#MaízChilango is a project that makes visible the importance of preserving and defending the seven species of native maize of Mexico City, which resist in the southern Mayorships, mainly thanks to the efforts of women who, using ancestral and agroecological methods, plant maize in the milpa method with high nutritional value, as a way to guarantee its food sovereignty, thus protecting the territory from the brutal attempts of the international agroindustry to introduce transgenic corn, with the health risk that this implies.

Through stories in different narratives (text, photo, video and infographics), this project seeks to show that in one of the most populated and famous cities in the world, a city that is also chaotic, surreal and cosmopolitan, such as Mexico City, there is much more than gray landscapes, noise, crowds and hostility, because to the surprise of even its own inhabitants, a part of its map is very, very green. It is a territory that resists in the southern mayorships, from the periphery, in the neighborhood, where the oldest inhabitant of the city still exists: native maize. 

And they are women who, from their crops and kitchens, protect an ancestral legacy to nourish their families and, from the countryside hidden by the urban sprawl, resist transgenic industrial practices that sicken the land and what it produces. These women are the ones who know the seven species of native maize, and know how to turn it into tortillas and other dishes, based on traditional and intuitive techniques, such as nixtamalization, enriching its nutritional contribution and challenging culinary trends. They are women who have known the benefits of the milpa diet, long before international organizations “discovered” it and recommended it. They are women of maize, promoting food justice in one of the largest cities in the world.

This project is possible thanks to Bertha Challenge 2023.



Research coordinator: Greta Rico 

Photographer: Greta Rico 

Text writing: Anaiz Zamora & Greta Rico

General Editing: Mely Arellano 

Web design and programming: Flor López 

Illustrations: Kathya Echegoyen

Learn more maize stories:

Women of maize, ancestral wisdom against an industry that sickens

Native maize, the inhabitant of Mexico City who resists eviction

The agricultural cycle of native maize and how it is affected due to climate change.

About maize, we must continue talking