After submitting a resume, writing a cover letter, and going through an interview—all for the first time—Ashley was chosen by a selection committee that included CAN staff and her fellow team members to be one of the two representatives from the Growing Justice youth team at CAN’s 6th Annual International Youth Exchange for Food Security & Sovereignty in Nicaragua. 


Here Ashley is eating baho, a traditional Nicaraguan dish that is made from beef, plantains, and cassava served with a cabbage salad.

Ashley has been a member of CAN’s Growing Justice project since its inception last year, and has played a vital role in helping to develop the team’s research question and in activities such as creating the River Park Garden Video Collective, a documentary film about one of the Mesa Verde Gardens in Watsonville, with students from UC Santa Cruz.

Univision Noticias Monterey-Salinas interviewed Ashley before departing for Nicaragua. She shared with them a little bit about what she was excited to do at the Youth Exchange in Nicaragua:

“I’m going to go to show them how these gardens benefit our families and they will show me new gardening techniques too. I will also show them how we can prevent violence in our communities with gardens. I have seen how a lot of young people come to the garden, plant their things, and it makes me happy to see them here instead of on the streets doing other things.

Watch the full interview in Spanish here: