Reinvigorating and nourishing an economically impoverished community on the U.S.-Mexico border through urban gardens, farmers’ markets, cooking, and food heritage celebrations
With support from the Kresge Foundation, SFA worked with La Mujer Obrera, an El-Paso, TX-based organization dedicated to creating communities defined by women, to create the “Chamizal Food, Health and Culture Master Plan.” Chamizal is a neighborhood in South Central El Paso immediately adjacent to the international boundary with Mexico. High in cultural skills of resiliency and dignity, Chamizal is also sometimes known as the “poster child” for the job-loss devastation caused by NAFTA. In 1994, 35,000 jobs left El Paso and dozens of factories closed, resulting in the highest number of displaced workers in the country, many of whom lived in Chamizal. Today, the majority of residents are employed in temporary labor, food processing, bartering and the informal economy. The plan served to strengthen the organization’s work in food-oriented community development, which includes local food production, heritage food programs, and farmer’s markets in Chamizal.