Chayote is an edible plant belonging to the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, along with melons, cucumbers and squash
Chayote is an edible plant belonging to the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, along with melons, cucumbers and squash

Chayote is one of the more common foods found daily in Costa Rican cuisine. The chayote can be eaten raw in salads, or stuffed and baked. Other preparations include mashing, pickling, frying or boiling.

According to the Cámara de Exportadores de Costa Rica (Cadexco), some 2,000 families, mainly in the area of Ujarrás, depend on this product for a living. It is the only economic activity in the area, where some 350 small farmers tend to some 500 planted hectares.

Yorleni Araya and Roxana Araya (sitting) are two of the women of the Mujeres Emprendedoras del Valle de Ujarras (Enterprising Women of Ujarras Valley) interviewed for the Chayote event
Yorleni Araya and Roxana Araya (sitting) are two of the women of the Mujeres Emprendedoras del Valle de Ujarras (Enterprising Women of Ujarras Valley) interviewed for the Chayote event this weekend.

Ujarrás is located in Paraiso de Cartago, east of San Jose. And until tomorrow, July 3, the Ruinas de Ujarrás (Ruins of Ujarrás) is the scene of the 7th edition of the Feria Nacional de Chayote (National Chayote Fair) for families to come and delight the quality of the “chayotera” production of the area.

Laura Bonilla, president of Cadexco, said the event is a great opportunity for “chayoteros” (chayote producers) to show visitors their products.

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It was in the seventies that the Ujarrás area was chosen for the product that has become part of Costa Rica’s traditional and exported internationally. The United States, Canada and some European countries is the main export destination of the Chayote from Ujarrás.

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