Macedonian and Albanian women together in the development of the agritourism in the Prespa region

Every region in Macedonia has its own heroines, today we would like to tell you the story of the heroines from Prespa who tirelessly promote this region. They live to create stories and tell them to every tourist who comes here. They like to pass on their knowledge from their grandmothers, and they stand out by introducing modern tools for the development of the tourism. These women managed to plant 5000 mountain tea seedlings in the region, and today you will hear their story.

These women have created a society named “Rural Women from Prespa”, and today we would like you to meet Violeta Prculovska who is the president of the society but as she says the title “president” is just a word because they all work together so they can achieve more.

Violeta says that their family of rural women consists of wives, mothers, daughters and grandmothers, intellectuals and pensioners, Macedonians and Albanians who share their love for Prespa and work tirelessly to promote this beautiful rural region, preparing traditional food. The women are from many villages in the region, but that doesn’t stop them from promoting Prespa as a multicultural community that everyone can experience through the best Macedonian, Albanian and Turkish specialties they make.

In addition to traditional food, Violeta says that their story is successfully upgraded by making homemade handicrafts and collecting herbs and teas that are characteristic for this region. All this is motivated by the fact that women can also earn alongside their husbands who are farmers.

“We promote this region by preparing traditional food that is characteristic for the Prespa region. In the past we were part of many events where through our culinary skills we promoted the region. All events we participated to are dear to us, but I would like to single out a few such as the Twitter event “I Love Prespa”, organized by the UNDP in 2018 in Skopje, says Violeta. In 2019 they hosted the event “Meet Prespa ” an event that lasted the entire weekend at several locations in Prespa and had different activities. Also, every year they are present on the Prespa Apple Harvest because it is a holiday in the region and marks the beginning of the apple harvest.

Thanks to these rural women in this region, the foreign tourists can enjoy specialties from the traditional Prespa food, such as the Prespa carp, the Prespa bleak and cironka (a traditional Macedonian dish famous in the Prespa region and made of common bleak), to different types of pies, pitulici with garlic and arshlama. Of course, there is also the traditional Prespa gjomleze, which the guests adore. The so called ‘village’ salad from home-made vegetables as an appetizer, and at the end there goes the dessert, homemade strudels from different kinds of fruit that grows in the Prespa region such as the apple strudel that is typical for this region.

These women have also worked on themed events at the request of the guests. One of the events that they will remember is the one in the village of Stenje where was made a promotion of berries fruit with the specialties made of it. Also, these women were part of the beekeeping days where they were preparing honey specialties.

They often meet with the foreign tourists on the Spirit of Prespa farm. There they are regular hosts and responsible for preparing the delicious food that the guests have the opportunity to taste it. Frequent guests at their events where they prepare their specialties are some ambassadors with whom they have established good friendships.

The tourists like the authenticity, what we have preserved and the way we promote the traditional. They are delighted with the moment when the food is prepared in front of them, especially the gjomleze, says Violeta.

According to her, the foreign tourists know how to appreciate the work and the desire to work, but also the courage to show what they know and what they can do. They are recognizable in what they do. Their potential has been recognized by several organizations that are now supporters and inspirers that encourage them to move on. CNVP and PONT are the main sponsors and with their help they managed to plant 5000 seedlings of mountain tea. They are currently focusing on tea cultivation as there are no events or tourists for the moment.

You can follow these women’s work on the social networks such as “Rural Women from Prespa” or “Prespa Mountain Tea”, and soon you will be able to visit their website that is under construction for the moment.


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