October 25, 2017

SarahJoy and Maria #17

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Re-Leaf

I will never forget the first time I ate a beet. This wasn’t just any old canned or supermarket beet, no. This beet had started as a seed that I planted, watered, sang to, pulled from the dirt and rinsed off. I thought I didn’t like beets, but I was wrong! 

That experience has happened many times over as I’ve learned about and grown a wide variety of fruits and vegetables over the last few years. 

That is where my journey into natural medicine began. As I worked on the farm I began to change--physically, mentally, and spiritually. I found that eating whole foods gave me more energy, and instead of craving junk, I started to crave fresh salads and crunchy raw rainbow carrots. My taste bud’s idea of “sweet” changed from candy to candy cane beets. 

I learned about the powerful anti-viral properties of garlic and oregano oil. I’d never been one to rely on pills much when in pain, and began to learn what alternatives there were so I could stop using “bandaid medicine” altogether. 

We have been taught to trust our doctors, nurses and pharmaceutical companies. They know what’s best, right? But what did we do before the hospitals, clinics, and politics got involved in our health care? We sought the WISDOM of the elders, healers, and the medicine men and women. 

Here’s a great article on the origins of our modern day medical system:  http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=114045132 Interesting! 

Little by little I have started to return to the earth for the answers to my ailments. Each time I am pleasantly surprised at not just the effectiveness of natural medicine, but the vastness of solutions I find for each issue. Because we all different bodies, what works for me may not work for you, and vice versa. 

Yuri and I met about three years ago, during my first visit to Puerto Rico. We quickly found that we had much in common and I was amazed by his profound knowledge of natural medicine, benefits of ancient foods, and the connectedness of our internal body systems. 

He has spent years studying, researching, and applying this knowledge to his life and sharing with those who are searching. As he’s taught me so much over these 3 years, I kept thinking that he needs to be heard! This information is vital, and he has uncovered what is being lost and misrepresented as pseudo- science. 

Hurricane Maria and the conditions in which we are living has brought this thought to the forefront. We want not only to share this knowledge, but to show through our personal trials and example how much healing can come from eating and caring for yourself, using nature. 

I’d like to now share with you what we are going to do and how you can help us with this life mission: https://www.youcaring.com/alivioverde-981725

Slowly, a movement is beginning in Puerto Rico. We want to be at the forefront, providing natural, non-toxic solutions to everyday problems.

We are forming a company called Alivio Verde which translates to Green Relief but we are using a play on words “Re-leaf,” as part of our marketing. Our focus includes starting a medicinal garden and sharing bilingual information daily through Instagram, Facebook and soon YouTube as well. 

After creating the gardens and cultivating in the two spaces we currently have, all other funds will be “seed money” to purchase land for future growth! 

Please share and forward this email onto anyone who might be interested in contributing to a healthier and wholistic future for Puerto Rico. 

Our Instagram is @alivioverde and here is a link to our Facebook  - https://m.facebook.com/AlivioVerdePR/#!/AlivioVerdePR/


SarahJoy and Yuri Iv├ín 

Patient Zero:

Upcycling some zinc panels torn off of building by Maria. 
The first donations will go towards soil for these garden beds:

A few medicinal plants to start:

SarahJoy and Maria #18

Monday October 23, 2017

The Last Days

It’s 1:32 PM. I’m in the hammock again, for the first time in days. This weekend was a blur of garden shops, lines, and honest to goodness hard work!

Right now, I feel drained. Mostly emotionally and mentally. Physically, it really felt great to begin working with the earth. I miss everyone. I’ve been making great connections here in Puerto Rico, but with the state of life, social interactions are few and far between. Also, I’m a very touchy-feely person. So next time you see me... please give me the biggest hug ever--they’re medicine for my soul.

I leave the island in 39 hours. It’s always been hard to leave from here and my heart already hurts thinking about it. Especially leaving behind seed babies!!! But I know they’re in good care. I’ve asked Yuri to send photos of them every few days.

I want to thank you all again for taking the time to read these blogs. Your support, comments, care packages and words of love have held me up throughout this experience.

