Date of Award

Winter 12-15-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Nature-Culture-Sustainability Studies

First Advisor

Nicole Merola

Second Advisor

Laura Briggs


In Mexico, as in the world, the number of people living in urban areas is increasing. In addition, urbanization directly generates a fragmentation of the natural habitat and causes the loss of biodiversity. Native edible crops are also being threatened by a constant decline in biodiversity, causing negative ecological, economic and even cultural impact. Until now, the main guardians of the edible biodiversity have been indigenous peoples. Several authors agree that the way in which indigeous people relate to nature may shed some light on how to face the ecological and climate crisis that we are experiencing today. I argue that in Mexico another possibility is for urbanites to become an active participant in the process of preserving native edible species by reactivating their indigenous edible memory. To explore the extent to which the edible memory of the urbanites of Mexico City still has an indigenous weight, although not recognized as such, I use the participatory research methodology based on 'sentipensar' [feeling-thinking] the context. Based on my field observations and due to their noble properties, I propose "quelites" as the starting point of a movement that can empower urban gardeners to become active participants in the preservation of the diversity of edible native species.



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