“Comunidad. Together We Progress. Together We Shine.” This is the theme of the 2021 National Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States, the period of time spanning Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. With an over 50 year history, it’s a time to celebrate Hispanic and Latinx Americans while uplifting the culture and advancements they contribute to society.
Lesser-celebrated, is the fact that the principles of sharing, environmental stewardship, and familial cooperation are both evident and deeply embedded into many Latinx cultures. We at Shareable take pride in honoring the histories and practices of the vast communities of readers that we serve.
That’s why this Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re shining light onto a remarkable group of Latinx-led cooperatives that are paving the way for advancements in their own communities while enriching the landscape of the sharing economy as a whole.
Credit: Tierra Fértil Coop
A Hispanic, worker-owned farm cooperative in Hendersonville, North Carolina, Tierra Fértil Coop was founded by Mexican and Salvadoran immigrants during the Covid-19 pandemic. Their areas of focus range from traditional farming practices to mutual aid, interculturality and community education.
Credit: EQuality HomeCare Co-op
The first worker-owned caregiver cooperative in Texas, eQuality HomeCare Co-op is located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. Their team of experienced caregivers provides in-home personal care and assistance for seniors and disabled adults so that they can remain as independent as possible in the comfort of their own homes.
Green Worker Cooperatives is a South Bronx-based collective that serves immigrants and communities of color. Their mission is to build, grow, and sustain worker-owned green businesses to create a strong, local, and democratic economy rooted in racial and gender equity.
Credit: Demetrius Freeman for Huffington Post
Created in Queens, New York by the cooperative’s founders who’d experienced years of discrimination at work, Mirror Beauty Cooperative is a trans-owned beauty collective. Their mission is to build a safe space for Latinx LGBTQ+ workers by creating a healthy economy for trans women of color.
Credit: Boston Cleaning Collective
Boston Cleaning Collective emerged from grassroots meetings of immigrant women exploring ways to support one another and build a new kind of economy. Members-owners are able to avoid exploitative dynamics common to the house cleaning industry by becoming partners who participate in business decisions, continually learn new skills, pay themselves fair wages, and share in any profit that may be generated.
Owned by six independent social enterprises led by Latina and indigenous doulas and community health workers, Roots4Change Cooperative (Raíces para el Cambio) is the first immigrant marketing cooperative in Dane County that focuses on health. Their mission is to improve the maternal and child health landscape by empowering families and challenging the existing system.
Descriptions taken, and amended for context, from each collective’s site.
Check out these related stories:
Spanish cities make the case for how cooperatives can address urban ills
An informal settlement in Puerto Rico has become the world’s first favela community land trust
A new, collective business model for traditional crafts in Oaxaca
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