We, the founders of Casa Yamoca Opia (CYO), are movement strategists, rooted in communities dedicated to abolishing white supremacy and the racist patriarchy as we decolonize every existing institution and engage in the rematriation of our seeds and lands. We listen to our ancestors. Casa Yamoca Opia is being shaped by concepts like intersectionality and social movements for healing justice, reparations, prison abolition, habitat restoration, and the full social inclusion of Two-Spirit, queer, nonbinary, trans, and intersex individuals.

We are informed by Housing First, which sees housing as the very first step of healing from homelessness, and La Via Campesina, the world’s largest network of farmers that advocates for seed and food sovereignty. We know that radical self-love is the heart of decolonization, but that is just a slogan if we don’t feel safe in our skin and confident in the community. That’s why we are creating sanctuaries, not just safe homes.

Our work is accountable to our community of BIPOC LGBTQ 2S+ on Borikén and the diaspora. We are who we are and who we claim as beloved community. We are people on every frontline.

We are survivors of violence: rape, invasion, transphobia, incarceration, etc.

Since our founding in 2020, we have been growing connections to organizations such as Centro Can-Ji in Lares, which transformed 19 abandoned classrooms into small apartments for women and families left homeless after Hurricane María and who have, over the past five years, converted a closed public school into a farm and village with amenities such as a farmers’ market, theatre, and coffee shop for residents. We have also forged connections to individuals who are engaged in similar work such as Tara Rodríquez Besosa and their queer and trans farmstead, OtraCosa, in Caguas and Proyecto Arawako Inc in San Germán.

We have received technical guidance from five established organizations in the areas of advocacy, digital security, habitat restoration, and safe house services such as wraparound case management. In 2022, one of our founders participated in the Women’s Earth Alliance with Casa Yamoca Opia in mind.

We are proud recipients of technical guidance and financial investment from Esperanza United. Centro Can-Ji is our partner in promoting Indigenous Caribbean peoples and practices. Departamento de la Comida is our closest collaborator for community seed banking, medicinal gardening, and reforestation.

The majority of our advisory council, still in formation, is BIPOC. Casa Yamoca Opia’s founders and participants all identify as Black, Indigenous, Two Spirit, and AfroIndigenous Queer.


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