Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Field Report: Latino Farmers Cooperative of Louisiana

The cold winds approach,

But this VISTA is content

For Service warms me.


This new purpose in my life

Enriches my soul

With ardent strength, conviction.


Wisdom, walk with me;

Love, illuminate the path;

Doubt, wither away.


It’s been thirteen weeks since I started working with the Latino Farmers’ Cooperative of Louisiana (LFCL). I remember that on my first day I was intimidated by the fact that I had never held a real job before and that in my hands would be entrusted so much. I didn’t think that I would do well at first, but in the past months, I have adapted to accept more and more responsibility. Recently, we were awarded a grant of $10,000 by the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF) as part of their initiative to ameliorate the hardships people in our community have felt since Hurricane Isaac. With the grant money from GNOF, Operation AYUDA, our two month-long initiative to assist Latinos still recovering from wage and food-losses caused by Isaac, can now move forward and provide 14,000 pounds of food to over 400 families in the area. For me, this was a personal triumph because this was the first grant that I helped write. Hearing that our proposal was accepted made me feel like I could make a difference in my community.

However, there are things that are starting to get me. For one, we have missed out on so many opportunities to go into the community and try to generate interest in our organizations. Through social media I have been able to increase our presence online. In fact, the other day two girls from Xavier University came by to gather information for a presentation they were going to give in front of their communications class. When I asked how they found us, they responded that by looking online and finding our Facebook were they able to learn more about us. While that is good and all, I do believe that this organization can expand the community’s awareness of its existence through more publicity and attendance at festivals, even if they have little relevancy with our mission. I have made it a goal of mine to convince my organization’s executive director that the only way we can find more board members and revenue is through increasing our presence throughout New Orleans. We’ll just have to wait and see what the incoming months bring.


-Fernando Reyes, Tulane AmeriCorps VISTA, Latino Farmers Cooperative of Louisiana


About Tulane VISTA

Notes from the field from the AmeriCorps VISTA team at Tulane University.


This entry was posted on October 31, 2012 by in VISTA Field Reports and tagged , , , , , .


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