In Spring 2020, a group of LES Girls Club members and staff will be heading to Puerto Rico. We plan on visiting El Departamento de La Comida and Proyecto Matrias Casa Solidaria: two groundbreaking women-run farms with significant community ties and educational programming.
Members on the trip will not only learn about where their food comes from and the work that goes into growing it, but how it's shared, how it transfers culture, and how farming practices contribute to environmental sustainability and self-reliance.
The Girls Club staff will contextualize this learning within the rich history of Puerto Rican culture, and Puerto Rico's complex relationship to the United States and its own diaspora. After the visit, girls club members will present and distribute information about what they learned with the larger Girls Club and LES community through various art mediums, including gardening, cooking, photographs, drawings, zines, and film.
The Lower Eastside is a neighborhood with a long history of significant Puerto Rican community, and indeed many of our current staff and members are of Puerto Rican descent. A cornerstone of the Girls Club program offering is the plant-based meals we serve to our girls six days a week, ingredients of which come from our rooftop garden and an on-site mushroom farm.