FEMSA DELIVERS 100 URBAN GARDENS TO MIGRANT FAMILIES IN NUEVO LEÓN, MEXICO
Puerto Abierto is an initiative that seeks to build bridges of collaboration between people who migrate, institutions that work with them and the artistic sector of Monterrey’s metropolitan area.
The urban gardens were manufactured by FEMSA Foundation’s Cultural Program staff. Some were made from wood from the boxes that have transported FEMSA Collection’s art works around the world.
As part of the Puerto Abierto initiative and with the aim of offering nutritional, economic and occupational support, FEMSA Foundation’s Cultural Program collaborated with local organizations to grant 100 mobile urban gardens to migrant and refugee families living in the town of Juárez, Nuevo León.
The delivery of 100 urban gardens ended with the last one being delivered to a family from Honduras by Lorena Guillé-Laris, Director of the FEMSA Foundation; Rosa María Rodríguez Garza, Manager FEMSA’s Cultural Program; Claudia Sepúlveda and Ella Virtanen, from UNHCR Monterrey; Carmen Farías, Snr Director of Zihuame Mochilla; Gabriela Zamora, Director of Casa Monarca, and Pablo Landa and Sofía Garfias, who coordinate Puerto Abierto initiative. Members of FEMSA Foundation’s Cultural Program’s team, who contributed directly to the construction of the gardens, also participated in the delivery.
“Art not only reflects the spirit of its time and context, but also influences the environment by triggering emotions and reflections, but above all, by creating processes of change,” said Lorena Guillé-Laris, Director of FEMSA Foundation.
“We are convinced of the potential that art has as a transforming agent in our communities. Through Puerto Abierto we have invited people to connect with vulnerable groups and have carried out impact actions through two things that are at the heart of FEMSA Foundation: artistic creation and collective action”, he added.
Puerto Abierto is an initiative that integrates field research, art and communication in the development of projects aimed to help migrants and refugees in Nuevo León, through which the FEMSA Foundation’s Cultural Program, committed to promoting Latin American art and culture as well as strengthening the region’s cultural ecosystem, has sought, in the context of COVID-19 pandemic, to build collaboration bridges between people and families who migrate to our state, institutions that work with them and creators of the artistic and cultural sector of Monterrey’s metropolitan area.
“Each of Puerto Abierto’s axes explore how art and cultural institutions can respond to the contingency caused by covid-19 and the humanitarian emergency linked to the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of people in the world. The artists’ abilities can be translated into new spaces and can contribute to making social transformations that range from health care, food care and attention to migrant children, to capture the migrants’ and refugees’ stories in a podcast that we will launch during the following year with the hope that no one walks through the state of Nuevo León without leaving a trace”, said Sofía Garfias.
“I think a farmer’s work is one of the strongest jobs and is very underrated,” one of the people who benefited from the program said. “It is thanks to that work that many of us eat. It is a blessing to come from working parents who taught us to grow our own food”, she continued.
The delivery of urban gardens has benefited about 450 migrants and refugees in Nuevo León. It was made possible thanks to the collaboration between FEMSA Foundation’s Cultural Program team, UNHCR, Casa Monarca, Zihuame Mochilla and Taller Nuevo Norte.
“When the pandemic began, the most pressing issue for thousands of migrants and refugees in Monterrey was food”, said Pablo Landa. “Through the Puerto Abierto initiative, we activated the collaboration with Zihuame Mochilla and Casa Monarca to respond to this situation, the gardens allow families to have fresh vegetables at very low cost. Their impact, however, goes much further than this, because as some beneficiaries have told us, ‘having more control over our diet gives us more control over our lives’”, he continued.
The personnel in charge of the care of FEMSA Collection’s art works, with the support of collaborators from FEMSA’s Maintenance Department, elaborated and distributed the gardens, some of which were built from wood from boxes that have transported works of art around the world. In a complementary manner, manuals were also provided for the elaboration of the urban gardens and for the harvesting of food, developed by Nuevo Norte Workshop.
Laura Pacheco, Joaquín García, Arturo Guajardo, Carlos Barrera and Iván Villarreal from FEMSA Foundation’s Cultural Program told their experiences: “Migration is not an unknown reality, as hosts of the state or country, we have to be better neighbors. We know that we do our bit to help people in a vulnerable situation socially, physically and emotionally. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve Mexico and to collaborate with such committed partners to give life to Puerto Abierto”.
FEMSA is a leading company that creates economic and social value through companies and institutions and seeks to be the best employer and neighbor of the communities where it has a presence. Through its Business Units, it employs approximately 320 thousand employees in 13 countries. FEMSA is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability MILA Pacific Alliance Index, the FTSE4Good Emerging Index and the Mexican Stock Exchange Sustainable IPC, among other indices that evaluate its performance in sustainability.
Find out more, visit: www.femsa.com