This talk explores the magic that occurs when immigrant families come together to build community while growing foods that preserve their culture. Marissa Elena Zarate is the Executive Director of Huerto de la Familia, an organic gardening and small business start-up nonprofit for immigrant families in Eugene, Oregon. A graduate of the University of Oregon’s School of Law, Marissa also holds a B.A. in Peace Studies from Chapman University. As an attorney, her work focused on immigrant and tenant legal rights. In her current role, she helps create opportunities for families to increase their health, and build community by growing their own organic food. The daughter of a Costa Rican immigrant mother and Mexican-American father, Marissa is now a passionate advocate and leader focused on environmental and human rights issues in the Latinx community. When she isn’t brainstorming innovative programming, Marissa can be found exploring Oregon’s natural wonders with her husband José, stepson Alex, and trusty canine, Gracie. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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