Latin America Week is an annual event which is run by the Latin America Solidarity Centre in Dublin. Apart from a series of free movies during the week they also ran a one day conference in the Mansion house. This year’s topic was ‘The Bittersweet Taste of Globalised Food’.
While the recession has forced many of us to rethink our current lifestyles, for the majority of people in Latin America life is less about lifestyle choices but about mere survival – of indigenous culture, languages and food growing methods. The concept of ‘food sovereignty’ (compared to the weaker concept of ‘food security’) was therefore one of the most discussed topics of the day.
In the morning, the main speakers, Alberta Carino Trujillo from Mexico and Juan Cambindo Cuenu from Colombia, gave impressive accounts on the situation in their home countries. Different cultures, many similar issues, most of them to do with the Latin American food crisis. If you want to find out more about the topics covered on the day contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the afternoon (after an extremely yummy vegan lunch prepared by the chefs of Seomra Spraoi) we split into three groups to discuss alternatives to globalised food with interesting speakers from Comhlamh (meaning ‘solidarity’ in Irish or literally ‘hands together’), Dublin Food Co-op (organic food market) and Dublin Food Growing (community gardens). As usual I ended up with way too many notes to even mention all of the interesting people and orgs here. But do check out some of the links for finding out more about individual projects. My theory is that if each of us got involved in even just one thing, there’d be a whole lot to gain for all of us.
If you’re interested in volunteering in Mexico, send an email (if possible in Spanish) to email@example.com. I spoke with Alberta and they are always looking for people to help out with education, community radio, microfinance and advocacy for food sovereignty projects. Also check out the Cactus website (Spanish only). If you’re not fluent in Spanish it might be worth contacting LASC first to get a few more details from them.
Students of the Presentation School and St Joseph’s Academy in Kildare brought an interesting day to a creative close with their excellent short play called ‘The Sacred Cactus’.