For the second time in my life, I’m really following my calling. I knew when I started working on the farm 5 years ago that it was where I should be. With this new endeavor, I am able to shine through using many of my talents. Now that Alivio Verde is a reality, I’ll focus on growing this business and still find time to sing and begin acting again where I can.

It’s now 7:25 PM - I had to take a siesta and then tend the garden. I LOVE THOSE WORDS! Tending the garden /swoon.

Our fundraiser is going well! My heart swells with joy upon every share and every contribution. This is such an amazing confirmation to move forward with what I have felt called to for so long. What a blessing.

I hope to be an example. I am lucky to have traveled the path that led me here. I want to encourage you all to follow your heart! Live your passion! I’ve recently thought... what if this was my last day? What substance will resonate after I have left this world?

Here, in Puerto Rico, I am about to leave behind a garden. Full of plants that will become medicine and food. If I died tonight, I would die knowing I have started something amazing and if another hurricane were to wipe it away... the joy of building that garden would remain and resonate into the universe.

I haven’t spoken much about the conditions here lately, mainly because not much has changed. Even the people I know who live in more affluent areas are without power and still can’t find enough bottled water. Gas stations don’t have enough regular gas, the prices are inflated, and many still only accept cash.

We have been all but forgotten in the media and people still die every day due to lack... of food, water, medicine, care. But I will cause a ruckus. I will not forget. And I will be back soon.




This flash card had fallen out of my bag:

Progress! New telephone poles-

The first intentionally cold meal I’ve had in weeks!

These cars are stopped on the highway, to get cell phone service:

Line to enter Costco

More emptiness

Medicinal and food growing plants 

Vegan dinner in the making

Taken earlier today:

We will grow!!!

Alivio Verde - Green Re-leaf



October 18, 2017

SarahJoy and Maria #16

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Status

It’s Sunday. It’s hot. And today, the mosquitos are relentless!

How am I doing?

Sometimes it’s a struggle to answer this question. Not because I am unwell or upset, but because it's difficult to describe how different the world I'm currently living in has become. 

It has been almost a month since hurricane Maria. Less than 15% of the electrical grid has been re-established. This means a large number of businesses are not operating. Many people have lost their jobs, or they're unable to work. Many businesses which are open rely on generators, and these are expensive to run. The people who are able to go to work have commutes that are now 3 to 4 times longer, due to the lack of working traffic signals. There are fewer than 70 hospitals operating--and only 44 of them have power.

Lines still wrap around buildings for ATMs, Grocery Stores, Costco, Walmart, and Home Depot. Food, especially fresh produce, and water is still difficult to acquire, but it’s slowly improving.
You can check out www.status.pr for more about the status of things on the island.

So, I am well. I am doing what I can where I can to help. I am slowly receiving the packages that have been sent, and they are all arriving with perfect timing.  I'm in good health, still trying to find the best formula to keep away mosquitos, which ties into what I’ve been spending my time on lately... more about that in the next post.

What have I been up to? 

Last week, I spent some time working with Gabriel Rivera, an electrical engineer who's focused on getting solar setups for people in dire need of medical equipment. He has a list of over 200 people who lack the electricity needed to run machines that help keep people alive--like respirators and nebulizers, or refrigerators that preserve vital medications. I helped to edit his GoFundMe page and presentation, which you can learn more about here: 

I was also so happy to work on a web add for Arte Al Rescate, who I mentioned in my last post. It will be up on the front web page of http://artillerymag.com/ soon. Many thanks to Linda Vallejo for making that happen! 

When I realized how important it is that my time is spent where my passion is, I returned to thoughts of why I came to Puerto Rico in the first place. My goals were to learn Spanish and to learn about growing food and medicinal plants here. I had so many plans to visit farms, meet others with similar interests, and look for land to begin my own project. Even though Maria laid my original plans to waste, through the cracks in the rubble, a new seed has sprouted. 

Yuri and I have teamed up to initiate a campaign. We created a GoFundMe fundraising account and I will share all about it in my next update. 

I just wanted to give a quick update, say hello, and thank you again for your love and support in my life.



Earlier this week at a Pueblo grocery store


Yesterday at Costco

Yesterday outside a FreshMart grocery store

Small Victory