New Orleans Day 2: Sunday 2/14

After Ms. C made an awesome breakfast of pancakes and eggs, we go began our day with a short espacio before going to Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe near the French Quarter. This is predominately an African-American community and February being the month for Black Awareness, we listened to a rendering MLK’s speech, “I Have a Dream.” The service was very lively and enjoyable. After meeting the celebrant, we headed off to the Lower Ninth Ward to plant trees for the newly established non-profit, Farming New Orleans.  We then had our lunch and walked around the Lower Ninth getting acquainted with the situation the caused such devastation from Hurricane Katrine in 2005.

Many homes have been raised and some remain uninhabitable. What is certain is that many people never returned and many parcels of land go empty. Pre-Katrine, the Lower Ninth Ward has the highest percentage of African-American homeowners in the U.S. That has never returned. What we find instead are nonprofits using the land to grow food for the people who live there now and have no access to healthy food. The Lower Ninth is classic food desert. We saw amazing developments in hydroponics and aquaponics gardening and food growing is rich is nutrients and highly prized by the upper end restaurant. So, not all the food grown in the Lower Ninth serves the people there. Some of the endeavors are for profit enterprises.

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