This Wednesday, we were so glad to host a group of seven women from the Campestre (Spanish for rural, country) Rotary Club in Juarez, Mexico at the Manna Garden! They are on a tour of gardens and other nonprofits in the Southwest to learn how they can incorporate a nursery, garden, and, hopefully, community kitchen into their already robust poverty-fighting program. One of the biggest challenges in Juarez is the allure of gangs to young people in poverty, since gangs are often able to provide food for them. Campestre hopes they can be an alternative source of hope for the poorest residents of Juarez.
After a tour of the Manna garden and a bit of harvesting, they got a tour of the learning kitchen and prepared a salad with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and beans from the garden. As they chopped and diced, they told us more about the specific challenges they face. Though it would seem that their direct conflict with the gangs of Juarez over providing those in poverty with food and shelter would be in the forefront of their minds, what really concerned them was whether such a project was possible in Juarez's arid climate, as well as how to secure funding. As a few of them told us, though, seeing the bounty of the Manna garden in the dry climate of Durango was very inspiring. We wish them the very best in their efforts, and we were so excited to share experiences and stories across cultures, languages, and borders!
Photo Cred: Chloe Field