May is that month that marks the transition from winter to summer; but it is also the month that allows reinvention. Month used to think and sow; two exercises that are not disconnected, even if the power structures of formal education want it to.
The peasant meteorology has well marked the moment of sowing corn and beans in Central America. And our peoples have always looked and thought about the world from the cornfield. This is the time of the year called “the first”, where the water peeks out from the clouds and people are already preparing the land. This is how the year is divided into two short production cycles: "the first" (May) and "the last" (August).
Well, here in the magazine La Agroecologa we also sowed the first issue in May. Thinking that agriculture is part of a whole system of great communicating vessels, which connect us with knowledge and knowledge as ancient as it is present; but that all together help us to understand the world and those who inhabit it.
It turns out then that the shovel and the hoe are a direct connection from a past that becomes the future again. Just as the Latin American indigenous communities took refuge in the mountains to survive, peasant agriculture is reluctant to cease to be and will continue to be planted even if it is clandestinely.
Agriculture can be understood as feminine -because it is known that it is an invention of women- and understood as the trade of cultivating: the culture of working the land, where culture derives from the word I care.
Lolita Chavez Ixcaquic is an Ixchil woman from the K’iche people of Santa Cruz, in Guatemala, and she presents us with a radical idea and a line of action as basic as caring. Lolita is part of the Network of Ancestral Healers and on April 17 - Day of the Peasant Struggle - we managed to hear the phrase: "Healing you, I heal."
Lolita is one of the thousands of displaced by the 36 years of war in Guatemala; but also because of the five centuries of colonization that bring with it countless aggressions and attacks on the peoples who care for the land and the women who care for their peoples. As a healer, she is dedicated to uprooting the patriarchal violence that weighs on women's bodies; but also to revitalize urgent knowledge and practices to combat the crisis of capitalism, called by many neoliberalism.
Don Roberto, on the other hand, was an old peasant from Talamanca, who lived on top of a mountain, near Punta Uva. He always insisted that he was not a simple sower of plants, but a caretaker of a territory, of a center -like so many others- from which freedom is built, better known as a garden. That freedom you are talking about is what will give us growing our own food.
And this is how the formula we found to bring you the magazine La Agroecologa is the "Changed Hand." A way of naming collective and collective work, without which agriculture, and therefore human civilization, would not have been founded. This magazine is therefore a minga, a space cultivated with many hands, without which it would not have been possible.
From this first issue we propose to carry out an exercise of joint understanding of agriculture, while this editorial experiment wants to be a peasant magazine. We will continue walking and asking to always listen to the voices that are usually silenced; but due to their power and urgency, they always sprout like seeds in contact with the rain. From now on we invite you to plant whenever possible in this garden that is La Agroecologa, even if they want to prohibit it.
Photo: Zuiri Mendez
La Agroecologa, peasant magazine is born
This week farmers, agricultural technicians, representatives of farmers' organizations, researchers and university teachers met to create the editorial board of the first specialized magazine in agroecology in the country.
The magazine La Agroecologa is founded by the need to broaden the discussion and dissemination at the national level about the knowledge and knowledge of socially just and ecologically balanced agricultural production.
Costa Rica is one of the countries with the highest consumption of pesticides per cultivated hectare, which makes it dependent on petroleum-derived inputs, which have serious impacts on daily life and local communities. National history is marked by more than 14,000 people affected by the chemical called DBCP, better known as Nemagón, used in banana plantations in the seventies.
In addition to this, communities in the province of Limón are now almost 10 years old without having drinking water in their homes due to the presence of agrochemicals in community aqueducts. This contamination is associated with the industrial production of pineapple for export.
More than 12,000 people in Cairo, La Francia and Milano cannot drink water without suffering stomach problems, or cannot bathe with that water without causing serious skin problems, such as allergies or sores. Alarming is also the fact that young children are experiencing sight impairments.
According to the 2016 State of the Nation Report, the country has increased the volume of imports of potentially dangerous agrochemicals. Around eight annual tons of imported active ingredient are reported for the period 2105.
Likewise, economic conditions make the young population leave the countryside more quickly. It is known that the average age of people in charge of tilling the land is above 50 years of age, according to the latest Agricultural Census, prepared by the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC).
While all this is happening, there are more and more organic agriculture enterprises, markets and fairs with local products free of agrochemicals, and farms that produce and distribute agro-ecological products. These initiatives should not be atomized, but should allow the creation of networks and spaces for dissemination, research, training and promotion of organic agriculture by and for people.
It is in this context that La Agroecologa magazine was born, a communication medium managed by the Biodiversity Coordination Network (RCB) with support from the Points of Culture Program, of the Ministry of Culture and Youth. At the meeting held on February 8, the editorial team of the magazine met with the editorial board of La Agroecologa to create the structure and agree on the functioning and mechanisms of publication of the magazine; and provide theoretical and practical elements on narrative forms and their importance.
Ramón Vera-Herrera, editor of the Revista Biodiversidad Sustento y Culturas, of the supplement Ojarasca of the newspaper La Jornada de México, and member of the international organization GRAIN, accompanied us in the space, who created a dialogue and exchange on publications created by indigenous peoples and peasants .
You can follow this new magazine through the website: www.agroecologa.org or through Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/RevistaAgroecologa/
The Biodiversity Coordination Network (RCB) is a meeting place between peasant, environmental, women's and academic organizations in Costa Rica.
Henry Picado, cel. 8760-9800, [email protected]
Fabiola Pomareda, cel. 8433-2985, [email protected]
Source: The Agroecologist