Monday, November 10, 2014

Here's an info graph that will allow you to understand what goes into making the tamales for the annual Holiday Tamale Fundraiser for C2C at BUF.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Tamales Order Form        Proceeds support C2C’s Cocinas Sanas Project
Name:        ______________________________
Phone:      ______________________________
Email:        ______________________________

Orders are available in quantities of 6 or 12.  All orders must be made and prepaid by December 15th for Winter Holidays order.

Please mark how many of each type you’d like. 

Proceeds go directly to Community to Community and the  Cocinas Sanas Project.
Community to Community Development is a women-led, place based, grassroots organization working for a just society and healthy communities.
The goal of  the Cocinas Sanas project is:
·  To empower Latinas to improve their health, the health of their families and their community.
·  To provide culturally appropriate education on cooking and making healthier eating choices.
·  To restore traditional recipes, cultural practices around health and healthy eating.
·  To work together to create equitable access to healthy lifestyles. 

Vegan Tamales:
6 tamales for $15                     __________
12 tamales for $30                   __________
24 tamales for $55                  __________
Vegetarian Cheese Tamales:
6 tamales for $18                     __________
12 tamales for $35                   __________
24 tamales for $60                 __________
Chicken Tamales:
6 tamales for $18                     __________
12 tamales for $35                   __________
24 tamales for $60                 __________
Sweet Dessert Tamales:
6 tamales for $15                     __________
12 tamales for $30                   __________
24 tamales for $55                  __________

Price for Order                               $__________
Additional donation to C2C                    $__________
Grand Total                                                 $__________

For Questions or Orders: 

When will you be picking up your order?
December 22nd  from 5:30PM-7:30PM   ___
December 23rd  from 5:30 PM-7:30PM   ___

Call (360)738-0964, email ,
203 W. Holly St. Ste. 315 Bellingham,WA 98225
Order online at

 Proceeds go directly to Community to Community and the  Cocinas Sanas Project.

Community to Community Development is a women-led, place based, grassroots organization working for a just society and healthy communities.

The goal of  the Cocinas Sanas project is:
·  To empower Latinas to improve their health, the health of their families and their community.
·  To provide culturally appropriate education on cooking and making healthier eating choices.
·  To restore traditional recipes, cultural practices around health and healthy eating.
·  To work together to create equitable access to healthy lifestyles.

2014 Raices Culturales Summer Newsletter

Here's a link to the Summer Newsletter of C2C's Raices Culturales program.  Translated Cultural Roots - Raices Culturales is C2C’s Youth Mentoring Project.  This project provides musical, writing, poetry, dance, yoga, visual art, film, nutrition, and Spanish language development opportunities for young people between the ages of 7 and 12.  It also explores issues of gender justice.

Summer 2014 Raices Culturales Newsletter

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

C2C awarded 2014 Food Sovereignty Prize

C2C wins another award! This time sharing the US Food Sovereignty Alliance award with Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) of Palestine, based in Gaza and the West Bank.

"In Washington State, amid failed immigration policies that criminalize working families, Community to Community Development has supported and worked with immigrant farm workers to develop farm worker-owned cooperatives, organize a successful nutrition education project called Cocinas Sanas, and promote domestic fair trade in regional assemblies and meetings. Most recently, C2C has supported an emerging farm worker union, Familias Unidas por la Justicia, and organized a national boycott of Sakuma Farms, their employer, who withheld pay, provided poor housing, and has since retaliated against the workers. Familias Unidas por la Justicia recently won a settlement for wage theft and had a Superior Court Judge rule uphold their right to organize – but their fight is not over.
“In honoring Community to Community, the USFSA honors indigenous farmworkers in the U.S. Displaced by NAFTA, these peasant farmers from Mexico are practicing a tradition of struggle for justice. Together, C2C and Familias Unidas are promoting food sovereignty in rural Washington State and challenging the corporate agricultural interests that are controlling our food system,” said Rosalinda Guillen, Executive Director of Community to Community Development."

Well done and congratulations to the C2C staff!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

C2C Awarded Best Non-Profit Organization

Come Celebrate at Their 10th Anniversary Party Sept. 6th 4-10pm

We can all be proud that our partner organization Community to Community has just been been selected for the 2014 Best of Bellingham Award in the Non-Profit Organization category by the Bellingham Award Program*.  Come celebrate their first ten years of social and environmental justice work on Saturday, September 6th in Boundary Bay's Beer Garden from 4-10 pm.  The anniversary party will include music, a silent auction, dancing and more.  All are most welcome.

*Each year, the Bellingham Award Program identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Bellingham area a great place to live, work and play. Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2014 Bellingham Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Bellingham Award Program and data provided by third parties.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Guest Editorial Submitted to The Bellingham Herald on 6/24/14

Originally posted by David Chen, June 24, 2014

Henry Bierlink published an editorial titled, “Whatcom Farm Friends back Sakuma Brothers in labor dispute,” on April 17, 2014 in The Bellingham Herald. Bierlink is the executive director of Whatcom Farm Friends, representing Whatcom County raspberry farmers. Bierlink’s article is critical of Familias Unidas por la Justicia, the local union of migrant farmworkers that is demanding a contract from Sakuma, and is also demeaning to supporters of Familias Unidas.  Bierlink skates around the suite of complaints levied against Sakuma by the over 400 members of Familias Unidas. He acknowledges that “farm managers don’t manage every situation perfectly,” but insists that to “demonize” Sakuma and its customers is “simply wrong, irresponsible, and intentionally divisive. Watching a family that endured the WWII internment camps go through another fear-based torment is painful.”

To be clear, Familias Unidas is not attempting to demonize Sakuma; rather, as their name suggests, they seek justice for themselves and their families; they are publicly speaking a truth about systemic exploitation as Sakuma Berry Farms. Bierlink’s invocation of the Sakuma family’s Japanese heritage is inappropriate. He equates experiencing a boycott with suffering through internment camps, drawing from a history of discrimination in what seems to us a manipulative way. His phrase “fear-based torment” is not descriptive of a boycott situation, which is entirely different from an internment camp.

Furthermore, while Sakuma is painted as a local family farm, while in actual fact, Sakuma Farms is a large corporate conglomerate, spanning multiple states, with a huge California-based international root stock business in addition to the many farms of fruit it grows and sells under multiple labels.  This is a struggle with a large corporation, not a small-farm local family.

Bierlink then gives support to Sakuma’s attempt to receive foreign guest workers under the H-2A program, which they have since abandoned, amidst mounting public objection and lack of demonstration of a labor shortage.

Bierlink proceeds to mischaracterize the efforts of Familias Unidas and their supporters. He claims that the aim of their activism is “to aggravate the ever-present tension that exists between employers and employees. We question why anyone would support efforts to polarize communities rather than to unite them.”

In this statement, Bierlink fails to capture that Familias Unidas is operating within this very “ever-present tension,” attempting to guarantee the very basics of dignity and a living wage despite these being at odds with Sakuma’s financial interests.  Bierlink offers some utopic notion of uniting polarized communities, as if migrant farmworker activism is somehow responsible for the polarization in the first place. Farmworkers asked for months—years in fact— to cooperatively negotiate a fair contract with Sakuma and only resorted to a strike when Sakuma did not respond with good faith efforts.  We believe it that Bierlink’s claim that “farmers are willing to engage in responsible discussions” was repeatedly demonstrated to be untrue, as Sakuma did not follow through with or honor its agreements with workers.

As we are some of the supporters of whom Bierlink speaks, we find Bierlink’s closure disrespectful: “We resist the temptation to demagogue complex issues like farm labor and expect the same from others.” Bierlink, seems to use the word “demagogue,” to establish himself on moral or intellectual high ground, or as the calm voice of reason. In our view, the farmer workers and their supporters have been reasonable and patient, yet diligent in trying to stand up for justice when none was forthcoming after years of hoping and waiting.

As ethical people and people of faith who believe in justice, we find it unacceptable that the well-being of migrant farmworkers is being sacrificed in the name of profit. We are not alone in this stance as other faith communities, and even some local farm owners, have expressed similar support for the farmworkers. We wonder whether Bierlink can speak in a fair and balanced way on this matter, given his own financial ties in the farming community.

