While the weather is beautiful this time of year in Baja California Sur, Living Roots has taken Autumn by storm! As perfect temperatures and cultural festivities draw tourists and Baja residents to the region, members of the Raíces Vivas marketing association have been selling sierra products and increasing awareness of Living Roots’ mission at events including the Celebration of the Foundation of Loreto; Loreto’s first culinary expo where we offered samples of mission wine and sierra sweets; and a regional artisan competition in which a Raíces Vivas leather worker won first place for a traditionally tanned belt.
On the funding front, Living Roots secured a grant from Fondo Acción Solidaria (Solidarity Action Fund, FASOL) to fund sierra education and training programs. We are also excited to announce that Living Roots just secured fiscal sponsorship with Village Earth, a like-minded community development organization based in Fort Collins, Colorado — this means that we are now able to receive tax-exempt donations!
On the strategic planning front, Living Roots facilitated another community meeting with the residents of San Javier and its surrounding ranches, to reflect on the past year’s successes and envision future plans for the Marketing Association and soon-to-be constructed regional marketplace and cultural center.
Raising the Roof! The San Javier Marketplace/Cultural Center. At the community meeting held last week, which included representatives of the Secretaries of Development for the state and the municipality, support for the construction of the San Javier Marketplace and Cultural Center was unanimous; we’ll be breaking ground December 5th! Building materials such as stone, thatch, and adobe will be sourced from local ranches and the municipality is helping with the donation of the space and construction. The Marketplace and Cultural Center will be a “community hub” that provides a direct connection for people who live in and around San Javier to sell their products, organize tourism and exhibit their unique history and life-style.
Photographer Richard Jackson will accompany Living Roots this week into the sierra to start documenting ranchero lifestyle, so that visitors to the Cultural Center can visually experience what life is like on a sierra ranch. Ranchero families are gathering traditional tools, artifacts, and historical tales to contribute to the exhibit. There is a buzz of excitement and pride throughout the sierra about community members coming together to create something from which everyone can benefit, which is also a celebration of their skill and culture.
Feeling the Effects of Climate Change. Baja California Sur is experiencing its second continuous year of draught. The isolated spattering of rain in the late summer greened things up enough to look promising, but not enough to sustain livestock or refill the aquifers. Coupled with a bad onion production year, families are feeling rather desperate and searching for alternatives.
One potential buffer is Living Roots’ collaboration with Raíces de Fondo to offer organic gardening workshops, which will introduce rancheros to water-conserving drip irrigation systems, composting, seed saving (including creation of a seed bank) and other techniques for sustainable food production. These gardens will provide fresh food for families, and generate income through produce sales during the Sunday morning farmer’s market in Loreto.
* Upcoming Events *
“Meet and Greet” with Living Roots
- Saturday November 19th
- 5:00 – 7:00 PM
- Museum Courtyard in Loreto
As Living Roots is getting ready to kick off its first annual fundraising campaign, we’re hosting a “get to know us” event in Loreto for those interested in learning more about our programs and services. We will have samples of sierra made foods, music, hand-made Christmas presents and hopefully demonstrations by master artisans. Everyone is welcome.
Wine, Food and Music Festival
- Sunday, November 20th
- 12:00 PM – sunset
- Mil Palmas (15 minutes north on Calle Davis)
- $80 pesos in advance; $100 pesos at the door (includes entrance + one drink)
Living Roots will be participating in the first ever Loreto Wine and Music Festival featuring wine from five Guadalupe Valley vineyards (and of course from our own local mountains) food from various restaurants, artisan crafts, a sunset concert and more – a wonderful way to spend a Sunday! You can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and tickets.
Tis’ the Season of Gratitude. Living Roots thanks you for your continued interest in and support for our mission to help Baja ranching families adapt and thrive in the modern world. We are especially grateful for the relationships, partnerships and trust we’ve built at the community, municipal, and state level — all of which are essential as Living Roots continues to provide services that fill gaps in community needs. During this critical stage of growth and social impact, Living Roots welcomes financial contributions; the good news is that you can now make a tax-exempt donation directly online, thanks to Village Earth’s extension of fiscal sponsorship.