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3203 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard, Portland, Oregon 97202-8199

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COVID-19, Climate Change, and Carework: Mesoamerican Diasporic Indigenous and Latino Communities in the Willamette Valley

Timothy Herrera's research explores carework at community gardens and analyzes the impacts of COVID-19, extreme wildfires, and climate change on the communities he collaborated with. His research in Lane County, Oregon with diverse Indigenous communities in diaspora from Mexico examines how people engage with their cultural foodways through community gardening and how communal agriculture is an important aspect of carework, self-care, and familial care. The field sites for this project span seven community garden sites located throughout the cities of Eugene and Springfield in Lane County, Oregon that are linked together through a local community-based organization. He considers how participation in community gardening can serve as a social, emotional, and health resource for families. Herrera analyzes the concept of carework in the individual, familial, and the community level and explains how suffering and care are interconnected. With research that has taken place both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, Herrera demonstrates how care-giving practices forged through community gardening continues to have benefits through the pandemic.

Timothy Herrera is a cultural anthropologist (PhD University of Oregon, 2022). He is currently a pro tem instructor of anthropology at the University of Oregon and a program coordinator for the Oregon Folklife Network (OFN). He is currently working on coordinating the 2023 Oregon’s Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program (TAAP) which is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Oregon Arts Commission, the Oregon Historical Society, and the University of Oregon. Involved with the Oregon COVID-19 Farmworker Study, Timothy was interviewer and data analyst during phase I & II of the collaborative project and is involved in the planning of phase III. His most recent research examines the experiences of Latino communities and Mesoamerican Indigenous communities in diaspora in Oregon engaged in preserving traditional foodways and engaging in carework at community gardens.

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