Onward and Upward by Living Roots
With 2013 well underway, Living Roots is still harvesting the fruits of last year’s labor while keeping our sights set on an equally exciting and bountiful Spring. Balancing celebration with strategic planning, we feel it’s the perfect time to share a few highlights, updates, and upcoming projects with our friends, family and followers.
The Living Roots team stands in front of the newly built San Javier Cultural Center
San Javier Cultural Center
As many of you know, Living Roots is excited to kick off the New Year with the Grand Opening of the San Javier Cultural Center – designed, hand built, and soon to be fully operated by the community. This marks the culmination of several years of planning and community organizing. Living Roots members are proud and excited to promote their lifestyle, sell traditional products and offer services through this community hub, which will serve as a much-needed focal point for local tourism activities. Living Roots staff is thrilled to see the tangible results of so much effort and dedication to the ranchero culture.
- Inauguration ceremony will be held on February 2nd in celebration of Día de la Candelaria. In the spirit of sharing and coming together as a community, members are providing tamales, tortillas, coffee etc. for the feast. All are welcome!
Lights, Camera, Action!
As part of our focus on youth empowerment and education, Living Roots Youth Coordinator, Hugo Sanchez, is launching a project next week called, “Jóvenes Documentalistas” or Young Documentarians. San Javier’s secondary school students will learn from professional photographers and communications specialists about how to use multi-media techniques to capture the stories and know-how of the older generation.
Youth will embark on a several-day long expedition to outlaying ranches to interview and learn from their elder relatives and grandparents. Local guides will accompany youth to teach important skills of route finding and survival, as well as share the value and importance of local wilderness. Such skills and appreciation are quickly being forgotten as the younger generation heads to cities for education and employment.
Youth will create an interactive, multi-media display for exhibition in the Cultural Center and various venues throughout the state beginning in May. The Young Documentarians program helps rancheros value and pass on traditional skills while engaging youth in technologies that translate these traditions to the modern world. This new generation of cultural stewards will help keep ranchero culture vibrant.
Staff Updates (we love our team!)
This spring, Living Roots is excited to welcome founding member, Mila Birnbaum, back to Baja. Mila has been selected by Vail Resorts’ Epic Volunteers program to dedicate a week to the nonprofit of her choice. In her time here, she will help us lay the foundation for an interpretive/medicinal plant guided-walk which will be offered through the Cultural Center. The design and implementation of the trail will be aided by the secondary school students and the Autonomous University of Baja California Sur Loreto and La Paz campuses. We are glad that Mila and Vail have chosen Living Roots!
Also this spring, our Artisan Program Coordinator, Martha Drew, will work with Loreto University students to improve the quality and commercial viability of sierra artisan foods such as dulce de leche (milk caramel) and fruit jams.
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As always, thanks for your continued interest and support. For more information about Living Roots’ programs or to make a contribution please visit: www.livingrootsbaja.org or check us out on Facebook.
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