“Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations.”
– Declaration of Nyéléni, the first global forum on food sovereignty, Mali, 2007
The Network of Independent Educators for Food Sovereignty, REISA, arose from the need to create spaces for agricultural and ecological education for young people in unfavorable social conditions, inhabitants of rural and urban communities in the Mesoamerica region. (South of Mexico to the North of Nicaragua).
We work in collaboration with Association SERES, a grassroots 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization led mostly by women, who have been using leadership training, empowerment and education as their tools over the past 10 years. They have initiated a process to mobilizing young people to take action to address the most pressing environmental challenges of their communities.
As REISA, our work is to design and facilitate training courses and workshops on the process of design, implementation and management of food production systems, totally natural and free of agro-chemicals in community gardens, family gardens and school gardens.
¨From the garden we obtain complementary foods during the abundant season and essential resources for survival when the times of scarcity arrive. That is why the family garden is a fundamental part of peasant farmer social reproduction. Being spaces adjacent to the house, much of daily life occurs in the gardens, so they become the stage in which traditional knowledge is put into practice and transmitted to the youngest members of the family. They are spaces of family coexistence and are even used as workshops for the elaboration of handicrafts or for the manufacture of tools for work¨. -La Jornada del Campo
Our theoretical-practical courses seek to strengthen the vision and skills of young leaders who are seeking to learn and strengthen their knowledge to lead by implementing gardens in their communities, homes and/or schools thus contributing from the garden to the important work of the conservation and propagation of native and heirloom seeds of the Mesoamerica region, to use local natural resources so as not to depend on external inputs, to promote an integral, local and totally natural diet and community integration.
We base these training courses on a vision of Food Sovereignty for the people:
“Food Sovereignty gives priority to the economies of local and national markets, strengthening the peasantry as well as consumers, since the production of food, distribution and consumption are based on environmental, social and economic sustainability. It also promotes transparent commerce, which guarantees decent income for all peoples, as well as the rights of consumers to control their food and nutrition.
It ensures that the rights to use and the management of lands, territories, waters, seeds, livestock and biodiversity, are in the hands of those who produce food. Food Sovereignty gives rise to new social relations free of oppression and inequality between men and women, peoples, racial groups, social classes and generations “. -La Via Campesina