Puente AZ will cultivate and maintain a community garden for its membership and neighbors to celebrate, cry, heal, relax and reinvigorate themselves in, thus uplifting the souls of its community. The space will serve as a meeting space, a meditation and healing center where spiritual cleansing can take place, as well as a place to have old-fashioned cookouts.
"Our people, state, and nation have been living through a great deal of trauma with very little means to cope. We envision our garden being a resting place for our weary loved ones, a place of safe haven and compassion where we can share laughs, tears, and much more, as a united front," Isis Gil says.
Puente Human Rights Movement, as an organization, has been fighting injustices – in the immigration system, criminal justice system, education system and policing system – by taking on legal cases, organizing and staying in solidarity with the youth in the community, as well as shining a light on abuses of power particularly when it happens against people of color.
"As a center for our people, Puente has been a beacon for our undocumented brothers and sisters, it has been a hub for political education for those not normally meant to be engaged in such a system," Gil continues. "And it has also been a symbol for resilience through dedicated and passionate challenges to all misuses of authority."
Puente AZ believes it is vital to promote and embrace the well-being of the soul, body and mind through various means and methods that keep individuals centered and rooted with ancestors and mother earth.
"These principles are instrumental to how we function and work with our people, since we would not be here without their strength and kindness, which speaks to the intentional vision for our garden," Gil says.
The Puente AZ Community Garden – a fully functioning community space with various plants, trees and herbs – will allow the community to enjoy and unwind. It will be a place of community empowerment and tranquility, and the benefits will be immeasurable.
Funded by Phoenix, AZ (September 2019)