The GuVo Village is located in the Sonoran Desert of southwest Arizona, on the Tohono O'odham Reservation along the Mexico border. The Reservation, which is roughly the size of Connecticut, and Village are very isolated and painfully food deprived, with the grocery store a 2-hour drive away. The majority of the residents live well below the poverty level, with many making a mere $358 per month. In addition to limited income and lack of food sources, few have access to transportation. This makes already inaccessible food even more unattainable for GuVo community members.
Along with sustaining regular meals, traditional food education is being developed alongside a
new children’s garden, called “Ruth’s Garden.” Ruth’s Garden is dedicated to an honored elder
who recently passed and will be an experiential learning site for all ages. To be planted are the
three foundational Tohono O’odham foods of bawi (tepary beans), hun (corn) and ha:l (squash).
These plants are part of the O’odham food identity, combat diabetes and provide fresh food in
the Sonoran climate. With GuVo’s remote location, there is a high dependency on low cost, non-
perishable food. Part of this agricultural education is creating new choices and reducing
dependency on processed foods.