Health and Acupuncture for the People
Can you give to support grassroots hurricane relief in Puerto Rico?
Help POCA raise $1500 for volunteer run acupuncture clinics
The crisis that is still unfolding in Puerto Rico may have started with two historically devastating hurricanes, but over six months later, the continued despair and devastation people face, is definitely manufactured by imperialism. Puerto Rico, still a colony of the United States with no voting power, was still reeling from the neoliberal, 2016 Promesa Act, which created an unelected Fiscal Control Board that cut necessary social services, when the hurricanes struck back-to-back in 2017. Six months after Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the island, many people are still without power in what is being called the longest blackout in US history.
But people in Puerto Rico are fighting back, building the necessary grassroots infrastructure to build community power to fight colonialism and support a people’s-led hurricane recovery. Proyecto Salud y Acupuntura para el Pueblo (SAPP) is one such project, building the practice of liberation acupuncture, to provide communities with support for sleep, stress, and trauma during this continuing crisis.
With almost no resources, the all-volunteer SAPP has provided over 300 clinics, treating over 2500 patients, and training nearly 100 community members to use the NADA protocol since 2015 in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti. Since the disaster of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, two new community clinics have been created to respond to the trauma suffered.
SAPP has set up makeshift clinics weekly, at basketball courts, parking lots, and neighborhoods throughout the island. Providers must pay eight dollars worth of tolls to provide the services. Because food is so scarce right now, due to the immense loss of infrastructure during the hurricane, and the inhumane lack of response, people have been fainting during treatments. SAPP has started purchasing food to have on-site at the clinics.
SAPP desperately needs funds to continue their work: to buy needles and seeds, to pay for tolls, to buy food for people receiving acupuncture, and to provide stipends for practitioners who are dedicating their lives to provide free acupuncture.
The Movement Building Circle is calling on POCA people and clinics to join us in fundraising for SAPP as a prime example of liberation acupuncture in practice and help us make our goal of $1500 by May 1.
You can send money via paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org. We encourage you to post this sign for your patients to participate in the effort, and to use this social media post to outreach. Thank you for your consideration and helping magnify our POCA contributions towards Healing Justice and liberation acupuncture in Puerto Rico. Please make a comment with the amount you pledge to donate below so that we can keep track of how close we are to reaching our goal.
One of the main organizers and practitioners in these clinics, Lourdes Hernandez Rivera, says:
“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. I am dedicated to providing everyone who arrives, without cost, detoxification protocols to overcome traumas and addictions. 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.
The communities where we are working are still without power electricity and some days, without water. After six months, people are having a lot of problems to remain calm or with hope for the future, that's why is so important this clinics. We are in need of materials (needles, seeds, alcohol pads, essential oils) and also money to sustain the therapists. We know that solidarity is a fundamental key to liberation and we are not afraid to ask for help. We also know that outside of the island, there are people that are willing to be part of the new model we want to create. So, this is a great opportunity to start.”
Print out the flyer and post around town and your clinic to help support this project HERE.
Want to read more about Proyecto Salud y Acupunctura para dl Pueblo’s work, check out these resources:
An article published today in People's Tribune:
SAPP’s Facebook Page:
A short video Lourdes made about the project:
To Donate via PayPal (the most secure way to send money to Puerto Rico at this time): email@example.com
Looking for more background on the colonized history of Puerto Rico, disaster capitalism and the privatized rebuilding of the island post Hurricane Maria?
The United States has long created a culture of debt and destruction without representation, generations before this current moment of devastation. Puerto Ricans continue to organize to care for their communities, health, land and futures.
There are great sources of news including videos and articles on the following sites:
Rosa Clemente: https://rosaclemente.net/journalism/puerto-rico/
Carmen Yulin Cruz:
Democracy Now: https://www.democracynow.org/2018/3/21/after_maria_puerto_ricans_cultivate_food
Naomi Klein: https://theintercept.com/2018/03/20/puerto-rico-hurricane-maria-recovery/