Veronica w/an abundant harvest at host site, Zephyros Farm
MESA often receives letters from Stewards from their homes across the globe. We may hear the joys of reuniting with loved ones, the ups and downs of their agricultural projects, or remembrances of their season as a Steward. Now back in her home country, Veronica reflects on the challenges of return and her desire to grow change in Mexico City.
How the return to your home community?
I want to tell you a little bit of the things I have been doing since I return to México. For sure, it has been really hard to come back. But I am very happy to be with family and friends.
Over the past couple of weeks, it has been hard to see all the problems here. First, there is the disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa in Iguala, and no one doing anything, not even the president. Many others have disappeared over the past few years, and even now the people are still calling for change. It is real chaos. Working together and stopping the corruption is the answer. Mexico is weary of the insecurity and kidnappings. The lack of justice and support extends to every part of the country, especially in agriculture. There may be many campaigns to take care of your health, like obesity or against some processed foods. But all the advertisements say otherwise.
Veronica’s host site also grows and markets gorgeous seasonal bouquets
What are your hopes for change in Mexico City and beyond?
I believe teaching people about what and how to eat, and to make that food accessible to all, is a way to solve this problem. I hope next year, the government will contribute and work with farmers, to improve their soils, to have better practices and better production, and a good market, all without polluting the environment. I recently went to San Miguel to visit the ranch where I was working. There, everything is beautiful! Yet then I went to the farmers market, everything is different. It was hard to see that many farmers are out because misunderstandings. I hope that will change in the future.
Any key take aways from your time with MESA?
After my experiences with MESA, I learned ways to make teamwork stronger and easier. I have also learned tools and ways that we can produce more and better food through sustainable practices. We have infinite choices to help the environment.
What’s on the horizon?
Here in Mexico, I will work harder to help the farmers and to teach the people. My plan is to make urban gardens in Mexico City, while also continuing to work with the nonprofit I worked with before. I also have an uncle in Veracruz and together, we want to give workshops and work the people to begin community gardens there.
For the future…next year I will begin my application for a Master’s in Organic Agriculture and Agroecology in Netherlands. If all goes as to plan, I may begin in September 2015!