Christos Raches is about four miles inland in a larger area called Raches. Raches is one of the greenest sections of Ikaria, dense with pine forests, wetlands, and an extensive series of hiking trails.
The village is quiet in the daytime, but comes alive late at night – a practice that originated long ago before cars existed. Because the village of Christos Raches was considered the center of the entire Raches area, people would leave on foot from surrounding villages at the beginning of the day, and not reach Christos Raches until evening. In order to serve these local merchants, businesses became accustomed to staying open late, a custom that continues into the modern era.
The ingredients are purchased from small operations on the island which use sustainable and organic methods. The women’s cooperative offers a rare opportunity to these small-scale producers, who might otherwise never have a chance to market their goods successfully outside Ikaria.
The women’s cooperative is helping to generate a source of ongoing income for farmers and their families, and thus fostering the continuance of traditional farming on Ikaria, while also contributing to a healthier local economy.
Through their ongoing work, the cooperative strives to support young women so that they don’t have to leave Ikaria, and to ensure that the cooperative members can continue living on the island and build a future here.