Sep 15, 2021

Community Building

Dear Friend,

We at Acupuncturists Without Borders, Livity Rising and IHAN are incredibly grateful for your support these past few months. Our young project continues to grow and we are now begining to consolidate a good number of regular clinics, community buy-in and local partnerships in Santa Cruz County. 

CARE - Community Alliance for Resilience & Equity is a collaborative project led by Livity Rising - Holistic Wellness Services, Acupuncturists Without Borders (AWB) and Integrative Healers Action Network (IHAN). Our consortium of community service organizations provide stress and trauma relief care for building resilience in communities affected by disasters, environmental devastation, poverty and social injustice. We believe that physical and mental health are interconnected and should be addressed together to achieve better health outcomes in the communities we serve. 

Chronic stress and trauma are on the rise in Watsonville and its surrounding areas. Farmworker communities have continued to work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic - helping maintain food security for millions across the US. They have been disproportionately affected by wildfires in recent years, high COVID infection rates, and inadequate access to quality health and mental health care as depression rates continue to increase across the country. 

Undocumented migrant farmworkers face an even higher risk when it comes to access to mental health services due to their migratory status. CARE, in partnership with the Center for Farmworker Families, have launched an initiative to carry out integrative health clinics once per month, providing chiropractic services, massage therapy and acupuncture for pain and stress relief. These trauma-informed services are highly beneficial for individuals who engage in manual work and are used to help people regulate their nervous system, which leads to better overall health outcomes. 

Our main purpose is to provide healing and care to vulnerable and historically underserved communities. We work to understand, address and heal trauma, and its effects on the daily lives of people and communities at large. Our clinics for the farmworker population seek to increase access to vital and effective integrative medicine services and promote practices to increase life quality within this vulnerable population group.

To date, we have provided over 300 treatments and reached more than 250 individuals, with many benefitting from regular treatments at our farmworker clinics. With your help, we hope to continue regularly providing services in the Watsonville area and to be prepared to respond to disaster situations throughout Santa Cruz County in the coming months.

From the depths of our hearts, Thank you!



Stephanie Alvarez

Jul 30, 2021

Hope and Trauma Relief in Times of Chaos

Dear Friends,

As we navigate through this hot US summer and feel the abundance of the Earth element, we hope you’re healthy and well. One of the bittersweet outgrowths of the past year and a half has been greater awareness of how acute, systemic, and intergenerational trauma affect us individually and collectively. The acknowledgment of how pandemic-related trauma disproportionally affects people of color, first responders, health and essential workers is increasingly part of our national narrative, as is the expanding conversation about how generational and toxic systemic trauma informs the health and well-being of Black, Brown and Native peoples.

Since 2019, AWB has provided treatments to migrating people in Matamoros and Tijuana, Mexico. Thousands of refugees, escaping violence, poverty and torture in their countries of origin, live temporarily in these border cities, waiting for a chance to cross to the United States. Living conditions are grim and trauma is high. Once people cross to the US, living and work conditions usually continue to be extremely challenging. Many find low-paying, physically dangerous work in the agricultural fields of Texas and California, joining communities of farm workers that grow and harvest our food. Just as we provide treatments for refugees in Tijuana and Matamoros, we support farm workers in the agricultural regions of California and are working to expand to other agricultural areas along the US West Coast.

Since our 2021 Spring fundraiser on GlobalGiving, AWB has been carrying out mobile clinics in Sonoma County, CA with the Botanical Bus, as well as monthly clinics in Watsonville with the Center for Farm Worker Families, Livity Rising and the Integrative Healers Action Network (IHAN). In June we resumed our collaboration with the Refugee Health Alliance in Tijuana, providing hundreds of earseed treatments and bringing some much-needed equipment, medical supplies and herbs to our partners on the ground. AWB-trained practitioners from southern CA are offering treatments in refugee shelters twice a month, and we’ve resumed regular service/training trips to work with the Parteras midwives at the Justica en Salud clinic that offers integrative care for refugee women and children.

While our commitment to emergency disaster response continues, we are also strongly focusing on working to address systemic injustice and intergenerational trauma through ongoing clinics. Our objective is to create mental health resilience and contribute to the prevention of mental health issues in at-risk populations. In order to do this, we need to continue finding ways to support our clinics on a monthly basis. Your support has brought us a long way. We hope that we can continue to count on your generosity and commitment to this work - after all, it takes a village!

From the depths of our hearts, we thank you for your love, financial support and moral accompaniment. We would also like to ask you, if you can, to consider becoming a recurring donor so that we can continue to guarantee the financial health of our programs and be able to continue providing mental health care to our communities in need.
Finally, we leave you all with some great pictures from our work in Tijuana and California.

In the Spirit of Service,
The AWB Team

A closeup of the NADA protocol treatment in action
A closeup of the NADA protocol treatment in action
Meet the TJ Dream Team!
Meet the TJ Dream Team!
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