We sit with a group of Central American migrants in a church along the US/Mexico border. After dinner, we offer community acupuncture as we watched Scooby Doo as two little brothers played on the floor with blocks and toy trucks. I ask their father, sitting next to me, where he was from. He says he is fleeing poverty and violence in his hometown of Coban, Guatemala.
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: email@example.com
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ryan Bemis, Doctor Oriental Medicine
RISE program brings ear acupuncture as a community support to southern New Mexico
This summer, New Mexico jails in Truth or Consequences and Carrizozo are launching a group-based ear acupuncture program known as acudetox, through the RISE (Reach, Intervene, Support and Engage) program.
This form of care is offered as an adjunctive support for stress, addictions care and prevention, and has been well-integrated into correctional settings, drug courts, jails, hospitals and detox/recovery programs. RISE will be working within jails in Carrizozo and Truth or Consequences and in collaboration with local drug courts and Indian Health Services serving RISE clients.
For more information: RISE program
Martin Rickler, MA, PhD, LMFT
California License LMFT 94710
Senior Vice President
Correctional Solutions Group, LLC
Message Line: (818) 620-7114
For more information: Acudetox
To learn about this technique, the acudetox training program or to learn about other drop-in clinics in southern New Mexico, El Paso, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, visit www.crossroadsacupuncture.com/earacuborderlands
We are featured in the summer issue of Culturs Magazine!
( Culturs.guru @cultursmag )
"To give something that can be passed on is an act of love, to teach communities to fish rather than giving out fish dinners is a demonstration of solidarity."
- Rhonda Coleman @blacupuncturist
In this article, you'll meet some of the amazing acupuncture providers and teachers that are at the heart of our Barefoot Acupuncture Movement.
El Paso’s local National Public Radio station featured Crossroads’ Barefoot Acupuncture Movement’s disaster response efforts in August, 2019, at the first responder site outside of the Wal Mart where the shooting occurred.
In their story airing on KRWG Friday August 16th entitled El Paso Community, Volunteers Come Together To Mourn And Try To Heal, Reporter Anthony Moreno interviewed people receiving care at our Barefoot Clinics, with treatments like NADA ear acupuncture (Acudetox) groups.
Crossroads Acupuncture (DBA Barefoot Acupuncture Movement) celebrated its newly renovated clinic space in Oct 2018 inside Families and Youth, INC with an Open House, a ribbon-cutting ceremony provided by the Green Chamber of Commerce of Las Cruces, and a book reading and book signing by Joshua Wheeler. Refreshments will also be provided.
Are psychiatric treatments, experts, and medications the best way for traumatized communities to heal their mental health problems? Could indigenous practices, including traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, offer a different way forward — through grassroots community development?
Madness Radio’s Will Hall explores these questions in his podcast “Borderlands Acupuncture” airing December 8, 2016. Hall joined the Barefoot Acupuncture Movement during our 2016 Immersion in Mexico, where we trained local health workers in the NADA ear acupuncture (acudetox) protocol.