Timothy Herrera is a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology. His research project, “Carework as Well-being: Latinx Immigrant Community Gardening and Practices of Hope and Support," focuses on community-based agriculture and the cultivation of connection, care, and exchange. Using fieldwork at seven community garden sites in Lane County as a basis, it examines the experiences of multigenerational immigrant families in Oregon engaged in preserving traditional foodways through community gardening. The primary goals are to investigate the historical relationships between foodways and emotional carework within Latinx, Indigenous, and immigrant communities. It examines how foodways shape community well-being despite the many challenges and traumas of migration. Participation in community gardening can serve as a social, emotional, and health resource for immigrant Latinx families, functioning as a nexus of care and source of hope. This research is urgent since disproportionate food insecurities have only been exaggerated by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Because the research has taken place both before and during the pandemic, it can demonstrate how the caregiving practices forged through community gardening may continue to benefit families and communities after the pandemic.
2021-22 Graduate Research Fellow