This Land Is Your Land

This Land Is Your Land

Imagine arriving in a new country as a refugee after spending years in a refugee camp in another country as an asylum seeker and then being given three months to achieve “self-sufficiency” in your new host country. Your hands and mind are restless for work. Maybe you were a farm hand, a farm owner, a food entrepreneur, or something else in your home country. Now that you are given a fresh start in a new country, what opportunities do you seek? Is agriculture even an option? For many, it is and it’s the only one that makes sense.

Los Herederos de la Tierra, The Heirs of The Land

Los Herederos de la Tierra, The Heirs of The Land

As I set foot in the lands that belong to my grandmother that she is currently renting out, I don’t recognize that land anymore. The tenant is growing yuca, or cassava. We never grew that while the land was under our management. Growing up, we would visit my grandma’s conuco in the countryside, the farm field or plantation with plantain trees, and some fruit trees and plants like grapefruit and sugar cane. I would run around picking up flowers and cherry tomatoes growing unchecked in the field. It’s thirty tareas in the Dominican land measuring system, or almost two hectares in Hato Viejo, Cayetano Germosen, Espaillat, Dominican Republic.