Glocalization is part of the new Mesoamerican Diasporas and I have been documenting this process since the early 1990s. I first wrote about this in an essay entitled, “The browning of the American farm,” an article published in High Country News and reprinted in Colorado Central Magazine in 2000. In that article I noted how the family farm was in declined among white Americans; however, the number of Latina/o owned and operated farms was increasing at a dramatic pace and in Washington State increased by more than 300 percent during that decade. Many of these farmers are Mexicans and a good portion is people from indigenous backgrounds. These transborder migrants are also playing a key role by revitalizing and extending the reach of urban agriculture to help inner city communities attain food autonomy.
These new businesses are not limited to farms and ranches and many small shops are also finding their place in the inner cities where they are revitalizing Main Street. They include specialty (ethnic) grocers and small market operators; restauranteurs, bakers, and caterers; tailors and cobblers; dry cleaners and other service providers; pharmacists and botanists; notary publics and accountants; the list is very long.
Working with my friends at GoodFood World, Ken Kailing and Gail Nickel-Kailing, I have started to produce a series of short video clips documenting the advent of these Diaspora small businesses, focusing on the food system. What we are illustrating is that the process of building local solidarity economies often involves the ability for the business person to make transborder linkages in order to provide immigrant communities with the supplies they need to maintain their cultures and heritage cuisines and therefore their health.
The first in this series focuses on Mendoza’s Mercado located in Seattle on Aurora Avenue (Hwy. 99). We invite our readers and followers to visit this outstanding little mercado and support the small business owners of the Mesoamerican Diaspora. Enjoy the clip; spread the word. We also invite our readers to follow Ken and Gail at GoodFood World for excellent coverage all important agriculture and food matters.