SFA is pleased to announce the release of La Doce Barrio Foodways: A report on community knowledge and recommendations for sustainable change. This bilingual report shares findings from the La Doce Barrio Foodways Project, a project which aimed to look beyond the commercial landscape to identify opportunities for food resiliency and creativity among residents. The report includes a call to action to create a new model of governance and wealth creation in the area.
The project engaged over 200 La Doce residents and visitors in researching how food and foodways contribute to community identity and resilience. Research led by Nelda Ruiz, a community activist from Tierra Y Libertad Organization, and anthropologist Rebecca Crocker, Ph.D.,consisted of training a cohort of local “citizen ethnographers,” primarily youth from Pueblo High School and several adult mentors, to map green spaces and informal food practices in 40 residential blocks, administer questionnaires, and conduct in-depth interviews with 25 La Doce residents. Through inventories of fruit trees, backyard gardens, food memories, and the skills of home cooks, the project collected data that will be used to craft possible alternative food economies for the area, from farmer’s markets to artisanal food small businesses and micro-enterprises.
Written by Ruiz, Crocker, and Maribel Alvarez, Ph.D. and executive director of SFA, the report offers recommendations for new directions for equitable and culturally grounded neighborhood investments, including:
- The creation of La Doce Community Land Trust to govern local development and guide efforts of urban agriculture and food micro-enterprises.
- The creation of La Doce Community Fund to support the acquisition of land and properties and micro-lending programs for emerging food enterprises.
- The creation of an inclusive La Doce Community Council to coordinate a shared vision for systemic changes.
The La Doce Barrio Foodways Project is a partnership between the City of Tucson, the Tierra y Libertad organization, the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona and Southwest Folklife Alliance. It was funded through a grant from the national Sustainability Funders Network and Partners for Places, with matching local support from the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona.