For 10 years, El Departamento de la Comida (El Depa) has supported sustainable, socially responsible local agriculture in Puerto Rico.

In this lecture, designer, farmer, and activist Tara Rodríguez Besosa will discuss the design strategies that have enabled El Depa to flourish as a queer, grassroots sustainable food project.

This lecture is recommended for college students, educators, nonprofit leaders, and design enthusiasts.


Tara Rodriguez Besosa in Puerto Rico sitting on a bench, surrounded by lush greenery.Tara Rodríguez Besosa (she/they/ellx), born, raised and based in Borikén (Puerto Rico), works at the powerful intersection of queer community and food sovereignty, often sharing how queer and agroecological practices are essential for the transition from extractive to regenerative food systems, as well as collective models and shared resources that empower those who grow, cook, and work towards decolonized bodies and lands.

Tara is an interdisciplinary organizer, entrepreneur, designer, and living resource within various groups involving decolonization, queer practices, food culture, and the arts. She is co-founder of projects ranging from a DIY architect-run gallery in Brooklyn and to El Departamento de la Comida in Puerto Rico to arts venues like El Local en Santurce and a collective queer land project OtraCosa.

Tara’s work with El Departamento de la Comida has been covered by Vogue, The New York Times, Eater, and more. 


This free program will be hosted through Zoom, with the option to dial in as well. Details will be emailed to you upon registration. CART captioning will be provided. Please reach out to us with any information on how we can support your participation, and with requests for services by emailing

The DISEÑO program is made possible by federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.