As Latin American philosopher Enrique Dussel has written, “Philosophical intelligence is never so truthful, clean, and precise as when it starts from oppression and does not have to defend any privileges, because it has none.” In a similar sense, Bierlinks desire to defend his position of privilege seems to annul his argument. We are reminded that for Sakuma and Bierlink, a contract means a difference of profit margin; the farmworkers, a contract is the difference between a life of dignity and a life of great hardship;.

Acting from compassion, we continue to support Familias Unidas por la Justicia, and will do so until the well-being of the migrant farmworkers is respected.

Dussel citation: pg. 4, Dussel, Enrique. Philosophy of Liberation. New York: Orbis Books, 1985.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Originally posted by David Chen, June 12, 2014

"Like" Familias Unidas por la Justicia on Facebook:

What does the partnership between BUF and C2C look like on a day-to-day basis and what are upcoming plans? 
Answer: A monthly blog detailing partnership activities and plans will be posted to the website.  Also included with be opportunities for the BUF community to be involved in the happenings.

What is Community to Community Development?
Answer: There is a section in the history posted on the partnership’s page on the website that summarizes C2C’s work and its connection with BUF in 6 short chapters.  Their web address is: and Facebook page is ___.  A brief description: C2C is a women-led, grassroots, Whatcom County organization working for social, environmental & economic justice and healthy communities.

How often does C2C use our space? 
Answer: We can't specifically answer this question, as it depends on what opportunities arise.  See the blogs for the history of how the partnership has used BUF’s space. What we can say is that co-sponsored activities will continue, making use of the meeting spaces, kitchen and occasionally the sanctuary and social hall. 

How does C2C care for our space and community? 
Answer: C2C members have been very accommodating in all building use negotiations.  They are trained to clean our Bamboo floors and have and will clean them when needed.  They have participated in deep cleaning of the kitchen, including ovens, cupboards, drains, refrigerators.... They have cooked for Community Night Dinners and are open to being on our annual cook rotation. They provide us with educational forums, workshops and have done an annual sermon at a Sunday service.

What does the partnership cost BUF financially? 
Answer: While the answer to this question is uncertain, as costs will be related to opportunities as they arise, we have decided to handle this uncertainty by placing a cap of $5000 on the in-kind type of financial contribution that BUF offers C2C.
         To give a better idea of how these costs will be calculated, we share the example of the first year.  In 2011, C2C used our kitchen for 46 hours which, if rented at our member rate*, would equal an in-kind donation of $690.  They also used our social hall for 40 hours which equals an in-kind donation of $1,600.  Additionally, they used our van for 9 days in the summer.  We don't currently rent out our van, rather, we allow our members to use it and we request a donation that directly funds the van maintenance line in our budget.  C2C uses our van at no cost to them and is covered by our insurance policy at no additional cost to us and poses minimal risk.   These kinds of space uses are likely to continue and increase some as time goes by.. 
         *Using the discounted member rate is a compromise of estimating value.  For any given C2C use, the space might have been used by a full paying group, which would be the same as a financial loss for us.  On the other hand, the space might not have been rented for another use, so then C2C's use costs us very little--less than the discounted rate.  So, the discounted rate is a middle ground for estimating value. 

Is there a language barrier issue? 
Answer: Most people who work or volunteer at C2C speak English fluently or well enough to have a meaningful conversation, so we haven’t seen a language issue when it comes to managing the partnership.  Many of those C2C serves, some of whom may be at BUF from time to time, may not speak English well.  Though this does create some challenges in building relationships, we also see this as a meaningful challenge which offers the opportunity to build bridges with people we might never have had in our lives.  Perhaps some of us will learn (more) Spanish?  Perhaps we might have a monthly service in Spanish?  Perhaps we could teach each other our languages?  The possibilities are many.

