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Santuario Sisterfarm


Abstract

A seven-acre ranch in the Texas Hill Country, near the Mexican border, Santuario Sisterfarm is a sanctuary and nonprofit organization dedicated to the cultivation of biological and cultural diversity. Drawing on the cultural diversity of the borderlands region, and especially the experiences and perspectives of Latina women, Santuario Sisterfarm has launched three major projects to advance its goal of cultivating diversity: the Rosa y Martín Seed Project, Sor Juana Press, and Latinas in the Borderlands, and Living Lightly on Earth. To promote the ecological and spiritual writings of women of color and religious women, Santuario Sisterfarm established a publishing press named after a Mexican nun, scholar, and poet of the seventeenth century, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, a woman credited with being both the first feminist of the Americas and writing the first words in the Americas expressing concern about human depredation of the Earth. Among other things, Sor Juana Press is publishing a series of small books on topics relating to women, ecology, and spirituality. One set, written by Dominican women, is titled Dominican Women on Earth, the other, written by Latinas, is entitled, La Mujer y La Tierra. The third project, Latinas in the Borderlands, is an effort to build a more just and sustainable model of living on Earth based on Latina experiences. Through the Latinas in the Borderlands project, Santuario Sisterfarm aims to create a culturally diverse setting for Mexican-American mujeres (women) to reconnect with the sense of place, traditions, and the spirituality of their indigenous ancestors in the context of modern-day struggles against oppression. Through its Living Lightly on Earth project, Santuario Sisterfarm is incorporating onsite sustainable design features such as: permaculture practices, rain water collection, a graywater system, solar energy, composting toilets, vermiculture, herb and native flora gardens, organic vegetable gardens and orchards, and GMO-free, heritage-seed cultivation. A book and video library features topics such as eco-spirituality, feminism, permaculture design, organic growing, composting, green building, and issues and/or the literature of the borderlands. In addition to these projects, Santuario Sisterfarm has compiled a list of eco-spirituality centers located in the United States (US) that have been founded and/or are operated by sisters. The centers are featured in a PowerPoint presentation on the Santuario Sisterfarm website. The presentation, entitled, “Eagle and Condor,” is also available on CD-ROM from Santuario Sisterfarm.

Religion Christianity
(Roman Catholic)
Geographic Location United States of America
(Welfare, Texas)
Duration of Project 2002–Present
History

Santuario Sisterfarm was incorporated in 2001 by Carol Coston, OP, an Adrian Dominican Sister who was the Co-founder and first Director of NETWORK, a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, and Founder and first Director of Two Partners for the Common Good Loan Funds; Elise D. García, former Vice President of Common Cause and former Director of Communications and Development at St. Mary’s University School of Law; and María Antonietta Berriozábal, former United States Representative of the Inter-American Commission on Women of the Organization of American States and the first Mexican-American woman to serve on the City Council of San Antonio. The founding board met in January 2002 to articulate the organization’s mission and set its program goals.

Mission Statement “Rooted in the bioregion of the Texas Hill Country and grounded in the rich multicultural legacy of the Borderlands, Santuario Sisterfarm inspirits the work of transforming human relationships with Earth and among ourselves, by moving from dominance to co-creative partnerships, drawing on insights from wisdom traditions, nature, the new science, and women’s ways.”
Partner Organizations

Sisters of Earth
Earth Centers/Committees/Projects of Other Women’s Congregations
Participants in the Organic and Locally Grown Food Movement
Latina Groups in South Texas

Long-Term Goals Santuario Sisterfarm’s long-term goals are to become as self-sufficient and self-sustaining as possible through its food-growing and publishing efforts, thereby enabling it to continue to unfold its eco-spiritual mission.
Bibliography None Listed
Additional Research Resources None Listed
Contact Information Santuario Sisterfarm
28 Hein Road
Boerne, Texas 78006–7707
Ph:       830.537.4327
Fax:      830.537.4309
Email:   (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)