(That’s “hello” in the Nahuatl language)

Luis grew up surrounded by the many colorful sights, tastes, and sounds of Mexico City, but growing up in this megacity made it difficult for him to connect with his ancestry and identity.

From a young age, Luis never felt able to fit into the mainstream educational system, and consequently dropped out of school at the age of 14 to pursue a career in the culinary arts.

mural de semillas Tepoztlan
ehecatl quetzalcoatl

Shortly after graduating, he migrated to Vancouver where he set aside his culinary career and began work in the film industry in visual effects.

After years of being away from home, Luis began to miss and value his culture more than ever. It was during this time he set off on a journey of reconnecting with his culture through food.

He quickly realized that his formal training had been overwhelmingly eurocentric, and it was then that he began to immerse himself in the cultural complexity of Mexican cuisine.

Through this reconnection, Luis began to understand the fundamental relationship corn held to both traditional Mexican cuisine and worldview.

This sparked an interest in agriculture, and he began tying different elements together that would help him remember who he is and where he comes from.

He now travels to Mexico often and spends his winters there nurturing relationships with communities, peoples, and lands that share their knowledge and wisdom of food and agriculture.

While in Vancouver, Luis spends his time with Maya Elders who grow corn and other traditional foods at the UBC farm, as well as works to uphold his teachings by recreating the dishes and food he learned from.

Francisca y Luis con frijoles
Luis maguey
grupo jardin maya

In 2020 he was invited to join the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty and the Indigenous Food and Freedom School where he has been helping the media team out with photography, animation and other digital art as well as sharing some of his organic agriculture and cooking knowledge.

During the pandemic Luis found himself unemployed and inspired by the teaching of his Elders and it was then he started his own business transforming mainly corn and cacao into carefully crafted foods that reflect the love and respect for his culture. He also enjoys teaching and sharing what he has learned along the way with those interested.