Mobile Herb Clinic: La Luz Center, Sonoma


Location: La Luz Center, Sonoma (17560 Greger St, Sonoma, CA 95476)


The Botanical Bus meets our Latine and Indigenous clients where they are— at vineyard  worksites, schools and trusted family service centers to provide bilingual, bicultural health services including massage, acupuncture, somatic therapy, diabetes prevention and care, clinical nutrition, and herbalism.

We welcome our clients with music, tamales, and herbal aguas frescas! 

Services are offered on the basis of an accessible sliding scale.


Register here to receive services or call (707) 800-2182

Register here 


Interested in volunteering as an interpreter or practitioner?
Please visit our Volunteer page for more information and to sign up for a shift.

Volunteer 

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. 

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. 

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

0

Total Clinics

0

Clinic Attendance by Client Visit

0

Total Unduplicated Clients

0

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

Age
(% of clients)
Age Range Preferred Language
(% of reporting clients)
Ethnicity
(% of reporting clients)
Gender
(% 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% decline to state
79% women,
17% men,
4% decline to state
48%
67%

Mobile Herb Clinic: La Luz Center, Sonoma


Location: La Luz Center, Sonoma (17560 Greger St, Sonoma, CA 95476)


The Botanical Bus meets our Latine and Indigenous clients where they are— at vineyard  worksites, schools and trusted family service centers to provide bilingual, bicultural health services including massage, acupuncture, somatic therapy, diabetes prevention and care, clinical nutrition, and herbalism.

We welcome our clients with music, tamales, and herbal aguas frescas! 

Services are offered on the basis of an accessible sliding scale.


Register here to receive services or call (707) 800-2182

Register here 


Interested in volunteering as an interpreter or practitioner?
Please visit our Volunteer page for more information and to sign up for a shift.

Volunteer 

Mobile Herb Clinic: Guerneville in October


Location: Russian River Resiliency Center (16385 First St, Guerneville, CA 95446)


The Botanical Bus meets our Latine and Indigenous clients where they are— at vineyard  worksites, schools and trusted family service centers to provide bilingual, bicultural health services including massage, acupuncture, somatic therapy, diabetes prevention  and care, clinical nutrition, and herbalism.

We welcome our clients with music, tamales, and herbal aguas frescas! 

Services are offered on the basis of an accessible sliding scale.


Register here to receive services or call (707) 800-2182

Register here 


Interested in volunteering as an interpreter or practitioner?
Please visit our Volunteer page for more information and to sign up for a shift.

Volunteer 

 

Mobile Herb Clinic: La Luz Center, Sonoma


Location: La Luz Center, Sonoma (17560 Greger St, Sonoma, CA 95476)


The Botanical Bus meets our Latine and Indigenous clients where they are— at vineyard  worksites, schools and trusted family service centers to provide bilingual, bicultural health services including massage, acupuncture, somatic therapy, diabetes prevention and care, clinical nutrition, and herbalism.

We welcome our clients with music, tamales, and herbal aguas frescas! 

Services are offered on the basis of an accessible sliding scale.


Register here to receive services or call (707) 800-2182

Register here 


Interested in volunteering as an interpreter or practitioner?
Please visit our Volunteer page for more information and to sign up for a shift.

Volunteer