Phil and Kathy Dahl-Bredine recently presented their new book, Milpa! From Seed to Salsa, to enthusiastic audiences on the East and West coasts of the US. Milpa is a four-year work of love, done with the indigenous people of Oaxaca, Mexico, where they have lived and worked for 15 years, first as Maryknoll Lay Missioners, and since 2010 with Instituto Paz. The book, written with campesino leader Jesus Leon Santos, with photos by Judith Haden and recipes arranged by Susana Trilling, heralds the values of the indigenous communities: respect for all beings—including Mother Earth, mutual aid, community service, complementarity, and buen vivir—alternatives to development focused on living well in a broad sense. The Dahl-Bredines say these indigenous values could be a way to save all of humanity from the over-consumptive, exploitive, and violent Western culture that is drowning us. Pope Francis echos this idea in Laudato Si, citing the important values of the indigenous peoples of the planet.
The bilingual book has striking photos on almost every page and enticing, traditional recipes for holidays and specialties of the villages. The book is available through their nonprofit, Instituto Paz en Las Americas, 2645 Mountain View Rd. Silver City, NM 88061;
$40 covers purchase, shipping, and handling.