After Hurricane Maria, the island of Puerto Rico has struggled to regain strength in its infrastructure, economic independence and most importantly, healthcare access. Our HWB Puerto Rico Chapter Coordinator, Ola Obasi, has been providing free people's clinics in the rural village of Jayuya since 4 weeks post-hurricane - once the roads were clear enough to travel from her home base in Mayagüez. She has been working with others to provide immediate holistic care through weekly mobile clinics providing herbal and nutritional consultations not only in Jayuya, but in any many rural communities. HWB Puerto Rico has also been working to distribute donated seeds to communities and individuals to help them jump start their gardens and grow healthy food again in their own towns.
So far, Herbalists Without Borders has been shipping boxes a few times per month with donated supplies to help stock the free clinic. Recovery and rebuilding in Puerto Rico is not over - it is just beginning. In order to reach more people and help support the health and recovery of the island, HWB Puerto Rico is working to establish an ongoing, full time mobile free clinic, traveling throughout the island to offer holistic health, nutrition, pregnancy wellness & support to people - particularly women and children - 3-4 days per week, every week.
In order to make this mobile clinic sustainable for a full time schedule, HWB is working to secure grants, donations, supplies and ongoing support for Puerto Rico. This HWB Puerto Rico Clinic and Wellness Group has a new name - Los Guardianes de las Tradiciones Medicinales Ancestrales, or, Keepers of Herbal Traditions.
Ola will also be working to take in herbal interns/apprentices who want to learn herbalism, who will participate in herbal intensives while also supporting the free mobile clinics. After they have completed their training, they will be able to go back into their communities throughout the island of Puerto Rico, bringing holistic support right into their communities and growing medicinal herbs in their towns. This will not only give more opportunities to people who want to stay in Puerto Rico, but will provide a way to earn a living while also working within their own communities. The Puerto Rican people are strong, resilient, and proud - our support can help them rebuild, regroup, and make their communities more resilient and self sufficient - so they can weather any future hurricanes and keep communities together.
Listen to our HWB Podcast With Ola Obasi, of HWB Puerto Rico:
Last Friday we interviewed Ola Obasi of HWB Puerto Rico to find out more about life in Puerto Rico after the hurricane, how things are today, and our goals to help PR recover and thrive. Click play below to hear her interview.
To find out more about HWB Puerto Rico, visit the website;
HWB Puerto Rico Needs Supplies!
Interested in Supporting HWB Puerto Rico?
If you have sealed tinctures, extracts, tea blends, salves, herbal capsules, or other supplies - a scale, clinic supplies (measuring spoons, droppers, new containers, jars, bottles, droppers, etc.) to donate - please visit ourneeds list page where you can find our shipping address. We store and stage all donations at our main HWB headquarters as power is still fluctuating in PR, and we can ship regularly from our climate controlled storage area. You can also view our Amazon Wish List for Puerto Rico here.
Are you a business who can donate in bulk? Please email our Executive Director, Denise Cusack, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What else can you do to help? Share this blog post, share the facebook or twitter links for this post, share the youtube link, post to your pages. The more people we reach, the more opportunities we have to get what we need to the people of Puerto Rico. Thank you!
More about Ola; www.wellofindigenouswisdom.com/
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HWB is a 501c3 NGO nonprofit. Our nonprofit is a global member network of of herbalists, medicinal plant growers, herbal educators, alternative holistic modality practitioners and others dedicated to herbal health access for all, medicinal plant conservation, health justice and more.
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