How long will the partnership last?
Answer: According to the Partnership Procedure document: if approved, partner organizations and sponsoring BUF ministry teams will be required to monitor, track and report the following for our annual (bi-annual after the first year) review:
a.  Dates, times and descriptions of projects and events
b.  Financial expenditures
c.  Any other resources/in-kind services
d.  Documentation of progress toward goals
e.  Description of future plans and changes in program
This information must be submitted every other spring, and the appropriate leaders will arrange for presentation for congregational approval at the May meeting.  This way the partnership is continually reviewed and re-established.

What has our involvement been with C2C in the past? 
Answer: Our past relationship was reviewed in detail in six chapters that came out in the mid-week updates in Spring 2012.  These are posted in the history section of our partnership page on the buf.orgwebsite.  After that, there are a series of blogs that describe the history of the partnership’s work.  Also, there is an annual report posted every year reviewing that year’s work.

Looking Back at a Full and Significant Year for the C2C-BUF partnership (2014)

Originally posted by David Chen, May 31, 2014

What a momentous year it has been for farmworkers and food sovereignty* in our region!

*Food sovereignty considers all the aspects of what is on our plate: How was the environment treated in producing it? What is the food itself (organic? GMO free? soil health? humanely treated and healthy animals?)? How were the farmworkers treated who produced it? Is it locally produced from sustainable economies?

First off, our Partnership and the BUF congregation did major work to support the striking farmworkers at Sakuma Berry Farms in their efforts to secure fair wages, decent living conditions and fair working conditions  Between donating food, supplies and funds; supporting a Sakuma Farms boycott in various ways; writing letters and making calls; and giving toys to the children of the strikers at Christmas—BUF helped move the strike towards a successful resolution.

Though the key goal of having a fair contract for the workers this year has not yet come about, there have been many small successes along the way.  A Federal court decided with farmworkers on the issue of housing, protests of Sakuma’s guest worker application led to Sakuma’s eventual withdrawal of the application, and the workers recently won a class action lawsuit awarding back pay for unpaid work.  Also, farmworkers have had their first ever meetings with the sate legislature this year.  Most significantly, farmworkers all over Whatcom County report improved working conditions (breaks encouraged, farmers coming out to the fields to talk with workers, etc) as a result of the strike.

At BUF, C2C participated in a number of activities.  Rosalinda Guillen, the Executive Director, gave a sermon one Sunday, and staff of C2C did three adult forums.  C2C cooked a community dinner for the congregation. C2C cooked food for and hosted a booth at the BUF Fall Festival.  C2C prepared organic, GMO free tamales in BUF’s kitchen for sale (fundraiser) over the holidays and several months after—several BUFers volunteered, and many BUFers purchased tamales.  C2C members also participated in BUFs annual Posada dinner.

Also at BUF, we hosted a couple larger partnership events open to the wider community.  First, the forum “When LowWage Workers Rebel,” with several panelists from the workers’ rights movement. the partnership also hosted at BUF one of the films for the International Human Rights Film Festival, “Rooted Lands” about a small community in new Mexico standing up against fracking for natural gas.

BUF members also participated in several C2C sponsored community-wide events.  We took a lead coordination role at C2C’s annual Cesar Chavez dinner (thank you to our many volunteers!).  C2C gave BUF a Seeds of Justice Award at this event.Many of us walked with farmworkers in the annual Guide Meridian Farmworker March and Rally for Dignity that C2C sponsors every year.  BUF members (a tie with BUFs Reclaiming Democracy Team) attended the People’s Movement Assembly in March and the MLK Conference at Whatcom that included presentations by C2C. Finally, many of us attended C2C’s open houses at their offices this year.

Other happenings included: welcoming our partnership’s new intern, David Chen, onto the Team; the Partnership contributing an educational Filipino dinner to the BUF auction; starting a partnership blogspot; BUF donating a monthly special collection to C2C; and finally, involving UUs at the state and national level in our partnership. Both Jolinda Stephens of WA UU Voices for Justice and D.D. Hilke of NW UU Justice Network came down to visit the C2C/BUF Partnership team to explore what our partnership was about and to find ways to support the team’s efforts and to help in establishing solid UU networks throughout Washington State in dealing with immigration and migrant worker issues for the future. Also, initial discussions took place with UUSC as well as the UU College of Social Justice, who are also very interested in visiting us and talking about their Border Links projects.