In the summer of 2012 a group of 24 people approached the Center for Global Justice asking it to sponsor a cooperativism workshop for them. We held it in the patio of the Center’s office in central San Miguel de Allende. Several of the people involved are middle-class, educated professionals. Several are farmers. Several are experts in organic agriculture. Several are just regular people with initiative and organizing skills.
The group already had two primary products in mind. With a drive to promote good nutrition in a traditional culture which has been invaded by soft-drinks and fast food, they are growing two nutritious crops: moringa and stevia. Moringa is grown around the world. It is an incredibly nutritious plant that grows to be a small tree with small leaves. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked in any combination and is thus adaptable to any culture’s traditional diet. The stems and roots can be made into a tea. The goal is to increase the nutritional content of peasants’ diet.
Diabetes is a major epidemic in many parts of the world, including Mexico. Stevia is a natural sweetener with no calories!! Mexicans love everything sweet – a characteristic they share with most people around the world. Stevia could be a great non-chemical sugar substitute.
So far the Kurate coop has had successes and failure, but they are still working!