Raíces Verdes is a platform dedicated archiving and sharing the experiences of Black, Indigenous, People of Color across diasporic experiences reconnecting with their “green roots”. Green roots are defined as our ancestral connection to the earth that embodies our relationships with all living and spiritual beings. Through multimedia storytelling rooted in self-determination, Raíces Verdes envisions marginalized people finding healing by reconnecting with the environment through our unique ancestral frameworks to create a
Hosted by Samara Almonte, La Fresa de Rancho
Artwork by Dario Castellon
Indigenous Knowledge: All About Mezcal
Wanted to end 2021 with a fun and perhaps unusual topic. Today we are talking about mezcal! You can probably tell right away based on how much I talk in this episode compare to others, but I LOVE mezcal. And you might not believe it but there are lot of conversations to be had about environmental justice and decolonization when it comes to this ancestral beverage. So in this episode I interview Elisa Ruiz-Gutierrez, co-owner of Mezcal Vxhee and a 5th generation mezcalera from Santiago Matatlan, Oaxaca (the capital of mezcal). We discuss what is mezcal, and what are some of the inequities her Zapoteco family and community face as they continue to produce this artisanal drink. To support this Indigenous, women-owned business and learn more about Elisa visit:
Finding Roots Amongst Diaspora
This episode features Francis Mendoza. Francis goes by he/they/sila pronouns and lives on the ancestral, unceded and contemporary land of the Chocheño people in present-day Oakland, California. They are the Manager of Community Development for the Children & Nature Network and Director of the JEDAI section of the National Association for Interpretation (JEDAI means justice, equity, diversity, accessibility and inclusion). Francis is a first-generation Filipinx immigrant who identifies as a male-presenting, gender non-binary Asian-American Pacific Islander.
I have been following Francis on social media for a while now, so I am glad we finally had the opportunity to collaborate on an episode together. This conversation was the perfect balance of real shit being discussed and also making space for laughter and chisme :) I always enjoy connecting with Filipinx folks, because our stories of diaspora (me being from "Latin America" diaspora) are so similar and we have also have so much to teach each other. Francis shares insights from their work as a naturalist, former park ranger, and thoughts on Indigeneity and how someone living in diaspora can be in good relationship with the land we occupy that is not our ancestral territories. To engage with some of Francis's work check out: https://linktr.ee/akialoa, and follow him @roving_ranger on Instagram! https://www.instagram.com/roving_ranger/
Links and resources mentioned during the episode:
Raices Verdes Episode: https://nuestrasraicesverdes.com/podcast/abolition-the-outdoors/
(Re)nourishment of the Spirit
We are back to having guests on the podcast! It only seem fitting to have Sanjana Sekhar as the first guest for the relaunch of Season 3.2, since we are constantly in conversation about healing, embracing change and holding space for the complicated emotions that arise. Sanjana Sekhar (SUN-juh-nah SHAKE-her) is an Indian-American filmmaker, climate activist, and Ayurvedic (Ayervada) wellness communicator. Her work seeks to amplify character-driven stories that heal our human relationships to ourselves, each other, and our planet, with a specific interest in socio-ecological justice, ancestral knowledge, and systems of re-nourishment. Outside of film, she's a Kathak (KUH-thuk) dancer and the co-founder of Sapling Collective, an interdisciplinary early-career professional group aimed at cross-industry collaborative climate action. In this episode we discuss some of her film projects, how she has shifted away from using the word "regenerative" in her line of work, and what self-determination means to her as she develops her projects from a decolonial framework. To learn more about her work check her out at @sanj___ on Instagram, or visit https://www.sanjanasekhar.com/
In Motion with Vulnerability
Hello listeners, it's been a while since I have been behind the mic. This is the revival of Season 3, since I dropped off in the middle of it and I just wanted to give a quick update of what I have been up to and thoughts around creating a mission and vision for Raices Verdes. There have already been so many changes this year and I am just in motion with more to come. I am in motion with vulnerability, working to open my heart up and let the healing begin. So tune in if you want to share a moment of vulnerability with me and stay tuned for the next episode!
Feminists Frameworks to Climate Change
In this episode we featured Andrea Vega Troncoso a queer, dominican, decolonial feminist and climate justice advocate. Originally from Santo Domingo, DR, Andrea now lives in Lenape lands or Brooklyn, NY. She’s currently working at WEDO (the Women’s Environment and Development Organization), supporting their global advocacy work at the intersections of climate, environmental, gender and development justice.
During the first part of the episode Andrea shares with us what it means for her to work under a "feminist framework" for climate action. Andrea expands on the idea of "care work as climate work and care jobs as green jobs", and centering the lives of Black and brown women who perform care work across the world. Next we focused on Andrea's undergrad thesis as an example of looking at the climate crisis affecting the DR and other islands through a feminist framework. Her thesis looked closely at how intertwined coloniality is to our current crises, especially the climate crisis. Lastly, we discussed the violence that "Latinidad" or the homogenization of Latin America contributes to the further marginalization of Black and Indigenous people within climate justice. As people of the "Latin American" diaspora, we felt it is our responsibility to continue having honest conversations about our different positionalities based on race, gender and class within the climate justice movement. To learn more about WEDO visit https://wedo.org/
And to (re)listen to other episodes discussing the complexities of Latinidad and its intersection with environmental justice check out these episodes:
Imperialism & the Environment in Central America
This episode features Sussan García, the founder of The CentAm (Central American) Collective, an educational digital space for Central Americans in diaspora in the Global North. Sussan is a recent Arab Crossroads Studies graduate from New York University Abu Dhabi. She was born to two young Guatemalan immigrants and raised in occupied Canarsee land (Queens, NYC). In the episode, Sussan shares with us parts of her radicalization journey and how this led to the creation of the CentAm Collective. We also discussed how climate disasters disproportionately affect Central America and the communities protecting natural resources in CentAm. Lastly, Sussan walked us through the recent social media organizing campaign that CentAm Collective has been part of to bring historical context to the term "banana republic" and its ties to Chiquita banana company.
You can find the resources discussed in this episode using the links below and to stay updated with The CentAm Collective's work:
Love this podcast!
This is one of my favorite podcasts. I share it with my friends frequently when they are looking for a new listen. It’s incredibly informative, engaging and thought provoking. As a white Latina, social worker and someone who has multiple cultures within her family I’m moved by the storytelling and narratives of these diverse individuals as well as the host. Thank you!! ❣️