Host mom with food from market - Sidra Kennedy

Conectando con la Comida

La comida une a las personas. Estudiando de intercambio en Tecpán, Guatemala, me encuentro con un énfasis en las comidas hechas en casa y en locales que nunca experimenté en Estados Unidos.
United States, Northern America

Story by Sidra Kennedy. Translated by Leonardo Ismael Pérez Correa
Published on October 22, 2020.

This story is also available in GB de it kr tr



Mi madre de acogida Guatemalteca está tomando puñados de masa de maíz cruda[1] para moldearla en círculos pequeños y hacer tortillas. Yo estoy volteando llantenes sobre aceite en la cocina mientras la admiro. Estamos haciendo el desayuno el día después de conocernos y aún no hemos tenido una conversación en la que podamos entender lo que estamos diciendo. Ella tenía que demostrar el acto de dar Vuelta los llantenes para que yo pudiese comprender el trabajo que se me había asignado. Ahora, cocinando a su lado, me siento más cerca a entenderla.

En la cultura Norteamericana donde yo crecí, la comida se tiende a ver como una necesidad, pero no como una forma de conectarse. Sin embargo, me estoy dando cuenta que casi todas las culturas y tradiciones tienen la comida como corazón. La comida une a las personas. Estudiando de intercambio en Tecpán, Guatemala, me encuentro con un énfasis en las comidas hechas en casa y en locales que nunca experimenté en Estados Unidos. Tecpán tiene un mercado local, donde vendedores vienen todos los días con sus productos. Los Domingos y los Jueves, el mercado ocupa la ciudad entera, lleno de vendedores de todos los pueblos vecinos. Frecuentemente pierdo de vista a mi anfitriona de menos de metro y medio de altura en esa multitud. Cada día visitamos los mismos puestos de comida. Mi anfitriona conversa con los granjeros locales que conoce, y selecciona cuidadosamente los mejores productos. Los frutos de los sembrados cambian todas las semanas. La selección de frutos cambia con las estaciones. Cada vez volvemos a casa con comida diferente para preparar.

De inmediato aprecio la comida fresca producida por el mercado local. Después, entiendo que el sistema es mejor para el medioambiente que las tiendas de comestibles con las que crecí. En las tiendas de comestibles Norteamericanas, los estantes están llenos de frutas y vegetales en casi exactamente la misma cantidad sin importar la estación. La capacidad de producir estas comidas “perfectas” en cualquier época del año es el resultado de organismos Transgénicos y de la importación en masa. Ambos sistemas están dañando al medioambiente. Encontrar alimentos libres de Transgénicos me hizo pensar en todos los productos Transgénicos que conformaban mi dieta estadounidense.

Me entero: Los Transgénicos son cultivos diseñados genéticamente por humanos. Están hechos para tener características deseables, como apariencia uniforme y una frescura que se mantiene intacta a pesar de largos viajes. Aunque éstas características hacen que los frutos sean accesibles a las tiendas, los cultivos requieren el uso de agroquímicos que dañan a los ecosistemas. La transportación en masa también quema cantidades enormes de combustibles fósiles que pueden perjudicar el cultivo doméstico.[2]

Por los dos meses que pasé en Guatemala, me encontré en medio de ideas sobre la comida. A través de educarme sobre la agricultura local y cocinando para construir relaciones con mi familia de acogida, fui testigo de como la comida conecta a las personas y de cómo puede destruir nuestro medioambiente. Pero en Tecpán, ví que tener buena comida para para la gente no tiene que ser mal para el medioambiente. Para mantener la cultura de la comida, debemos apuntar a crear sistemas basados en los ecosistemas globales y tradiciones, y menos dependientes en agroquímicos, combustibles fósiles y transgénicos. De vuelta en Norteamérica, extiendo la conexión que creé con mi familia de acogida en Guatemala, comprando comida fresca, local, y cocinando increíbles comidas con los que me rodean.


Notas

[1] La masa de maíz es maíz molido que se usa para hacer tortillas, chuchitos y otras comidas tradicionales en Guatemala.

[2] Para más información sobre los Transgénicos y el sistema de comida global: Committee on World Food Security “Genetically Modified Crops: Seeds of Hope or Deception?” (http://www.fao.org/cfs/home/blog/blog-articles/article/en/c/1104228/); Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN “Agricultural biotechnologies” (http://www.fao.org/biotech); La Via Campesina food sovereignty movement (https://viacampesina.org/en/); Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (https://afsafrica.org/); Book “Tomorrow’s Table” by Pamela Ronald and Raoul Adamchak (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008)


How does this story make you feel?

Follow us on Social Media

Talk about this Story

Please enable cookies to view the comments powered by Disqus.

Subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter

Stay up to date with new stories on Correspondents of the World by subscribing to our monthly newsletter:

* indicates required

Sidra Kennedy

Sidra Kennedy

Hi!! I’m Sidra, I’m 19 years old and I’m from the United States. I love discovering new cultures and meeting new people. So far I have lived, worked and studied in the US, Guatemala, Thailand and Ghana, but I hope to expand and learn more. My passion is education and one day I hope to dedicate my life to trying to provide education to everyone in the world. But for now, I’m trying to experience as much of the world as I can!

Other Stories in Español




Show all

Get involved

At Correspondents of the World, we want to contribute to a better understanding of one another in a world that seems to get smaller by the day - but somehow neglects to bring people closer together as well. We think that one of the most frequent reasons for misunderstanding and unnecessarily heated debates is that we don't really understand how each of us is affected differently by global issues.

Our aim is to change that with every personal story we share.

Share Your Story

Community Worldwide

Correspondents of the World is not just this website, but also a great community of people from all over the world. While face-to-face meetings are difficult at the moment, our Facebook Community Group is THE place to be to meet other people invested in Correspondents of the World. We are currently running a series of online-tea talks to get to know each other better.

Join Our Community

EXPLORE TOPIC Environment

Global Issues Through Local Eyes

We are Correspondents of the World, an online platform where people from all over the world share their personal stories in relation to global development. We try to collect stories from people of all ages and genders, people with different social and religious backgrounds and people with all kinds of political opinions in order to get a fuller picture of what is going on behind the big news.

Our Correspondents

At Correspondents of the World we invite everyone to share their own story. This means we don't have professional writers or skilled interviewers. We believe that this approach offers a whole new perspective on topics we normally only read about in the news - if at all.

Share Your Story

Our Editors

We acknowledge that the stories we collect will necessarily be biased. But so is news. Believing in the power of the narrative, our growing team of awesome editors helps correspondents to make sure that their story is strictly about their personal experience - and let that speak for itself.

Become an Editor

Vision

At Correspondents of the World, we want to contribute to a better understanding of one another in a world that seems to get smaller by the day - but somehow neglects to bring people closer together as well. We think that one of the most frequent reasons for misunderstanding and unnecessarily heated debates is that we don't really understand how each of us is affected differently by global issues.

Our aim is to change that with every personal story we share.

View Our Full Vision & Mission Statement

Topics

We believe in quality over quantity. To give ourselves a focus, we started out to collect personal stories that relate to our correspondents' experiences with six different global topics. However, these topics were selected to increase the likelihood that the stories of different correspondents will cover the same issues and therefore illuminate these issues from different perspectives - and not to exclude any stories. If you have a personal story relating to a global issue that's not covered by our topics, please still reach out to us! We definitely have some blind spots and are happy to revise our focus and introduce new topics at any point in time. 

Environment

Discussions about the environment often center on grim, impersonal figures. Among the numbers and warnings, it is easy to forget that all of these statistics actually also affect us - in very different ways. We believe that in order to understand the immensity of environmental topics and global climate change, we need the personal stories of our correspondents.

Gender and Sexuality

Gender is the assumption of a "normal". Unmet expectations of what is normal are a world-wide cause for violence. We hope that the stories of our correspondents will help us to better understand the effects of global developments related to gender and sexuality, and to reveal outdated concepts that have been reinforced for centuries.

Migration

Our correspondents write about migration because it is a deeply personal topic that is often dehumanized. People quickly become foreigners, refugees - a "they". But: we have always been migrating, and we always will. For millions of different reasons. By sharing personal stories about migration, we hope to re-humanize this global topic.

Liberation

We want to support the demand for justice by spotlighting the personal stories of people who seek liberation in all its different forms. Our correspondents share their individual experiences in creating equality. We hope that for some this will be an encouragement to continue their own struggle against inequality and oppression - and for some an encouragement to get involved.

Education

Say hello to our newest focus topic: Education!

Corona Virus

2020 is a year different from others before - not least because of the Corona pandemic. The worldwide spread of a highly contagious virus is something that affects all of us in very different ways. To get a better picture of how the pandemic's plethora of explicit and implicit consequences influences our everyday life, we share lockdown stories from correspondents all over the world.

Growing Fast

Although we started just over a year ago, Correspondents of the World has a quickly growing community of correspondents - and a dedicated team of editors, translators and country managers.

64

Correspondents

74

Stories

39

Countries

185

Translations

Contact

Correspondents of the World is as much a community as an online platform. Please feel free to contact us for whatever reason!

Message Us

Message on WhatsApp

Call Us

Joost: +31 6 30273938