Arely




"Hmm, well… so I don't know if I mentioned this to folks, I probably did during one of the beginning meetings, but I had never done a mutual aid project, you know? Like I knew that there were food pantries and churches that do food drives or schools do food trucks and stuff like that. But I had never seen a mutual aid project or have participated in a mutual aid project in the way that I think we worked on. I'm sure it's not a new concept and I don't remember necessarily who it was that was like “Oh, this is a mutual aid project” or “We're going to call it a mutual aid project,” to be honest, because so much happened.


But the concept and a lot of what we wanted to include were from stories that I had heard from my family. So like I mentioned a lot of them are like civil war survivors from Central America, lived through civil wars. And hearing about like, not the like fascist governments, but the socialist governments, which obviously have their flaws and they're the first ones to point out the flaws, but something that they talked about was the daily ration or the weekly ration that they would receive as part of the revolution to get people on their side. And they would have like sacks of rice and beans and these very relevant things for people to eat and fresh stuff that people could consume. I remember thinking back to that when we were having that conversation and being like, “We should try to provide some things that will allow people to sustain themselves if they can, if they're living through such a stressful thing” and I think that's where I got it from. And actually the day after we had that meeting, I asked my mom. I was like, “What was it that they gave you?” And she gave me a little list, and those are the types of things that I tried to find when I went to go do the shopping. So that's where it originated for me just because I had never done it like that before. But, you know, it's not a new concept. I had seen mutual aid support be done in places where people have these huge natural disasters, like after Hurricane Katrina I know there were huge solidarity mutual aid drives and in all the different hurricanes that happen across the US. So yeah, just taking the concept and trying to adapt it for the community that we're trying to serve."