Intercultural Neighborhood: The Relationship between City and Country

A program that celebrates the cultural diversity of Santa María la Ribera and highlights how many practices of rural indigenous communities that are in danger of disappearing have made their way into the daily lives of Mexico’s urban populations.

The platform is an open space for collaborations with institutions, civil society associations and other organizations, the goal being to adapt some of Casa Gallina’s processes and implement them nationwide with the goal of adapting some partners dedicated to community work in the areas of environmental regeneration, territorial defense and the application of local practices and wisdom in the interests of the common good.

Strategy implementation programs:

Series of Workshops: Indigenous Languages and Cuisines

Dates: August – November 2019

Coordinator: Angélica Palma

Collaborators: Juventino Gutiérrez (mixe), Alfredo Santiago (totonaco), Margarita León (otomí) and Rubí Huerta (purépecha)

Participants: 60 neighbors

Angelica Palma of the Calpulli Tecalco Civil Association coordinated this series of workshops in which four indigenous poets talked with the neighbors about the daily practices of their communities, especially those related to food and their spiritual and emotional meaning portrayed in their poetic work. In addition, they organized the neighbors to cook traditional dishes from their indigenous cultures and explained the context in which they are usually prepared and consumed. Finally, they presented the environmental problems associated with the industrial development they face in their communities and shared experiences related to the symbolic and real violence that this generates, as well as the forms of social articulation they’ve implemented to defend their land and their right to preserve their cultural practices.

With this series of workshops at Casa Gallina we reaffirm and build alliances with new collaborators to develop projects focused on promoting the recognition of the linguistic and cultural diversity found across the country. In addition, crossing two disciplines such as cooking and poetry opens the possibility of developing other learning processes where cultural, scientific and technical aspects are intertwined to address issues related to the environment and community building.

Series of Workshops: From the Village to the Neighborhood

Dates: August – November 2019

Coordinator: Miguel Iwadare

Collaborators: Norma López, Marcos Cuenca and Abraham Bello.

Participants: 38 neighbors

A series of cooking workshops in which neighbors dedicated to the sale of prepared food shared family recipes typical of their places of origin with the community. The Mexican gastronomic culture specialist Miguel Iwadare accompanied the chefs at each session, providing information on the preparation of the dish and deepening and generating conversation about how the traditional way of preparing food is related to the local ecosystem, the particular genetics of their inhabitants and with social phenomena such as historical migration, cultural exchange and transformations in the environment generated by the growth of the urban stain. During this first series we were able to learn about day laborers’ recipes from Hidalgo from the hand of neighbor Marcos Cuenca; dishes of pre-Hispanic origin from the northern highlands of Veracruz prepared by neighbor Norma López; and the mixture of cultures encompassed in the cuisine of the Costa Grande coastal region of Guerrero, made by neighbor Abraham Bello.

As a result of this series of workshops, a booklet was created that contains the recipes prepared by the neighbors and comments by Miguel Iwadare regarding the reflections of each session.

Cinema Season: Indigenous Life

Dates: August – October 2019

Coordinator: Christian Rojas

Participants: 34 neighbors

The neighbor Christian Rojas selected four films that portray the contemporaneity of different indigenous communities in Mexico and Latin America to discuss among neighbors the links that the inhabitants of the city have with the original peoples. The films screened were: Embrace of the Serpent, Gigantes descalzos, Eco de la Montaña and Birds of Passage. During the discussions after each of the films, the neighbors expressed their interest and position on how we can approach the differences we share in a multicultural context.

Screening: 68 voices - 68 hearts

Date: February 27, 2020

Coordinated by: Christian Rojas

Participants: 27 neighbors


A year ago, members of the Hola Combo animation studio coordinated the screening and conversation around their 68 voices - 68 hearts series. Neighbor Christian Rojas—on the occasion of the International Day of the Mother tongue and National Native Languages Day—made a new selection of animations from said series. This new selection highlighted the importance of indigenous languages in Mexico, the natural elements named by those languages, and the relationship between survival and extinction that both elements (language and environment) maintain.


At the end of the projection, neighbors read and commented on parts of the scripts of the projected animations.