by Amanda Ong
Villa Comunitaria (VC) started in 2005 as the South Park Information and Resource Center. Now sixteen years old, the organization — in 2021 alone — delivered $500,000 in rental assistance funds, 500 vaccines to clients, 6,480 pounds of produce from the Salsa de la Vida program, and helped clients complete thirty-five citizenship pre-applications. They have also hosted workshops for community members to participate and engage in life-skills and other topics.
Executive Director Analia Bertoni remembers coming to VC over a decade and a half ago first as a client. “I came to Seattle as an immigrant in 2001 because of one of the many economic crises in Argentina,” Bertoni told the South Seattle Emerald in an interview. “My family of four came to work and provide a better life for our children who were 14 and 11 … I showed up as a client, eager to connect with other people who spoke Spanish.”
Continue reading Villa Comunitaria Looks Back on 2021 and Forward to Their Family Early Learning Cooperative
In this special Emerald series supported by NW Journalists of Color and the Facebook Journalism Project, photographer and writer Sharon H. Chang introduces the womxn and nonbinary farmers of color at the heart of Washington’s agrarian revival movement who are moving the needle towards not only a future livable planet, but a socially just one.
by Sharon H. Chang
The air is comfortably warm at South Park’s Marra-Desimone Park on a late summer morning. Tall grasses line the dirt path to a little-known piece of farmland snuggled inside the park. All is quiet except for a small group working in the northeast corner. Two children run through rows of crops and nearby, their mother and four other cheerful women, known as the promotoras (community health workers), chat as they rake rows. There has been a crop failure because of rodents, but the women are undeterred. Well into their first full season, the promotoras have already transformed their land into an impressive Latinx-women-led farm called Salsa De La Vida. Continue reading Farming For Change: Meet the Latinx Women Leading South Park’s New Community Farm