Ada Recinos on Corporate Destabilization and Local Resiliency in El Salvador /109

Art by    Zeke Peña

Art by Zeke Peña

This week’s episode is a special live recording from our time at The Wild & Scenic Film Festival in January of 2019. We were delighted to join Ada Recinos of EcoViva in a conversation around the connections between ecosystem restoration, political and climate resilience, and food sovereignty in times of extreme instability.

The United States intrusion in Central and South America has caused decades of generational trauma while ballooning the power and overreach of corporations and outside interests. In addition to centuries of exploitation dating back to Spanish colonization, Central America is now being forced to navigate some of the most severe impacts of climate change and global warming. 2018 was one of the worst years for drought in the “Dry Corridor” of Central America, with certain communities experiencing up to one hundred percent crop failure. Amidst these changes, it has become clear that communities must begin strategizing in order to sustain resiliency. In this conversation, Ada shares how many land-based communities in El Salvador are finding solutions to revitalizing and sustaining food supplies by restoring mangrove forests, diversifying small-scale agricultural practices, and resisting transnational companies like Monsanto and their GMO seeds – which threaten both food sovereignty and community.

Ada Recinos was born and raised in Los Angeles to parents who emigrated from El Salvador. She moved to Richmond after graduating from UCSC with a degree in Global Information and Social Enterprise Studies. Ada served as a Richmond City Councilor from 2017 to 2019, after serving nearly two years as a Human Rights and Human Relations Commissioner. She is currently the Communications and Outreach Manager for EcoViva, a non-profit that supports community-led initiatives and social justice movements for a sustainable future in Central America. Ada’s work has centered on organizing immigrants, renters, and women to advocate for their rights & progressive legislation.

This powerful conversation spans many topics, from the deep wounds of violence and war to the pertinence of moving beyond sensational rhetoric around caravans and the border wall. Ada reminds us that food sovereignty is at the foundation of liberation and thriving communities. We need to invest in climate resilience, we need leaders who acknowledge that climate change is not only real but is happening now, and we need to confront the ugly mentality of anti-immigrant sentiment that continues to spread pervasively in all sectors of society around the globe. No longer can we allow our understanding of who is granted survival to be dictated by superficial understandings of criminality versus legality or who is born on what side of an ultimately meaningless border.

Music by Dirty Birds & Myrra Rós Þrastardóttir

♦ Action Points ♦

+ Learn more and support EcoViva’s community-led initiatives by visiting

+ Seeking asylum is a human right and it is up to all of us to ensure that our government upholds this right amidst distractions of a manufactured “national emergency.” ☎ Call your Senators and Representatives and remind them of the deaths of Jakelin Maquin, Felipe Gomez Alonzo, Roxsana Hernandez, Mariee Juarez, and Claudia Gonzalez. Remind them that the Department of Health and Human Services has released documents showing that thousands of migrant youth have suffered sexual abuse while in U.S. custody under the jurisdiction of the Office of Refugee Resettlement. You can call 1-844-872-0234 to be immediately connected with your representative by entering your zip code. Remind them of the continuous atrocities that are happening at the border and in for-profit detention centers across the country.

+ Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase financially benefit off of the criminalization and incarceration of immigrants at for-profit detention centers – you can express your outrage by visiting the following link,

+ While water scarcity in El Salvador might feel far from home, remember that more often than not communities across Central and South America are fighting for their water rights because of Big Business’ water usage. The municipality of Nejapa, in San Salvador, El Salvador is home to La Constancia, an industrial company and supplier that use’s the town’s aquifer to fill up cartons of Coca-Cola. When you purchase products owned by Nestlé and Coca-Cola you are funding corporations that are in the water business and are often unlawfully extracting water from aquifers and purchasing up water sources around the world. Take a stand against water privatization by boycotting Nestlé and Coca-Cola and their ownership of companies like Perrier, Honest Tea, Smart Water, S. Pellegrino, and Odwalla.

+ Did you know that on December 20, 2018 the USDA announced the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard? While the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture claims that this Standard increases transparency, what it actually does is drop all usage of the word GMO on labeling and substitutes with the term bioengineer. In addition, many GMO foods and GMO derived products would have access to legal loopholes preventing them from being labeled. Reaffirm your commitment to avoid buying, selling, growing, or investing in Monsanto and other GMO companies.

+ Ada emphasizes the importance of having policy makers in office who recognize climate change and its impact on migration. Keep this in mind as we approach the 2020 elections. If you can vote, vote.

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About Our Podcast…

At For The Wild, we discuss the critical ideas of our time and parlay them into action for the defense and regeneration of natural communities. Key topics include the rediscovery of wild nature, ecological renewal and resistance, and healing from the trauma of individualistic society. We will travel deep into ancient forests, align with the struggles and ways of Earth-based people, and rekindle the mysteries of intuition. We will join today’s brightest visionaries in this momentous work of reimagining a world where humanity can find its way back into the web of life.

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