In 1999, as recently arrived, mycology-minded residents of Mexico (of European and Canadian backgrounds), with interests also in ecotourism and mushroom cuisine, we researched, forayed, explored and then formed "Mexican Mushroom Tours."
Inspired by the rich, largely undiscovered fungi biology of Mexico, we teamed up with mycology specialists from the University of Tlaxcala to invite mushroom enthusiasts worldwide to share the exciting foraying opportunities in this country.
Ever since our first tour for visiting participants in August 2000, the allure and bounty of Mexico's fungi have brought resounding enthusiasm from attendees.
Our goal is to gently and carefully develop a wider awareness of prime fungi regions in Mexico through small, international foray groups, expert local mycological information and full enjoyment of the local foods, culture and outdoors life.
It is our privilege to invite and welcome you to join us in this exciting fungi exploration.
Gundi Jeffrey and Erik Purre Portsmouth
|Gundi Jeffrey & Erik Purre Portsmouth|
Gundi and her husband Erik, members of the Mycological Society of Toronto, have lived in Mexico since 1997, after lengthy careers in journalism and specialized financial publishing in Canada. Gundi is a member of the advisory council to, and former director of, the Audubon Society of Mexico and also writes travel articles for several publications. They launched Mexican Mushroom Tours in 2000 to bring a new type of ecotourism to the country. Gundi and Erik, residents of the mountainous central state of Tlaxcala since 2001, look forward to welcoming you to the fungi pleasures of their exciting new home region.
|Dr. Arturo Estrada Torres|
Arturo was the founder and head of the Laboratory of Mycology (now Systematics of Fungi) at the Universidad Autónoma de Tlaxcala. He has worked with the taxonomy of the Ramaria genus and is now focussed on the taxonomy and biogeography of myxomycetes. At the university since 1988, his work has also included research in the biology of mycorrhizal fungi and in ethnomycology. He was also a professor in the university's School of Agrobiology (1996-2000), teaching courses in soil microbiology. Arturo led the local team that organized NAMA's acclaimed 1998 Foray in Tlaxcala and organized the 2005 International Congress on Myxomycetes, also held in Tlaxcala. He has published more than 30 papers in prominent academic/technical journals and has been adviser to more than 20 masters and PhD thesis writers. Arturo is president of the recently founded first amateur mushroom club in Mexico, Mico Aficionados de México.
|Dr. Adriana Montoya Esquivel|
Adriana has been with the Universidad Autónoma de Tlaxcala since 1988. Her current work is in ethnomycology and she has been studying how people use mushrooms in three indigenous villages in the state of Tlaxcala, publishing her findings in various academic journals and lecturing on her work at mycology conferences in Mexico. She has also published a cookbook providing traditional Tlaxcala recipes for the state's rich harvest of mushrooms.
|Alejandro Kong Luz|
Alejandro has been with the Universidad Autonoma de Tlaxcala since 1991.His specialty is taxonomy and ecology of ectomycorrhizal fungi. He is an expert in the mushrooms of the Russulaceae family and has discovered several species of this mushroom which are unique to Tlaxcala. He has published his findings in several international journals. He and his wife Adriana (above) have been active and enthusiastic field leaders on Mexican Mushroom Tours since 2000.
|Dr. Gastón Guzmán|
Instrumental in creating and leading our Veracruz tours, Dr. Gastón Guzmán, former President of the Latin American Mycological Society, has been a mycology professor and researcher for more than 40 years. In 1971 he received a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation of New York to study the genus Psilocybe, which ultimately resulted in a comprehensive book on the subject. He founded the Department and Herbarium of Fungi in Xalapa, and currently holds the Emeritus Research chair at the Ecological Institute of Xalapa. He has published more than 350 papers and nine books, including the first book, in 1977, on Mexican mushrooms. He has described more than 200 new taxa on fungi worldwide. We are privileged to have his scientific leadership and good cheer on our Veracruz forays.
|Dr. Joaquin Cifuentes|
Joaquin is the curator of the FCME Herbarium at the School of Sciences of the National University (UNAM) of Mexico City and heads the university's Comparative Biology Department. He has been teaching botany and mycology courses for over 25 years. During that time, he has published 36 papers on taxonomy and systematics of macromycetes, put together a collection of 20,000 fungi from Central and Southern Mexico. Recently, he has been taking an inventory of the macrofungi in the Reserva de la Biosfera de la Mariposa Monarca (the Monarch Butterfly Reserve) in Michoacan, Mexico. He has also done major fungi studies in the tropical areas of Campeche and Belize. Since 2002, he has been a field leader and technical presenter for Mexican Mushroom Tours in Tlaxcala and the Copper Canyon.
|Ricardo Valenzuela and Tania Raymundo|
Ricardo Valenzuela Garza is with the Mycological Laboratory of Mexico's National School of Biological Sciences. He is in charge of the mycology section of the ENCB Herbarium, which is the largest such collection in Mexico. He has 25 years of experience with all types of Mexican fungi, both edible and poisonous. His wife Tania Raymundo Ojeda has been a mycologist for the past six years. Her specialty is wood-decaying mushrooms. We are delighted to have them join us as technical leaders, starting with the Copper Canyon 2005 Mushroom Expedition.
Felipe Ruan-Soto studied biology and mycology at UNAM in Mexico City and is now a teacher, researcher and head of the Mushroom Herbarium at the School of Biology at the University of Sciences and Arts of Chiapas at Tuxtla Gutierrez. Felipe’s special interest is ethnomycology and he is the current president of the Interdisciplinary Group for the Development of Ethnomycology in Mexico. He is a member of the Mexican Mycological Society and has authored and presented numerous articles and studies. We are delighted to have Felipe join us as a technical leader on our September 2007 Chiapas Foray and have him contribute his considerable knowledge and expertise regarding regional fungi and their use by local people.