Best Of Tucson®

The End-of-Days Exit Interview: Nelda Ruiz

Tierra y Libertad community organizer Nelda Ruiz said the organization was created to respond to "the attack on our community resulting in social injustice, oppression and poverty." Creating sustainable communities is part of their solution, and their work outdoors in Barrio Chicano (Wakefield) happens to be a big part of that solution. The organization is using permaculture principles and teaching people how to grow their own food to address the lack of accessibility to healthy food in the southside communities. "Our collective efforts help build skills to create a network of community-based resources that support neighborhood transformation. Only the 'hood can save the 'hood," she said. Sounds like the perfect group to have around during an apocalypse. For more information on Tierra y Libertad, visit them on Facebook, and check out the gardens they are developing at St. John's Church at Ajo Way and 12th Avenue.

A meteor is going to hit the planet tomorrow. Where in Tucson would you go for your final meal?

I'd go to Juice 'N Fruit (3502 S. Sixth Ave., No. 100). I'd be so fortunate. I'd get a double-whammy of indulgence by enjoying two things: a torta and a juice—a bomb torta on pan birote, just like my nana makes them, with a jalapeño on the side ... and a very refreshing and natural juice, made right there on the spot.

Our new robot overlords want to ban alcohol. Where would you want to have your final drink?

I wouldn't. I'd continue to grow maguey to make mezcal to create medicines. Death to the robots.

Global warming has increased outside temps to 130 degrees in the summer. Where do you go to cool off?

Tierra y Libertad's community garden at Casa San Juan, on 12th Avenue and Ajo Way. I'd post up right by the rain jars. Hopefully Tlaloc (the Aztec god of rain) continues to visit us.

Aliens have landed in your backyard and say: "Take us toyour leader." Where in Tucson would you send them?

I'd smirk and tell them to take me to theirs.

The mole people are invading the surface world through a tunnel that opens in your backyard. What local business would you turn to for help?

I would collaborate with the Day Labor Center at Southside Presbyterian Church, so we can have an array of skills and trades.

If a zombie apocalypse were to happen in Tucson, what shopping center would you like to hole up in?

Southgate Shopping Center (at 3300 S. Sixth Ave.) for food at El Super, and weapons at the pawn shop nearby. You've got restaurants and a big roof; we've got our centro down the street, and Wakefield down the street. It's like the centro of our city—southside Tucson.

What Tucson band or musician would you want to write the soundtrack to the end of the world as we know it?

Top Nax from SJEP (the Social Justice Education Project), with a little mix of Vox Urbana.

If you had only one sunset left in Tucson, from where would you watch it?

I'd go witness the beauty of Tonatiuh (the Aztec god of sun) at San Xavier in the Tohono O'odham Nation.