I joined BEETs on a reference by my teacher. I joined for the sole reason on how they interacted with nature. It was something I had grown interested in, something I wanted to explore. Nature was depleting every single day, and my anxiety over climate change had really pushed me to the job.
From Day 1 we discussed topics on technologies, what WE could change in the world. No matter how fantastic, how simple, we all heard and saw each other’s creations and ideas. I wrote, largely on a paper, “Land Back!” A phrase that will raise eyebrows in my own classroom. At BEETs, it was seen with happiness. My classmates made posters, presented ideas of green and environmentally friendly technologies, one that I too celebrated.
Because we recognized we could change one step at a time, either way, we knew what was wrong with Capitalism in America. We discussed later how we all could change or fight against it. The environment, as my bosses taught me, impacts all of us in almost every way. How we are treated, how we are seen, how we live, even how we could function. Environmental Justice must be taken, but with the most important step: community.
I didn’t even take in the amount of joy, love, and the community I had just joined, until my very last day of work. My bosses, my coworkers, my time with the Earth, will forever stay among us all. There were laughs, deep discussions, staying past curfew for games. I even found more of a respect and passion for nature. What I wanted to do. How I found my values. No matter who it was, we had stood on top of one another to be the best we could be. We stood side by side. Even if it was for 5 month for myself in such a small community, I have never felt such growth. Community, I realized, became the fertilizer to each person in the group. No matter how old or where we came from, we grew together in the garden that was BEETs. I don’t think I would ever regret making the choice to be a part of the BEETs community.
-DeLara Armijo, former BEETs intern
To learn more about the BEETs program, visit www.communitygrows.org/beets