Luz (pronounced loose) means “light” in Spanish — I like to think of her namesake as the beacon of a lighthouse during a dark night as a storm is brewing on the horizon.
WHO IS LUZ?
Luz is a 12-year-old latina girl who tends to be on the serious side and finds herself reflecting on life. She ponders the state of humanity and where we fit in Nature. She is curious, cares about people and animals, and tends to assume the best in everyone.
But Luz knows a big change is coming as she hears on the news and sees in headlines that petroleum is becoming expensive and scarce, and the climate is noticeably getting more erratic. Although surprised that no one seems very concerned, she doesn’t wait for somebody else to take the lead.
Hence this introspective character tries to figure out what her community will need when energy runs out as city-wide blackouts get more frequent. With her handy notebook at the ready, Luz begins her list of skills to learn (like first aid, how to grow and preserve food, collect rainwater, make a woodstove from an oil drum…) and begins to gather vital knowledge out of love for her community and their future.
WHERE LUZ LIVES
Residing downtown, Luz lives above a shop on a busy main street. Her front stoop is steps away from grocery stores, neighbours, and a park. Most of her neighbours have lush backyard gardens with vegetables, herbs and flowers, although one fellow has a mowed lawn, and another has an abandoned patch of weeds — which Luz eventually turns into a corn field with sunflowers.
LUZ’S FRIENDS, FAMILY & NEIGHBOURS
Her family consists of mother Elena and Abuela, Luz’s grandmother (who speaks only Spanish), all living together in their second-floor apartment. One set of neighbours is Mr. and Mrs. DeSouza, an old Portuguese couple that smokes their own meat. Another neighbour is a crotchety hippie who eventually warms up to Luz and helps with her projects. Vegetarian friend Robert is the same age as Luz, loves computers and raises rabbits, and shares her love of pigeons (though Luz’s fascination with the bunnies and the birds is their potential for barbecueing!). Needless to say, debates ensue.