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44 minutes


Sustainable agriculture, Organic Farming -- Teaching -- Oregon


Interview of Allejandro Tecum by Adam Villareal at Forest Grove, Oregon on February 25th, 2010.

The interview index is available for download.


Alejandro Tecum taught Spanish in his native Guatemala, where he met is wife, who is originally from Oregon. They subsequently moved to Oregon in 1999. He joined Adelante Mujeres in 2002 working as a Mathematics and Spanish instructor. In 2003 he helped launch the Micro Enterprise Program; through this program he assisted in restarting the Forest Grove Farmers Market in 2005. In that same year he initiated the Adelante Agricultura program.


Alejandro Tecum of Adelante Mujeres is a Guatemalan immigrant and has been a Portland resident since 2000. Outside of his involvement in the nonprofit St. Anthony’s Church in Forest Grove, he teaches English as a second language and various self-improvement courses to low-income women and their families in the Latino community. Tecum was educated in Guatemala at a university in a program he translated as community organization, similar to urban planning degrees offered in the United States. Due to language barriers when coming to the United States, he worked entry level tasks until he was able to work full time in his current position. Tecum’s efforts to work with and educate Latino farmers about organic farming practices have had an exceedingly beneficial effect. Both in logistics, by creating avenues of communication between local and regional farmers in the Farmer’s Association and through conflict resolution, Tecum has fostered an environment of community involvement to help all willing farmers to succeed. Tecum discusses the limitations of language, national identity, and individual outlook, relating how each area affects the success of all farmers. Tecum finds the strength to endure these difficult issues of farming within the Latino community by acknowledging the benefit his teaching of sustainable organic agricultural practices and the empowerment gained by those involved in the educational programs founded in Adelante Mujeres.

This interview is part of “The Sustainability History Project: Documenting Sustainable Development and Practice in the Pacific Northwest” at Portland State University.


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