid certain fees and hassles by finding out what banks and ATM networks partner with your bank
- Please note that Rancho Vía Orgánica does not have an ATM nearby - you will be able to get pesos from exchange bureaus and ATMs in downtown San Miguel or at the airport. It is recommended to withdraw money at the airport or on your way to the lodge.
Mexico's electricity system is the same as that of the USA: 120 V; 60 Hz. Any electrical equipment you carry with you that operates at the higher (240v) rate will need to be dual-voltage (e.g. hair driers). The sockets are of the American 2-prong standard.
The Ranch uses solar hot water heaters and solar electricity, therefore we ask guests to be conservative with water and electricity use. Small electronics (cell phone and camera batteries for example) can be charged during daylight hours. We ask that you not bring large electrical appliances, no hairdryers please.
San Miguel de Allende is in central Mexico -- prepare for extremes! The weather can be very hot during the day, but much, much cooler at night. The month of September is characterized by essentially constant daily temperatures, with daily highs around 77°F throughout the month and daily low temperatures decrease to 57°F. September is the end of the rainy season so there might still be some rainfall.
Essentials for your visit to Vía Orgánica Ranch and San Miguel de Allende:
✓ Copy of your passport. It is always good to have a copy of your passport in case your passport is lost! We recommend you bring one copy with you and leave a copy home
✓ Comfortable walking shoes - preferably with ankle support- and an extra pair of comfortable shoes or sandals that provide stability for San Miguel's cobble stone streets (Ladies, please avoid heels!)
✓ Layers of clothing for cooler evenings and mornings and warmer weather in the daytime
✓ Hat and lightweight long sleeve shirts to protect you from the sun
✓ Sandals to use in shared showers
✓ Biodegradable soaps and shampoos
✓ Hand washing detergent (consider bringing it as we do not provide laundry service)
✓ Organic bug repellent
✓ Organic sunscreen
✓ Binoculars for bird watching at the ranch
✓ Earplugs (if you have trouble falling asleep when sharing a room)
If you have any problems prior to your departure or once you get to the airport in México, please contact:
Alexandra Groome, Project Coordinator, Regeneration International • Mobile: +52 (415) 138 4478 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bajio Go Airport Transfers • Phone number: +52 (415) 152 1999
Meritxell Solé, Eco-tourism Coordinator, Vía Orgánica • Mobile: +52 (415) 144 8223 • Email: email@example.com
Rachel Kastner, Network Coordinator, Regeneration International • Mobile: +52 (415) 149 1797 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org