Morelos is one of the only Mexican states that has preserved “heritage” corn – the same strands used by ancestors of 4,000 to 7,000 years ago. The government’s new agricultural programs and corporations like Monsanto try and try to get indigenous farmers to adopt their genetically modified corn seed so they can have a national monopoly. However, most farmers in Amatlán have shown a commendable resilience in holding onto their heritage crops.
A rare female farmer, with student Alex Peterson
Using their exquisite corn harvests, our rural home stay families filled us to the brim with home made tortillas, pozole, chilaquiles, tacos durados and much more. Personally, it was the freshest, most delicious food of my life. I appreciated each bite, thinking of all the land rights and food justice struggles Amatlán went through to provide us this food. It was also astonishing how sincerely loving and welcoming our families were amidst perhaps a monetary poverty.
Living simply in Amatlán was a nice change of pace and un gran descanso compared to the more rapid city life of Cuernavaca. From talking to my fellow students, this homestay has by far been one of our most meaningful experiences thus far in Mexico. The hospitality that Amatlán families showed us was fantastic, and the indigenous rights issues and cosmovision we were infused with were equally as mesmerizing.
Our trip has left me wrestling with many questions. Will Amatlán be able to preserve its indigenous cosmovision and beautiful way of life into the future? Will globalization ruin the preservation of indigenous culture? Why doesn’t the Mexican government care about indigenous poverty and lack of voice in politics and society?