The Paso del Norte region of southern New Mexico and the El Paso, Texas, La Samila Food Center are promoting long-term, sustainable and rehabilitative changes in the diet. A.D. Founded in 2010, the non-profit organization focuses on hands-on, land-based projects and policy change initiatives.
La Semila operates five programs based on the Chihuahua desert ecology program: Community Farming, Farming, Food Education, Community Education and Policy, and Community Development. The purpose of these programs is to focus on the experiences and knowledge of communities affected by harmful structures and practices in the food system.
“As members of this diverse community, we know that our unique, ground-based heritage, our unique way of eating and interacting with our feminine environment is a place to build for future generations,” he said. History and Development Director Ruby Orozko Santos told the food tank.
La Semila supports a safe and respectful work environment for farm workers in the Paso del Norte region, most of whom are immigrants from Mexico and Central America. “The management of farm workers continues to be one of the most embarrassing aspects of our diet,” says Orozko Santos. “Industrial food systems have always been based on cruelty and human rights abuses.”
American agricultural workers are increasingly vulnerable to complex political, economic, and environmental threats. They illustrate some of the factors that contribute to the economic crisis, immigration situation, language, ethnicity, race and socio-economic status of agricultural workers.
Currently, New Mexico state laws do not prohibit the payment of low wages to dairy workers, butchers, harvesters, and harvesters. The pressure to work as fast as you can to get a high price creates dangerous situations. In the United States, 49% of horticultural workers do not have a work permit due to their immigration status, which hinders their ability to safely defend their labor and wage rights.
La Semila joins a group of New Mexico agricultural workers and activists. Community farming based on agro-ecological principles guarantees team members $ 15 per hour, paid vacation time, workers’ compensation, overtime pay, parental leave, health insurance and essential health and safety infrastructure including bathrooms and shade.
The agro-ecological model in the La Samila mission is intended to benefit the staff. The basic principles of agrology emphasize the importance of equitable and social security for workers and the creation of sustainable food and agricultural systems. However, according to Orozco Santos to the food tank, agro-ecology provides a “viable long-term strategy for crop resilience.” La Samila hopes to establish and support a regional network of small farmers who can exchange experiences and adapt to climate change.
A recent study by The future of the earth, The Southwest US, led by NASA’s Godard Space Research Institute (GISS), predicts that it will dry up by the end of the 21st century. The region includes changing rain patterns and severe weather events such as droughts and heat waves. According to Orozco Santos, La Semila focuses on creating geographically-appropriate methods and innovations to address climate change challenges. This includes plowing dry land, producing drought-tolerant crops, and developing suitable crop systems in support of small and integrated approaches.
In addition to these land-based projects, the company is working to build food sovereignty through fairy tales. “Food paths and word paths go hand in hand,” explains Orozko Santos. For La Samila, storytelling serves as a cultural strategy for the organization to develop its relationship with the Chihuahua desert ecosystem. According to Orozco Santos, this practice is “high.[s] Earth-based traditions, which are naturally healthy and renewed, are often underestimated and supported[s] Narratives that change power to solve past and present systemic damage.
La Samila historians team recently published this food, land and us. Explaining the complexity of US agricultural policy, Zezin told Food Tank, “The basis of stolen land, energy and knowledge, and the history of color communities, their knowledge, resistance and perseverance shaped our food system today.” .
In the future, the organization aims to develop associations for agro-ecology, agriculture and nutritionists. La Samila hopes to use its programs to support the policy and infrastructure of black, Indigenous and Indigenous Peoples (BIPOC) growers and to support the common Paso del Norte agro-ecological practice. Orozco Santos told Food La La Samila that it will continue to “fight racism and anti-apartheid and support the indigenous people in a meaningful and tangible way.”
Photo by Michelle Carrion, La Samila Restaurant