Roy Riquelme

A recipe for conservation and connection

For the world’s eight billion people, the meals we share with loved ones represent more than the ingredients on the table. Meals are symbols of our cultures, our shared roots, and the memories created over generations of cooking together and learning from one another. Roy Riquelme, a chef and conservationist in the Amazon, understands that sharing the meals of your culture is a way to express its vibrant heritage and protect its legacy. When growing up in the lush greenery of southeastern Peru’s Madre de Dios region, he witnessed firsthand the devastating effects deforestation can have on local life and life around the world.

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“We want people to learn about the Amazon, to learn about our products, our cuisine.”

Determined to make a difference, Roy founded Cooking and Preserving — a catering business that celebrates his homeland’s rich culinary heritage while helping to preserve the Amazon rainforest that provides the diverse fruits, vegetables, and ingredients used in these recipes. At the heart of Roy’s conservation endeavors is his cookbook, which features ancient recipes and cooking techniques as documented during his travels to indigenous communities in the Amazon. “This cookbook is inspired by my trips to the communities within the project,” says Roy. “So that they can have a record of everything that we are creating.”

To help these communities thrive, Roy wants to get the cookbook in the hands of interested home cooks around the world. But how does someone deep in the remote Amazon grow a global following? Enter Diego Davila’s digital marketing course, which Roy took to grow his skills in visual storytelling in order to share the beauty of his community’s food and heritage. 

Using lessons cultivated from Diego’s business expertise, Roy now captures eye-catching photos and publishes them on social media to not only help people learn about the traditions of the Amazon but to also develop a sustainable future and way of life in Madre de Dios.  

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“My goal is to leave a very important legacy for new people who become involved with the project and for our next generations to enjoy what we still have.”

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