Wellness Workshops in 2023

In 2023 we organized 53 Wellness Workshops, in addition to those offered at our clinic, to reach 310 unduplicated clients through 490 visits at vineyard worksites, schools and partner organizations in Santa Rosa, Guerneville, Sonoma Valley, Cloverdale and limited sites outside of Sonoma County. 

The following monthly series offer unique topics per session determined by community needs assessment and Promotora CHW expertise:

  • ¡Presente para Nutrirnos! [Present to Nourish Us!]: whole, accessible Indigenous foods and traditional recipes for type two diabetes prevention and care. 
  • Sembrando Semillas de Autocuidado [Planting Seeds of Selfcare]: Indigenous herbalism and cycles of healing connected to the seasons.
  • Reposo en Respiración [Rest in Your Breath]: breathwork and meditation for inner strength and stress relief.
  • Cuidando los Cuidadores [Caring for Care Providers]: herbal medicine and mindfulness practices that center our own unique sense of wellbeing and commitment to self-care as essential to care-providing.
  • ¡Arte! [Art!]: art therapy for whole person care.
  • Ciclos de Sanación [Healing Cycles]: feminine care connected to natural healing cycles. 

Botanical Bus wellness workshops are provided fee-for-service and we welcome new partnerships aligned with our commitments to anti-racism and trauma informed care. 

Apprenticeship Paths into Clinical Practices

In recognition of the disproportionate access to education and certification programs in integrative health and in alignment with our mission to empower holistic healthcare by-and-for Latine and Indigenous people, we provide Latine and Indigenous herbalists paths into clinical practice. 

In 2023, year two of our clinical apprenticeship program, 70% of previous year apprentices joined our team as staff to provide specialized care in their own communities. We welcomed three new apprentices to 180+ hours of paid training March – November 2023. This year’s apprentices joined us for additional training opportunities including; six hours of trauma informed care training with On the Margins Inc. that centers Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and sociocultural and organizational trauma; and 24-hours training with our team of Promotora CHWs as part of our Land-Based Convivencia Training Program for intergenerational knowledge sharing and mentorship.  

A word from last year’s apprentice and newly hired Clinical Herbalist, Daniela Myers-Guzman: “I cannot express enough how much this mentorship opportunity has deepened my education and widened my perspective on working with someone as a clinical herbalist.”

This year we witnessed the great value of cultural knowledge in the clinical setting, creating platforms for equitable learning between herbal apprentices and certified/licensed practitioners. This learning (and unlearning), allows us to provide safe, effective and culturally centered care to our clients through the incorporation of clinical protocol, evidence based practice and expertise in Latine and Indigenous healing traditions. 

Promotora’s Community Health Work in 2023

The Botanical Bus is founded and led by Latine and Indigenous Promotora CHWs, many of whom identify as Campesinas [people who know and work the land]. Promotora CHW workforce development is a direct investment in the Latine and Indigenous community we serve and central to our mission of empowering holistic health by-and-for Latine and Indigenous people. 80% of our staff identify as Latine and/or Indigenous and 100% as Spanish speaking. All of our outreach, forms, programming and services are provided in Spanish and take into consideration literacy levels, limitations using technology, and levels of trust accessing care. 

In 2023 we provided our team of seven Promotora CHWs 79 hours of paid training in first aid certification, CHW certification, trauma-informed care, and self-understanding, healing and growth for mental health practitioners. 

In addition to our paid training program, Botanical Bus Promotora CHWs access an education benefit towards tuition costs of continued education and certification programs.  

Healing Harvest Program

Botanical Bus Promotora CHWs participate in a Healing Harvest Program, launched by Botanical Bus in 2022 in partnership with Traditional Medicinals Foundation at Green Valley Mill + Farm, a .65 acre, 100 varietal herb farm located in West Sonoma County. In our second year program, we have made the following impact:

Job Creation for Promotora Community Health Workers (CHWs)

The program creates a part-time paid position with the Botanical Bus to facilitate the harvest, processing and distribution of local, organically grown herbal medicine through our Farmworker Clinics. The position is currently filled by Juliana Jimenez, certified CHW and Indigenous woman from Oaxaca, MX. Juliana leads the Botanical Bus wellness workshop series “¡Presente para Nutrirnos! / Present to Nourish Ourselves!, which centers Indigenous foods in diabetes support and prevention. Juliana works 6-12 hours a week harvesting herbal medicine.  She shares: “My work with the Healing Harvest program allows me to connect to the earth.  This is our best medicine.”

Land-Based Convivencia Training Program

The program includes quarterly, land-based learning retreats for our team of seven Promotora CHWs and three herbal apprentices. The Botanical Bus Promotora CHWs and herbal apprentices all identify as Latine and Indigenous people, the majority of whom have limited access to land where they can practice intergenerational knowledge of cultivating herbal medicine.  

