¡Poz’Orale!

by Jennifer Barreto, AmeriCorps VISTA

Santa Fe is rich in art, culture, and diversity. What better way to admire these wonderful attributes than to roll them into a communal gathering in honor of its inhabitants and the changing of seasons? After months of planning, EarthCare proudly presented the first annual Poz’Orale Cookoff on September 30. Roughly 250 Santa Feans gathered at Cesar Chavez Elementary to commemorate the beginning of fall. Patrons basked in festivities with live music from local bands, performances by the Baile Folklorico group, Baile Español, spoken word artists, an interactive mural painting with the Alas de Agua Arts Collective, and, of course, tastings of almost 20 local (and informal) chefs’ signature pozole recipes.

Poz’Orale was not only an opportunity to share recipes passed through generations, but an event to acknowledge the individuals who continue to stoke the authentic flames on our City Different. With the grand prize of $250 at stake, each dish was crafted to perfection, distinct, yet equally impressive. The judges were encouraged to cast their votes based on both taste and presentation, and the contestants did not fail to supply a challenge. However, due to large servings, putting it all away was another unexpected catch. Pozole, traditionally a cold weather dish among Hispanic families, is renowned for its savory and extremely satiating qualities. With plenty to go around, the chefs were elated to share and still had much to spare by the end. To help judge, we excitedly welcomed Mayor Webber, Councilor Rene Villareal , community members, and special guests from an array of nonprofits across Santa Fe.

Organizations were invited to help connect individuals to local nonprofit groups and their services regarding transportation, education, and family-related resources. Thank you to the following participants for their gracious contribution and for arranging  bilingual representatives to be present. It truly helped make Poz’Orale a one-of-kind success!

SFPS Adelante – Attiana Virella-Fuentes,      Many Mothers – Magali Campos,      SFCC – Marcos Maez,      Guadalupe Credit Union – Nelson Medina,     NM Dreamers in Action – Janeth Antillon,     Communities in Schools – Julia Bergen,      Breakthrough Santa Fe – Jordan Bosiljevac,      Fathers New Mexico – Gabriel Ortega,      Chainbreaker Collective – Olivia & Jessica,     Youth Vision

¡Y muchas gracias al entretenimiento musical!

Xclusivo NORTE,     MC Slader,     TRIO Latino de Santa Fe,     Rumelia Collective,    Baile Espanol de Santa Fe

“What was just so beautiful to me was that many of the contestants were women and mothers. Each chef was so proud of the uniqueness of their recipe’s origins and I felt moved by the graciousness of these individuals with the size of the bowls that they served. Celebrating this uniqueness of our community is exactly what Santa Fe has needed. It was just so humbling. They are our neighbors and it is essential for them to be at the table, to cherish their lives, and the robust culture they bring. It was absolutely beautiful and just the perfect time to gather and open our hearts in honor of little Jayden.”

-Julia Bergen, Communities in Schools