Los Guardianes de las Tradiciones Medicinales Ancestrales/Keepers of Herbal Traditions
My role as Herbalists without Borders Coordinator International for the island of Puerto Rico, follows me from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When I elected to be the coordinator of the Pittsburgh area a while ago, I decided to begin my work by gathering all types of holistic health practioners, interviewed them, and organized a day, place, and time per month to offer free holistic health services to the public. I am forever grateful for such an experience still thriving successfully in Western PA as Three Rivers Free Clinic for the People for now 3 years.
Since, I moved on to the island of Puerto Rico, a place that adapted me 7 years ago, I have been living on the island for almost 2 years and now within the chaos of hurricane Irma and more traumatically hurricane Maria. In her aftermath, I was elected Herbalists without Borders coordinator for the island. It has been a lot of work to create from nothing and to access support and donations. I have been blessed to receive a lot of generous donations from various people, but the need is always there.
Now 5 months after the hurricane and 3 months since consistent clinic visits, I have reserved a relationship within the community of people in the rural areas of Jayuya. For the most part, this is a solo sojourn...occasionally a volunteer. My hope is to mentor and teach people especially from the island clinical herbalism in order to assist the people in their communities. My focus is on the youth.
Los Guardianes de las Tradiciones Medicinales Ancestrales/Keepers of Herbal Traditions was coined from the idea that people who are so connected to the land, resilient, optimistic, strong and passionate as the Puerto Rican people, will understand that studying, learning, growing and working in this capacity of herbalism and holistic health, preserves their culture and identity. This way defines purpose, perseverance and resistance to any social/economical/political injustice that does exist on the island. Herbalism has always been the path of revolution and sustainability through the voice of plant medicine. But it has also been the path that wakes us up to ourselves and therefore nature from within the world of our Earth Mother.
With an established program in herbalism and healing arts WOIW is actively training professional herbalists and healers to collaborate and effectively work with Herbalists without Borders to increase volunteer presence and healthy outcomes on the island.
Herbalists without Borders International, provides the opportunity to empower the people and create a humanitarian force that we all need to know exists during this time of our evolutionary cycle. My role is to go to my designated clinic once or twice a month, depending on funding and donations.
I certainly could use more; volunteers knowledgeable with natural disasters, herbalism and healing/holistic modalities, monetary funding enough to build satellite clinics, reserve a rental space for volunteers, purchase supplies, pay local people to help with work, and purchase apothecary items such as tools, bottles, tinctures and loose herbs.
When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.