This year’s trainings, chosen by group interest and consensus included:

  • Power of Rest: restorative yoga practice, clinical training on nervine herbs and milky oat harvest
  • Elements of Healing: incense making in the garden, training in Ayurvedic medicine and seasonal herb harvest
  • Celebrating the Harvest: land tending ceremony and seasonal herb harvest
  • Grounded Communication: tools for non-violent communication and root harvest

Local Organic Herbal Medicine Harvest

Our harvest is determined by inventory levels and distribution needs of the Botanical Bus Mobile Herb Clinic that distributed custom tea blends to 261 clients in 2023. We distributed make-your-own-tea blends to an additional 1,322 people at vineyard worksite wellness fairs and Farmworker Foundation events. Tea blends included Relaja-té [Relaxing Tea] and Respira [Breath] tea for spring allergy support. 

In sourcing local, organic herbal medicine, the Botanical Bus commits to sustainability, connects our programs to the earth and provides Promotora CHWs the powerful opportunity to tend the land. 

Hearing from Our Clients: Consejos en Nuestra Lengua Materna [Advice in our Mother Tongue]

I sit across the table from Concepción (her name changed in this story to protect her privacy) at a café up the street from her current home, a shelter for youth at risk of being unhoused. She immigrated to Sonoma County alone from San Martín, a region of the Peruvian Amazon rainforest.  

“The water from the river pools into a deep, clear swimming hole where I am from. I stay in the water all day.  My father and I are expert swimmers….and my mother knows all about medicinal plants. I think my father fell in love with her because of her expertise.” She brightens as she shares about a paste made from cacao and cinnamon that her mother uses for treating her acne. 

Concepción arrived in the United States early 2023 with a serious injury to her foot and hand. Unable to walk due to nerve damage, she experienced extreme hardship. “The first week I arrived was very hard. I felt so much sadness. But the next week I started to find help.” 

She first visited the Botanical Bus clinic at La Plaza: Nuestra Cultura Cura in Santa Rosa about a month after her arrival. “I had started receiving care for my injury, ex-rays and medication from the hospital, but I was in a lot of pain. I started asking around about a place to find natural medicine and someone in Roseland (Santa Rosa) told me about the Botanical Bus.”

Concepción speaks fluent Spanish and Quechua. She shares, “When I arrived at the clinic to hear people speaking Spanish, I felt more free.”

She has attended 12 clinics this year and received 36 direct healthcare services, including clinical herbalism, acupuncture and physical therapy. She tells us, “After my first few visits taking recommended herbal medicine and receiving acupuncture at the Botanical Bus, I could feel my nerves reacting to the treatments. I thought to myself, yes…this is working.”

She continues to share with pride more plant remedies: llanten [plantain] and amargon [dandelion] for stomach aches; apio [celery] and hierba larga [native plant similar to horsetail] for endurance; jengibre [ginger] and limón [lemon] for colds. I am happy to see her recovery. Over the last few months, her limp is barely noticeable and there is joy in her voice and eyes.

“My mom sent me looking for natural remedies. It is because of her advice that I found the Botanical Bus and that I am feeling better.” She smiles. “My mom always told us to trust our knowledge.” 

Concepción confirms our commitment to cultivating spaces of belonging where Botanical Bus clients can communicate in the comfort and ease of their lengua materna [mother tongue], celebrate their knowledge of herbal medicine and connect to the place- to the plants, the land and the river- where they are from. 

Our Way Back, with Maria Rivera

Maria Rivera was born in the pine forest, on a mountain twelve hours outside the nearest town in Michoacan, Mexico. “There was absolute green everywhere,” she shares. “Living in an isolated place, I felt fully accompanied by my surroundings… by the wind, the sun, the corn, the plants in our home garden. We spent our days in the open, harvesting verdolagas, nopales, quelites, plums, plátanos, y todo del jardín.”

Midsummer, I had the immense pleasure of interviewing Maria about her life and somatic therapy practice with the Botanical Bus Mobile Herb Clinic. Maria moved from her mountain home of Buena Vista to Santa Rosa, California when she was 15 years old. 

She smiles as she reflects: “Just a few days ago, I was walking down the hallway at work and I placed something on my head to move it from one office to the next. I was reminded of carrying water back home from the spring in the mountains, one bucket on my head and two in my hands. I was born drinking that water from the source. I was completely cared for by nature.”

We sit together in the shade of a fruit tree in the community garden. She continues, “I was a nervous child. I felt alone when I was not outside collecting plants or gathering firewood. I used to lay in bed at night unable to sleep with the feeling that I was disappearing, diminishing to nothing. I would place my hands on my chest, line them up there and I was able to calm myself. I see now that I was offering myself love and kindness.”

