Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Centro del Pueblo Sanctuary Garden Vandalized Again

Posted By on Tue, Jan 3, 2023 at 11:22 AM

click to enlarge The Centro del Pueblo's Jardin Santuario's welcome sign and bulletin board had been found knocked down on Tuesday, Dec. 27. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • The Centro del Pueblo's Jardin Santuario's welcome sign and bulletin board had been found knocked down on Tuesday, Dec. 27.
Centro del Pueblo's Sanctuary Garden in Arcata has been vandalized again, with the garden's welcome sign and bulletin board knocked down and the gate, which is usually open and unlocked, locked.

Centro del Pueblo team members found the damaged structures Tuesday, Dec. 27, making it the fifth time the garden had been vandalized in 2022.

"It's unknown who's responsible, but we know they pursue a logic of destruction and xenophobia, and they are acting in the shadows, vandalizing in the night," Centro del Pueblo's Brenda Perez said in a press release. "The gate was locked so that we couldn't enter. The impact of locking us out physically has been a recurrent practice of hostility against immigrants. Closing the border, closing the access to health care, education, labor rights and, in this occasion, our own project."



click to enlarge Centro del Pueblo's Jardin Santuario's gate had been found locked on Tuesday, Dec. 27. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Centro del Pueblo's Jardin Santuario's gate had been found locked on Tuesday, Dec. 27.


Centro del Pueblo's Jardin Santuario, or Sanctuary Garden, is a community garden in Arcata that is held as a safe space for immigrants and the BIPOC community to garden and learn.

"This space has become a refuge for Latinx families. Feeling our connection with nature and native plants from the South is an important part of our culture," Perez stated.

In July, the garden was vandalized, its welcome sign spray painted over in black ink with the words "AMERICA USA" scrawled in red.

Centro del Pueblo has been working on the community garden, known as the Jardin Santuario or Sanctuary Garden, for the two years as a way to connect and empower Humboldt's Latinx residents to learn and share their gardening knowledge.

"We belong where our families are, migrant communities belong united and organized, and shouldn't be ignored or depreciated. Together we are a sign of a better Humboldt County," Perez said. "Please consider visiting the garden and volunteering. Let's build a culture of peace and nonviolence.

Read the full release below.

A culture of Peace for a better Humboldt County

Centro del Pueblo regrets to inform the Sanctuary Garden, in the City of Arcata, has been vandalized one more time before the end of 2022.

On December 27th, our team members found damaged structures, the main gate alterated and locked. This is the fifth time the garden has been vandalized in 2022.

The gate was locked so that we couldn't enter. The impact of locking us out physically has been a recurrent practice of hostility against immigrants. Closing the border, closing the access to health care, education, labor rights, and in this occasion our own project. This space has become a refuge for Latinx families. Feeling our connection with nature and native plants from the South is an important part of our culture.

It's unknown who's responsible, but we know they pursue a logic of destruction and xenophobia, and they are acting in the shadows, vandalizing in the night. We also know they are a few compared with the most generous, kind and noble people volunteering and protecting the Sanctuary garden.

This message says we are here to stay, to protect with dignity our dream projects.

We belong where our families are, migrant communities belong united and organized, and shouldn't be ignored or depreciated. Together we are a sign of a better Humboldt County.

Denouncing racism isn’t going to be easy, breaking the unjust dynamic forcing Indigenous Peoples to keep in the shadows either. Our answer to hate is love and art. Centro del Pueblo’s message will prevail for our current and future generations.

Please consider visiting the garden and volunteering. Let's build a culture of peace and nonviolence.

With the Sanctuary teams appreciation,

Brenda Perez

Centro del Pueblo
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Iridian Casarez

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Iridian Casarez was a staff writer at the North Coast Journal from 2019-2023.

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