Gracias Madre partners and collaborates with many local individuals and organizations who share our commitment to Peace, Sustainability ,Self-Expression and Transformation in the world. Below are some of the organizations we work with and/or whose missions we support.
Mission Cultural Center
Galería de la Raza
Center for Sacred Studies
The Pachamama Alliance
The Three Sisters
Corn, Beans and Squash, also referred to as “The Three Sisters”, have comprised the basis of the indigenous Mexican and Mesoamerican diet for centuries. A beautiful symbol of environmental cooperation, the corn provides a climbing stalk for the beans, the beans provide nitrogen to the soil to nourish the corn, and the squash leaves spread out, preventing competition from unwanted vegetation and shade for the corn’s shallow roots. Revered as a type of holy trinity in indigenous South and North American cosmology, Native people have been praying to and holding ceremonies in honor of the Three Sisters for centuries. Their mythological, cultural and nutritional significance is unparalleled.
The Three Sisters are a fitting representation of the vision we hold for the planet – people joining together in celebration of their differences and supporting each other to thrive and grow to their fullest, most Abundant expression. They are a symbol, also, of Service, Generosity and Acceptance; principles upon which our company is founded, and which, we believe, help to foster healthy, vibrant, peaceful and empowered communities.
On one of Terces’ and Matthew’s many trips to Oaxaca, Mexico, local artists Rosario Martinez Vazquez and Ernesto Maldonado Gonzales wove them a beautiful decorative rug depicting the Three Sisters. As an expression of our veneration, this rug now hangs in the altar inside Gracias Madre. Ernesto and Rosario have been training at their family workshop called El Tono de La Cochinilla since they were seven years old. This traditional style of weaving utilizes 100% natural dyes derived from plants, flowers and fruits indigenous to the region. For more information please visitwww.eltonodelacochinilla.com
¡Viva la Misión!
Our Mission is Love.
Gracias Madre is a stand for self expression. We believe expression is essential to creating healthy human beings, strong communities, and a peaceful planet. In an effort to support expression and dialogue in our own community, we chose to open up our walls to create a space where local Mission artists can showcase their artwork at no charge. Please come by and take a look!
Another project we’re excited about is the creation of the mural inside our restaurant. Incredible professional muralist DaveSG (www.davesg.com) designed a gorgeous mural of Our Lady of Guadalupe in honor of the beloved patron saint of Mexico. She is depicted both coming from the Earth and creating the Earth simultaneously. This project was completed collaboratively with Jessica Diaz of Gracias Madre, along with the help of Cesar Mariano Reyes and Miguel Flores of Cafe Gratitude, and several students from Mission High School.
In addition to being an amazing organic, vegan restaurant serving some of the most vibrant food on the planet, Café Gratitude is also a School of Transformation. Our restaurants are an experiment in seeing what’s possible in our lives when a group of people come together and choose to put our attention on all there is to be Grateful for. We find that when we practice being that life is great now, choose to be in service, and trust that we are provided for, the miraculous occurs!
Matthew and Terces Engelhart have written several transformational books and teach workshops on relationship, abundance and creating an awakening community at the workplace. As a huge display of generosity, Matthew and Terces have chosen to offer these incredibly inspiring and powerful workshops on a pay-it-forward, pay-what-you can basis, to ensure that these transformational tools remain accessible to all. To learn more or to register for a workshop, please visit www.cafegratitude.com and click on “Workshops”
In response to many requests, Matthew and Terces have taught their workshops to various groups in Mexico, including priests and government workers, with the help of a professional translator. Until now the workshops have not been available in Spanish in the Bay Area, but Gracias Madre managers Eva Ackerman and Hugo Rodriguez are changing that! Eva and Hugo have worked for Café Gratitude for many years, speak fluent Spanish and are leaders in Transformation. They taught their first workshop to over 40 Spanish-speaking employees on Thursday, March 25th, 2010. They are planning to offer these workshops to the public soon – more information to follow!
Farm Externship Program
Gracias Madre is planning to create an externship program in which local high school students can come visit the Be Love Farm and learn about sustainability, responsible farming and the importance of growing and purchasing local, organic food. They will also learn about the beauty of growing one’s own food and being connected to the Earth in this way. More to come in the future about this exciting program!