Mexicoytl is a K through 8 charter school located on Morley Ave in Nogales which emphasis the indigenous heritage of the Nogales population. The Ranch project with Mexicoytl is a lesson for me as to how even our failures can be wonderful. In 2011, the school approached the Ranch about building a shade area and a garden at the school. Their interest was in growing plants and also in using the project as a way to engage parents. In that year, the Ranch collaborated with Landscape Architect Yunghi Cho to design and lay the infrastructure for a garden. Then with parent volunteers we brought in water lines, laid out a drip system, prepared the earth, set up shade structures and planted three heritage fruit trees.
The site is near the street so it was easy to observe the process of the garden over the next few seasons.
At first the garden was clearly used, it had raised beds with plants and the heritage trees were thriving. Then winds blew away the shade and it was not replaced. Last year the garden looked abandoned- nothing growing except weeds- no shade- no kids- our project was of use only to one or two grades, what a shame! And then, like the impossibly delicate flowers of the monsoons, there was the garden again! This year the garden thrives! Children work there and learn, plants grow and each time I drive by, I am reminded that our mission is not to be famous, but to create opportunities such as the Mexicoytl garden- for the children; the garden is their project, their success, their idea become reality and in their learning our purpose is made evident!