Yanna Muriel

Yanna Muriel
Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico Cohort Start Year: 2017 Project Topics: Environmental Justice, Food Systems and Nutrition Population Served: Puerto Rico and other U.S. Territories
Agricultural Manager
Visit Rico

Puerto Rico, the oldest colony in the world, is not food sovereign. While the organic farming industry continues to increase, small-scale farmers are disappearing. For more than a decade, I have been supporting local initiatives to build healthy food systems. Visit Rico, Organización Boricuá de Agricultura Ecológica de Puerto Rico, Efecto Sombrilla, and our organic farmers’ markets together help strengthen the work of urban and rural farmers who believe in building self-sufficient communities based on the vital power of seeds to produce nourishing meals.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVE: Camposofia Rural Community Revitalization Schools in Puerto Rico
Camposofía is a school that will revitalize rural communities in Puerto Rico by stimulating economic, educational, and agricultural activity. Grounded in ecology and Waldorf education, Camposofía builds on community networks to provide a collaborative learning space for children and farmers in Barrio Mameyes, Utuado. Rural communities in Puerto Rico have been neglected for decades due to industrialization and production for external markets. This has resulted in decreased rural food production, migration, lack of fresh food access, and limited quality education. Camposofía will strengthen connections between isolated organic farming projects and communities where they are based, while giving farmers access to tools for their own projects. We envision a community that practices cooperative governance, produces its own food, and educates its children locally—thereby building a place where people want to stay and create local economies. Camposofía is meant to be replicated on the island.

I have seen and helped move food through all spectrums of the value chain. As a farmworker, farmer, market vendor, assistant cook, market coordinator, and agricultural activist, I have found that food is an important aspect of any culture, yet its cultivation has become undignified. As a mother, I am pushed to do this work because I feel I do not have any other choice; it is the only way I can secure a sustainable present and future for my children and thereafter.

Click here to watch Yanna’s Legacy Project video.