Cynthia Espinosa Marrero
With over 10 years of experience in the food systems, Cynthia Espinosa Marrero is now focusing her expertise in her own consulting business, Mentha. Inspired by her ancestral roots, especially her abuela (grandmother), Cynthia facilitates training for environmental educators, organizations and institutions in the topics of diversity, inclusion, community engagement and permaculture (DICP). Her use of permaculture is unique as she uses the principles, ethics and activities in her design of the training she offers.
Her passion and experiences lies in the research and writing of historical knowledge of and from communities of colors in the United States and Latin America.
She hopes to provide a platform for their voices, history and practices to be shared and honored. This was in practice during her time as Farm Program Manager in 2011 for Nuestras Raices in Holyoke, Massachusetts were she was practicing and using permaculture design without knowing about permaculture design courses or the history of this movement. Currently Cynthia volunteers with the Holyoke Food & Equity Collective, an anti-racist organization to bring food sovereignty in Holyoke, MA.
She completed her Permaculture Design Course with Permaculture FEAST in 2013 and became the Teaching Assistant of Permaculture FEAST for their PDC in 2014 and in the spring of 2015 for the University of Massachusetts- Amherst (UMass-Amherst) PDC taught by her permaculture mentor and teacher, Lisa DePiano. During her graduate research studies, Cynthia traveled to Cuba to learn more about their food systems and permaculture work, which led her to create a presentation for the UMass- Amherst students about Cuba’s best permaculture practices. Upon graduating with her M.S., Cynthia taught gardening and permaculture basics to low-income families at a non-profit for two years before focusing on her own consulting business.
Her goals as a consultant include to continue working with educators, organizations and institutions on the topics of DICP, but also to create a foundation and resources for undoing racism within the food systems field. She supported the permaculture/agroecology work in Puerto Rico after the devastation from Hurricane Maria by sending seed donations and continuing exchange of knowledge.
Her hobbies include gardening, especially with her toddler and family, cooking, dancing, watching comedy and empowering others!
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