“It’s time to go outside, to organize . . .”

Lourdes E. Hernández-Rivera in her community, helping Puerto Ricans heal after Hurricane Maria.


PUERTO RICO — I live my Life promoting social justice through healing. Every week, for almost three years, I have offered auriculotherapy clinics for communities in Puerto Rico. Health and Acupuncture for the People (SAPP initials in Spanish) is the name of the initiative in which I participate, since its inception. I am dedicated to providing everyone who arrives, without cost, detoxification protocols to overcome traumas and addictions.

So far, the SAPP project, which aims to rescue the legacy of the Young Lords and Black Panthers, has offered more than 300 clinics, attended more than 2,500 people and trained almost a hundred therapists between Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Haiti. Currently SAPP has five fixed clinics. “Establishing spaces of healing and wellbeing in the communities, I assure that my people have access to this therapy that is so beneficial in so many aspects, and cost effective.

I want a healthy Caribbean, that loves Life and where everyone works in something that brings them happiness. This kind of movement can help a lot, and this is my way of contributing to change.

After hurricane Maria, I, in addition to offering sessions of auricular therapy, am dedicated to assisting in the process of the organization of a group of women who rescued an abandoned school and started there a Mutual Support Center, a space which offers for the community food, water, auriculotherapy sessions, workshops and sowing activities—such is the agenda. The neighborhood is called Las Carolinas, in the town of Caguas, and by the time you read these lines, all of its inhabitants remain without power since September 20, 2017.

It’s time to go outside, to organize ourselves and turn this deep crisis into the engine of decolonization. Without a doubt, we have already begun to take concrete steps towards liberation.

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