“As an adult, I continue being anxious.  But something led me back…the realization that we all know how to nurture ourselves. The knowledge is in all of us, in slightly different ways. I found my way back with breath. My breath brought me right back to earth, right back to where I began. And that continues to be a source of strength, a source of peace, a source of love, a source of grand understanding.”

At the Botanical Bus Mobile Herb Clinic, Maria leads Reposo en Respiración [Rest in Breath] workshops, in which she guides small groups in breathing practice that connects each of us to our unique sense of wellbeing. She encourages us to follow the craving to feel the wind, to sit in the sun even for just a few seconds, to listen to ourselves.

“We all crave connection to nature. The craving, the calling to be back home is with us all. The challenge is silencing ourselves long enough to hear that clearly and rest our hearts on it. It might be in prayer, desperation or joy that we take a deep breath in. That is the source. The source is within.”

Maria affirms, “We all have breath. It’s accessible to any of us at any given moment. It may be when we are sweeping the floor, smiling at a loved one, or claiming a moment alone.” Her practice centers access and self-knowing. She asks, “What about those things you do in your everyday life that somehow feel right and good, where your heart feels at ease? Stick to those, dig through those, discover those. We all are walking through life with an abundance of those connections.”

Love + Nopales with Juliana Jimenez + Norma Rico

Let me tell you a story about how plants connect us to each other and to our deepest sense of wellbeing. In a system that prioritizes individualism as productivity, we can lose touch with our intertwined roots. Interdependence underpins all healthy ecosystems. We need each other to feel good. The plants show us that. 

It’s a Thursday afternoon and I have a couple calls to make before I go home to confirm staffing for an upcoming wellness fair at Korbel Vineyards. “Hola Juliana, cómo está usted [Hi Juliana, how are you],” I begin. 

Juliana joins The Botanical Bus as founder of the Botanical Bus, Presente para Nutrirnos [Present to Nourish Us] program, wellness workshops that center whole, accessible Indigenous foods and traditional recipes for type two diabetes prevention and care.   

At a Farmworker Clinic, a client had invited us to the land where her husband tends to harvest Nopales. When I ask if Juliana can participate, she happily agrees, excited to take part in this generous invitation from a Botanical Bus client. Juliana… ¡Presente! 

The thick juicy green pads and crimson fruit of Nopal [Prickly Pear Cactus], high in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory quercetin, fiber, vitamins and minerals, can help control blood sugar level. I smile because Nopales have guided the work of our organization since our foundation. For Latine and Indigenous people, nourishment is synonymous with Nopal.  We trust her. We identify with her.  We find strength in our knowledge of her cultural importance and healing properties. 

Juliana grew up wild harvesting Nopales outside of a small town in La Mixteca, Oaxaca. She shares, “I would pierce the center of the cactus pads and spear them on two long sticks to carry over 20 at a time home with me to be peeled. We eat Nopales raw, roasted, stewed or with black beans.” 

She brings her knowledge of nutrition and powerful testimony of the impact of type two diabetes in her community, to centering Indigenous foods as medicine.

A powerful care plan is set into motion. I close my computer. There are no bounds to the work that is done beyond the limits of colonial individualism. Love for our community just grows and continues to nourish us. We will connect with our client, head out to the land for the harvest and prepare a Nopales salad for the 200 farmworkers and their families at the Korbel wellness fair.

My next call is to Doña Norma, who co-facilitates wellness workshops with Juliana. Norma manages her own diabetes with a whole-food, nutrient-dense diet full of fresh plants. She shares her recipes and lovingly prepared foods at our clinics. “It’s best we harvest the Nopales the day before we serve them at the fair,” she suggests. Norma… ¡Presente! 

In accepting our client’s offer of land access, we honor reciprocity in caregiving. In harvesting abundant nutritious plants, we share in the generosity of mother earth. In preparing and sharing cultural foods, we connect community to our common roots. We are mapping our interconnectedness and in the process, building systems of caring for each other that are profoundly effective and fulfilling.  

“I know that the farmworkers and their families will feel our love in the Nopales,” concludes Juliana. Thank you, Nopal.

Mobile Herb Clinics in 2023

In 2023 we organized 21 clinic events in Santa Rosa, Guerneville and Sonoma Valley at vineyard worksites and family service centers to provide 261 clients with 1,872 direct healthcare services. Botanical Bus Clinic events are scheduled during paid shifts at vineyard worksites and on regular Saturdays at trusted family service center community hubs.

At the Botanical Bus clinics we weave culture into every process as clients are welcomed with music, agua frescas and traditional foods; clinical intake guided by an opening blessing circle; and exit surveys accompanied by a tamale meal. Direct services include massage, acupuncture, somatic therapy, tapping, diabetes prevention and care, physical therapy for repetitive use injury, clinical nutrition and herbalism. 

