A firsthand account of community-led groups and individuals in the Sonoran desert borderlands who are building dignity through struggle from the ground up, this publication asks the question, “How can people in the borderlands be healthy and empowered when their communities are under attack?” This question is at the core of cesar lopez’s “Dignity, Hope, Wellness and Action: Against All Odds in the Sonoran Desert,” the first publication in WhyHunger’s Food Justice Voices series.
This thought-provoking piece goes beyond the issues of hunger, addressing the border region’s wide disparities in political and economic opportunity. Did you know 60 percent of fresh produce eaten in the U.S. is grown in Mexico? That produce is transported directly through the borderlands, while farmworkers in Mexico suffer from hunger, inhumane labor standards and poor wages, and people living on both sides of the border go hungry.
But there is hope. cesar’s piece provides a firsthand account of community-led groups and individuals in the Sonoran desert borderlands who are blazing another trail — fighting to heal from the trauma, working to put an end to a destructive system and building dignity through struggle from the ground up. “The impact of these homegrown leaders is hard to measure,” says cesar, “and the importance of change coming from the ground up cannot be overstated.”