Peri-urban home gardens in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Mexico are fundamental spaces of resistance

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Amparo Vázquez García
Cecilia Elizondo,

Keywords

Urban agriculture, food sovereignty, agrobiodiversity, agroecology.

Resumen

Objective: To determine the effects of neoliberal policies (including the Green Revolution), the urban sprawl (as a consequence of population growth), and the reduction of agricultural areas on peri-urban agriculture; however, the main focus is the forms of resistance against these pressures from the dominant system.


Design/Methodology/Approach: Through participant observation, surveys, collection, and botanization we identified plant species, their diversity, uses, and richness. Home gardens in San Felipe Ecatepec, Chiapas, Mexico are a system, which consists of subsystems, functions, composition, and management, as well as a high number of species, high to moderate richness, and a surface that oscillates between 600 m2 and 2500 m2. Growing products next to the house provides healthy and fresh food, creates a useful and productive space, and preserves agrobiodiversity. It is an agroecosystem where each family and sitio or home garden interact with other families and other home gardens, integrating local knowledge and offering a space for families to live together. They can be considered spaces of resistance based on traditional knowledge, which also help to control their resources and to bolster individual and collective food sovereignty.


Results: Home gardens in San Felipe Ecatepec, Chiapas, Mexico are a system, which consists of subsystems, functions, composition, and management, as well as a high number of species, high to moderate richness, and established on surfaces that oscillates between 600 m2 and 2,500 m2.


Study Limitations/Implications: The research was carried out during the two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, which posed an extra challenge to the field work.


Findings/Conclusions: Growing products next to the house provides healthy and fresh food, creates a useful and productive space, and preserves agrobiodiversity. It is an agroecosystem where each family and sitio or home garden interact with other families and other home gardens, integrating local knowledge and offering a space for families to live together. They can be considered spaces of resistance based on traditional knowledge, which also help families to control their resources and to bolster individual and collective food sovereignty.

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