Fronteras Extra: Making A Connection To Indigenous Roots Through Food | Texas Public Radio

Fronteras Extra: Making A Connection To Indigenous Roots Through Food

May 9, 2019

Rebel Mariposa is an indigenous woman who is chef and owner of La Botánica, a vegan restaurant in San Antonio that embodies indigenous traditions from the Gulf Coast, Mexico, and New Mexico. She helped design the menu for a benefit gala to benefit American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions, a nonprofit that works to preserve the indigenous traditions of the peoples of South Texas.

The Cactus Blossom Gala features a five-course meal of native cuisine. Mariposa is contributing two courses: a sunflower risotto and an amaranth salad.

She said designing the menu was a challenge.  “I think just personally, as a woman of color, sometimes you get imposter syndrome and you don't think that you're worthy,” Mariposa said.  

Epazote
Credit Flickr, Vegan Feast Catering / http://bit.ly/2HbaM23

Mariposa overcame her personal insecurities and made an emotional connection with the food.

“As I was creating this menu and I remember kind of being like, ‘whoa, why is it so emotional for me?’” Mariposa asked herself.

“But it was because I was reconnecting with the land and understanding how much has been taken from me through colonialism, through colonization. And it really affected me for a while there.”

Mariposa is ultimately grateful for the challenge “because, again, had I not been asked to do this, I might have not done that work in that journey, personally and emotionally for a little bit longer.”

IF YOU GO

WHAT: 4th Annual Cactus Blossom Mission Heritage Dinner

WHERE: Progreso Hall, 1306 Guadalupe Street, San Antonio, TX 78207

WHEN: Sat., May 11, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

COST: Tickets start at $50. Available here.

Norma Martinez can be reached by email at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter @NormDog1. Lauren Terrazas can be reached by email at lauren@tpr.org and on Twitter @terrazas_lauren.