Corn, beans, and squash:

Decolonization through Indigenous Food systems

An introduction to Indigenous food systems through storytelling and cooking lessons.

The course is taught by Minerva Lopez, a Mixe Maestra Cocinera, and Lluvia Nisayé, a Zapotec artist educator. 

Taught in English & Spanish, length and topics of the course can be customized. (TAUGHT IN OAXACA OR ONLINE)

Minerva welcomes us in her kitchen in Oaxaca, a traditional Mixe cocina de humo (smoke kitchen), where she utilizes wood stove, Mixe clay pots, cooking tools, and the wisdom of her ancestors.

Module 1: Corn, nixtamalization, and tortillas

An Introduction to the history and importance of corn, Indigenous seed keeping, and the technology of corn nixtamalization. Minerva will walk us through the traditional process of making tortillas utilizing corn grown by her.

Participants will prepare homemade corn tortillas with the help of Minerva’s guidance.

Module 2: Milpa & Guias soup

We will learn about the history of a powerful Indigenous technology called Milpa, also known as the Three Sisters (corn, beans, and squash). Minerva will prepare, Guias soup, a staple of Oaxacan cuisine, and talk about its importance.

Participants will engage in a drawing exercise to explore their personal offerings, needs, and synthetic fertilizers through the eyes of the milpa.

Module 3: Chiles & salsas

In this session, participants will learn about the different fresh and dry chiles utilized in Oaxacan cuisine, along with their drying process. Minerva will demonstrate the power of fire in activating the flavours and aromas of chiles, and prepare a couple of different salsas utilizing traditional tools.

Participants will learn how to prepare a simple but delicious salsa with Minerva’s guidance. 

Module 4: Xocolatl, before the Swiss added milk.

Minerva will walk us through the process of making Oaxacan chocolate, from cacao seeds to a chocolate bar.

Participants will learn how to prepare a Mexican style hot chocolate

Module 5: Mole Amarillo & Mixe resistance

In this module, we will learn about the resistance of the Mixe people through one of its staples dishes, Mole Amarillo, a dish that only utilizes Indigenous ingredients.

Participants engage in a guided conversation regarding colonialism and food systems.

Module 6: Oaxacan market & wrap up

In this session, participants will witness at a distance,  the sounds and abundance of the largest market in Oaxaca.

Participants share their personal learning journey throughout the course.

Minerva López, Traditional Mixe Maestra Cocinera:

I’m Indigenous to the Sierra Mixe of Oaxaca and speak Mixe (Ayuuk). I learned how to cook from my mom and grandmother since I was a little girl and have over 40 years of experience in Traditional Oaxacan food.

In 2019, I was awarded the first prize in the 1st Encounter of Traditional Cooks in Oaxaca and the title of Maestra Cocinera, where over 70 Traditional Cocineras from all over Oaxaca participated.

Lluvia Nisayé, Artist Educator & Technology translator

Born and raised in Tenochtitlan, México by her grandmother Amparito that taught her everything there is to know about love.  Lluvia comes from a long matriarchal dynasty of strong women from Juchitan, Oaxaca.

She spent her twenties hustling in restaurants and studying computer programming and political science in what is known today as canada. Her practice combines her knowledge in teaching,  history,  humour,  coding & technology,  design, indigenous food systems and meme culture.

They are a seasoned artist educator & technology translator, and have created learning experiences for hundreds of students, in its majority Indigenous youth, from a wide range of topics, from cooking to artificial intelligence.

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