Costa Rica is a beautiful land to come from, filled with life teeming in its forests and in its water. I am fortunate to belong to this soil. I am blessed to live amongst the colors of Latin America, and to dance with its people. To leave this sanctuary and come to the United States is never easy on the heart. Michigan is not somewhere I would have envisioned myself, yet the members of my community in Casa Adobe encouraged me to visit *cino and The Huss Project. So it wasn’t Michigan that drew me here…but rather a little space of passion and dedication in this northern bioregion.
With a bit of research, *cino sounded like a wonderful project to get involved with, even if it would only be a short term commitment. I packed my bags, and with help from the empire of oil, a plane, and a few trains, cars and buses, I made it to Three Rivers. My role in this small “rural” town was to care for the community garden at Huss, along with Julianna Sauber (a vibrant and strong-willed woman who inhabits this town). I thought I would fill *cino to the brim with mushroom cultivation and honey bees, however things didn’t quite fall into place in either of those fields. I ended up mainly focusing on the garden and adapting myself from no-till permaculture techniques to conventional organic systems of growing food. This transition took me out of my comfort zone, but the more I was involved with the people here, the more excited I got about the garden as a space of belonging — a space of commonplace for *cino and the broader community in Three Rivers. The garden allowed me to meet a kind, gentle and energetic beekeeper; a humorous and committed mushroom cultivator (among other things); and a bunch of other hard-working volunteers. It also served as a space for people to grow together, to balance out their strengths and vulnerabilities, to sweat and try hard regardless of their “limitations.”
Now, at the end of my time with *cino, I’ve fallen in love with Three Rivers: with its rolling corn and soy fields, its “ruts,” spontaneous weather, the complex contrast between local farms and big chain grocery stores, and the bountiful expressions of hospitality and tenderness of its people. This little place has become a new story that I feel engaged with. This town has a long path to walk through, but it is certainly making its way. The waters of the body of Three Rivers are beautiful, and run deep in its people. I am grateful for life’s way of revealing love in unexpected corners, and *cino has definitely had a hand in the shaping of this love.
Thank you David, Jay, Kirstin & Rob, Stephanie & Chad, Emily, Deborah, Jonathan, Karla, Chelsea, Marti, Julianna, Lee, Liesje, Dale & Jo, Solomon, Kyle, Tom, the Wengers, Julie, Desiree & Dorian, Sam, Nicole & Ben, Jarred, Ainsley, John, Peggy, Tim & Rachel, GilChrist, Apple Farm, The Hermitage, World Fare, and all of our helpful neighbors!
Ginna Quesada served as an intern with *cino from April through June in 2013. She has been integral to the community garden this year and has made many days brighter with her bountiful hugs. Ginna loves to dig.