Maya farmers from The Qachuu Aloom Association in Guatemala are sharing their Amaranth seeds across the Americas and beyond. Through passing on the Amaranth seeds we build connections, friendships, and a movement. Each of the amaranth fields we help plant in Guatemala, New Mexico, and California bring us new lessons and connections.
In Guatemala we first experienced amaranth through the Kaqchikel Maya women. They taught the Maya Achi women of Qachuu Aloom how to plant, cook, and prepare amaranth. As the women planted, they shared stories of hardship, war, and motherhood. Among tears shed, there was also much laughter. Years later the women of Qachuu Aloom still plant Amaranth-hundreds of fields are spread across 24 villages. We use this ancient grain that was once abundant in Maya culture in our maternal health project and it brings income, improves nutrition, and re-connects families.
Qachuu Aloom families continue to share this seed. Their journey has taken them to the pueblos of New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Each Amaranth Field we plant is used for farmer-to-farmer exchanges, community workshops, and events around seeds, plants, food, and sustainable practices. Amaranth fields are statements of our connection to each other, the land, and the food we labor to grow. Seed sharing embodies our personal and collective agency.
We hope these events will be a time to reawaken the excitement and awe that comes from witnessing what germinates from a tiny seed and time spent together. The experience of growing these seeds together is the experience of being stronger together in this time of urgent need for change, and it can start with just a few seeds.