Graduation Day at Pacheco Community

Written by Jeanne Dulac & Laura Blackmore
Rate this item
(4 votes)

Just over an hour away from Plaza Italia lies a secret community garden. In this special place, time seems to be suspended and behind the metallic doors, the craziness of Buenos Aires is left behind.

Three friendly dogs, wagging their tails, welcomed us. The Pacheco community was an idea that Voluntario Global had cultivated for a long time. In accordance with their mission, they imagined a safe space to educate young adults in the neighborhood about creating sustainable agriculture practices.

Five years ago, their dream came to fruition and they hosted their first students. There is a small classroom at the back of the property, where the walls are lined with information such as the processes of growing food, the importance of developing sustainable practices and the long-term benefits this community garden will create for the local families.

Matias, an agricultural engineer, finished his master’s and wanted to share his passion with a younger generation. His priority was to teach the students how we nourish ourselves in a society where it has almost become impossible to know where our food comes from. Twice a week for six hours, Mathias teaches the students through both theoretical and practical knowledge.

In her bright green dress, Lorena, 18, tells us how her career choices have been greatly influenced by El Pacheco project: “I had no idea what to do after high school. I was thinking to study accounting because I am good with numbers, though I knew that wasn’t my passion. When a friend told me about this class, I jumped on the occasion and applied during my last senior year. I realized how much I loved playing with nature and the design of urban structure. Now, in April, I am starting a five-year course in landscaping at UBA where the fees are free. I am very excited because they rank among the best in the world. Things are looking good.” Her big smile and confidence demonstrate the positive impact the project had on her.

The students arriving as today is a special day: they are graduating from the one-year course and will receive their diplomas in front of their families and friends. Lys, 20, came to support her friend who had completed the course. She has been a regular at Pacheco for the last two years to give a helping hand. Lys heard about the project by word of mouth. This form of communication seems to go a long way in Argentina. She visits a couple of times a week to help with the maintenance of the huerta.

“I like coming here with friends, it’s a refuge where we can talk about life, work and learn about how to cultivate food. Before Pacheco we didn’t really have anything like that around here.” Liz enjoyed the garden so much she spread the word and today two of her friends are volunteers and her sister is also taking classes. Her mom even stops by occasionally to say hi.

While we are talking to Liz, Matías is showing the families around the vegetable garden. Fresh and organic food is being harvested today and given to the visitors for them to take home. We tried the tomatoes and basil, which were juicy and tasty! Pumpkins, eggplants, leeks and spinach were just some of the produce cultivated in the garden. Unless you grow your own produce, it’s easy to forget how ‘real’ food tastes without the influence of pesticides and other chemicals used to grow commercially sold vegetables.

Another important element to note about Pacheco is their minimal use of plastic. In the center of Buenos Aires, you can’t escape the tsunami of non-biodegradable products. For example, when purchasing fruit from a local Fruteria, they insist on separating the fruit with single small plastic bags. When tendering for a garden, it becomes instinctive to be more sustainable and care for nature i.e. Pacheco composts their fruits and vegetables and recycling their waste.

The combination of educating the students about cultivating sustainable food as well as living in solidarity, being kind and recognizing their actions has had a profound impact on the community. Not just a garden, the Pacheco community is the start of a new mentality for the next generation.

Read 3798 times

Related items

Racism hasn’t Ended in South America, It has Grown

With the recent political manifestations in Bolivia that have polarized the country into two different bands, the ones that support and don’t support Evo Morales, racism between indigenous and non indigenous people has come to light in the country. Here’s a reflexion about this issue that can help us reflect about the ongoing racism towards our tribes and the indigenous people of our continent. 


Meet Udo and Manu, our new volunteers from Germany!

Udo and Manu are our most recent volunteers from Germany. While they are currently studying, they decided to take some time off school to come to Argentina and help its locals by volunteering with us. We talked to them about their current experience with us and made them a few questions. Here’s what they had to say.

It's NOT a Resignation, it's a Coup!

After learning about the coup d’etat against president Evo Morales, the social organizations of Argentina stand up to defend democracy and peace in our continent.  Voluntario Global and Pacheco Community marched in solidarity with the Bolivian people who have worked hard to build a sovereign country based on social justice.

Argentina without Hunger

Brief reflection of the Pacheco Community on the document "Argentina sin hambre".

Let's Talk about Communitary Health!

This week we participated in a health workshop at one of our projects in José León Suárez where some of the members of Pacheco Community and two doctors that work in health centers of the outskirts of Buenos Aires, talked about the importance of building the concept of health from our community. 

Planet Earth is in Emergency and the Youth of Argentina Marches for its Future

In Argentina, thousands of people also joined this global strike and we walked from Plaza de Mayo to Congress to support and witness this important event.

Four-week Language Immersion Study Trip to England

This is an opportunity to maximize your English language skills by means of an immersion study trip.

Login to post comments


Voluntario Global helps local communities by being available to discuss anything that local organizations need, and offering ideas for further change and development.


Location: General Pacheco. Buenos Aires. Argentina
Email: jfranco@voluntarioglobal.org

© Copyright 2016 luppino.com.ar