The time has come for me to physically visit the Arizona/Sonora border, where I’ve been sending remedies to a humanitarian aid organization since 2009. I want to connect directly with the people, projects, plants, and land there in order to make more relevant and healing medicine. In order to do this, I’m fundraising to cover the expenses of the trip as with a significant portion of the funds going towards supplies to continue making remedies.
In 2008 I learned about No More Deaths/ No Más Muertes, a humanitarian aid organization in Arizona providing water, food, and first aid care to those crossing from Mexico into the U.S. through the Sonoran Desert. I was teaching community herbal medicine-making workshops and after reviewing their needs list I got in touch with them to see if the herbal salves and lip balms we were making would be useful. They said yes and I sent the first shipment of remedies in 2009. The project has evolved over the years, now including teas, foot powder, various salves, and elixirs and sprays for emotional support and energetic protection. I’ve received really positive feedback about how the remedies have supported those crossing the desert during extremely intense, difficult, and traumatic journeys as well as those providing desert aid work and community organizing in the borderlands. The remedies are made with much care – from planting calendula and other seeds in the spring, tending and harvesting the plants, transforming them into remedies, creating labels in Spanish with images of healing herbs, bottling and labeling them all, and packing and sending them off to Arizona. Remedies have been made collectively at a college and local high schools, herbal gatherings and community workshops, and with friends - both youth and grownups. Sometimes we do a mapping activity together where we trace our ancestry, grounding the remedies in a heart-centered place of solidarity. In 2015 I received a grant from Herbal Aide. Having the grant money meant I could buy salve containers in bulk, we could purchase proper, more durable labels, and we were able to send a lot more remedies.
Over the past year it has become clear that the time has come for me to physically visit the border. I want to become better acquainted with the people, projects, plants, and land there. Though I appreciate the years of email and phone communication, there are certain conversations that need to happen face to face, specifically around remedies to heal sexual trauma. Being able to visit the camp and offices, I will be able to see how the remedies are being used, how they may be improved, and what other remedies may be needed. Over the past year I've connected with the Kino Border Initiative/Iniciative Kino para la Frontera in Nogales, Sonora and would like to connect with them in person. I also want to be there this January, during Trump’s inauguration, to support those that have been dealing with the emotionally and physically draining work of providing services and organizing for justice in a climate of constant crisis. I want to support the caregivers and community members who have been forced to live with checkpoints, racial profiling, and a militarized border.
My fundraising goal is to raise $2000, with a significant amount of this money going towards getting more remedies to the border. I need to buy a plane ticket and cover food and travel costs for my trip, and I want to have money for this coming year to replenish the stock of containers and other supplies. Any amount is much appreciated. For those who would like to contribute $25, $35, $50, $75+, there are gifts - Botanical/uterine art print, Hand-stamped silver spoons that say “SWEETIE,” Hand-knit hats, and Ocean Protection Essence - posted here.
Feel free to share this link with others who love herbs, im/migrant justice, collective liberation, and healing justice. Thank you so much!