In anonymous exit surveys, 80% of the Botanical Bus clients report attending the clinic with specific intent, and 87% report therapies received were effective.

Attendance & Services

March- November 2023


Total Clinics


Clinic Attendance by Client Visit


Total Unduplicated Clients


Number of health services provided

Demographics & Symptoms

All data is collected through clinical intake and exit surveys that take into consideration literacy levels, limitations using technology, and levels of trust accessing care

(% of clients)
Age Range Preferred Language
(% of reporting clients)
(% of reporting clients)
(% of reporting clients)
High Level: Anxiety
and/or Depression
(% of reporting clients)
High Level: Pain
(% of reporting clients)
0-17 ( 3%);
18-24 (10%)
25-34 (14%);
35-44 (23%);
45-54 (24%)
55-64 (18%); 65+ (7%)
4 - 84 years
73% Spanish;
22% English;
4% both;
1% other
92% Latine;
3% White;
2% decline to state;
1% Native American;
1% multiracial;
1% other
79% women,
17% men,
4% decline to state

Abuelita Linda’s Super Power Champurrado

This warm, traditional beverage is prepared with masa de maíz, cacao, cinnamon and almonds.  Served warm during the winter season, alongside tamales and churros, the warming sweet flavor is nourishment alone. We have added adaptagenic roots, herbal medicine that enhances the body’s ability to feel calm, grounded and uplifted.  This recipe was perfected by Abuelita Linda, whose magic in the kitchen heals all!

And in the spirit of gathering around the table with family and friends, this recipe serves  around 12 people.  But if it’s just you and a good book, it can easily be scaled down or stored in the refrigerator for several days.


  • 10 cups of water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3/4 cup organic corn masa
  • 1 cup cold water
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 tbs cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, or Cream
  • 3 tbs of honey or a small cone of piloncillo (raw sugar cane)
  • 2 heaping tbs of Farmacopia Super Power Adaptagenic Powder Blend (or your choice combination of Ashwaganda, Maca, Eleuthero, Mesquite, and Licorice powders)
  • 1 cup cold water
  • Cinnamon powder garnish


  • Bring water to boil in a large pot.
  • Add cinnamon sticks, cover and allow to simmer for around 10 min.
  • Mix together corn masa, flour and cocoa in a bowl (Adding a little bit more corn masa if you desire a beverage with a thicker consistency).
  • Whisk 1 cup of cold water into the mixture until all powder in incorporated and smooth.
  • Slowly pour the mixture into the pot, constantly stirring to avoid clumping.
  • If using piloncillo as a sweetener, add now so the cone can dissolve. If using honey wait to add until a later step.
  • Cook over a low heat until the mixture comes to a low rolling boil, stirring often to avoid burning on the bottom of the pot.  This process can take up to an hour.
  • Allow the mixture to cook for an additional 15 minutes once it has come to a low boil.
  • If using honey as sweetener, stir in now. Sweeten to taste.
  • Stir in vanilla extract and choice of milk.
  • Mix herbal powders in a bowl.
  • Again as you did with the masa blend, whisk 1 cup of cold water into the mixture until all powder is incorporated and smooth.
  • Slowly pour the mixture into the pot, constantly stirring to avoid clumping.
  • Serve warm with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. Enjoy!

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Homemade Salsa Favorites

The base of a good salsa besides the chiles is, el tomate!

Homemade salsa is one of the easiest ways to pack some flavor and a little bit (or a lot!) of heat into your food. 

This spring we partnered up with Daily Acts and Left Coast Wholesale to distribute over 200  garden kits which included Geopot Fabric Pots, organic soil, seeds and a variety of plant starts including medicinal herbs, tomatoes, tomatillos, and chiles.

It’s time for the tomato harvest and our community has some of their favorite homemade salsa recipes to share with us:



  • 8 Tomatoes, Roasted 
  • 1 Garlic Clove, Roasted
  • 1/4 onion, Roasted 
  • 4-6 Serrano Chiles, Roasted (depending on the spice you like)


  1. Roast the tomatoes, garlic, onion and chilies on a dry sauté pan or comal (a griddle made from sandstone) on medium high heat until charred.
  2. In the molcajete, grind the onion down until juices start to release, then grind the garlic, tomatoes, and chilies to the consistency you desire. 
  3. Season with salt, If needed, give a few more grinds to combine all the ingredients. Serve the salsa right in the Molcajete and enjoy!



  • 10 Tomatoes, Roasted until charred
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Roasted until charred
  • 1/4 Onion, Roasted until charred
  • 10 Serrano Chiles, Roasted until charred


  1. Place the roasted tomatoes, onion, garlic cloves, chili peppers in a blender with  ¼-½  cup of water and pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed.
  2. Add salt to taste, garnish with cilantro and enjoy!

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