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.