Two weeks later we sit again. But this time we were 211 kilometers north of Guatemala City in the village of Coban, where our Barefoot School is training a cooperative of Mayan community health workers how to offer this same care: community acupuncture. One of our students, Ophelia, shared with us that her husband was eager to migrate as well. She begged and convinced him to not leave. Then she shared her vision with our group: to make her village a better place, so that her tribe does not have to leave their homes.
The Barefoot Acupuncture Movement's work with displaced groups has drawn us into their stories, into solidarity with their self-affirmation of dignity and their universal right to safety and healthcare.
Over the past few years, tens of thousands of migrants and refugees, from similar villages and communities, have arrived at the border. In November of 2018 our Barefoot volunteers suddenly found hundreds of immigrants sleeping on the Paso Del Norte ("Passage North") Bridge connecting Ciudad Juarez, Mexico to El Paso, Texas.
They are fleeing kidnapping, gang violence, trafficking, and poverty. These factors drive many to migrate from Central America, where 30% of the population lack access to healthcare.
2021 has witnessed a sharp increase of refugees and immigrants, half of whom are children. They are homeless in Mexico, living in shelters, sanctuaries in churches, and ‘tent cities.’ Forced migration patterns strain local health systems. In response, the Barefoot Acupuncture Movement partners with local community health workers who are a lifeline to those in need.
Your donations go directly to support our partners in these ways:
On the US-Mexico border
Volunteer-run Barefoot Clinics operate in churches and shelters that house them on the US/Mexico border. In 2022, we will train dozens of new workers operating in over 20 refugee shelters.
In Central America
Our 100% scholarship-based Barefoot Schools train volunteers from the home communities of migrants, to strengthen local healthcare systems in Central America. We put simple, safe, and cost-effective tools in the hands of community farmers, health promoters, and indigenous healers, so they can offer vital support in stress management and mental wellness.
(photo: Barefoot Health Promoters in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico offer community acupuncture (acudetox) at Saint Romero of America Migrant Care Center, 2021)
Impact of your contribution
With your support, healthcare will become more accessible to both migrants and the communities that they come from.
$20 = Supplies for 40 treatments for displaced persons
$80 = Supplies for 160 treatments for displaced persons
$100 = Supplies for 200 treatments in under-resourced areas
$500 = Sponsor a Community Health Worker to apprentice in our Barefoot Schools
$5,000 = Train an entire village in Central America to teach them how to integrate acupuncture into their local health system
Thanks to Blue Poppy Press for sponsoring the Barefoot Acupuncture Movement as a beneficiary of their new Community Health Initiative- CHI, bringing energy to local nonprofits.
To become a corporate or organizational sponsor, send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org