Hidden Garden Ethnobotanical Sanctuary celebrated the inauguration of our new Bush Medicine Circle with the first annual Afro-Botany Conference. In a traditional style, we celebrated with a gathering of elders, teachers, students, plant lovers and community members, sharing wisdom as well as food, music, dance and ceremony. Our goal is to empower each other to contribute to the survival of Afro-botany and the science of Bush Medicine.

Highlights 2017

Keynote Speakers

Yeye Luisah Teish is an initiated edler (Iyanifa) in the Ifa/Orisha tradition of the West African Diaspora and she holds a chieftaincy title (Yeye’woro) from the Fatunmise Compound in Ife Ife, Nigeria. She grew up along the banks of the Mississippi River, in a community whose elders maintained centuries’ old stories and traditions. For forty years, Luisah has been inspiring and facilitating the survival of these practices and creating a bridge to African spirituality through ceremony, counseling, theatre, and writing, including the classic Jambalaya: The Natural Woman’s Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals. Learn more

Angelique “Sobande” Moss-Greer received her healing traditions first from her great-grandmother, who was a traditional herbalist. Sobande is a leading advocate for holistic health and wellness repatriation in the African-American community. She teaches internationally as well as at her school, Natural Choices Botanica School of Herbalism & Holistic Health.

Rafael Ocampo is one of Central America’s leading ethnobotanists. He has written numerous books over the past 30 years, including his most recent on the important Afro-botanical plant, Quassia amara. Through his work with TRAMIL and other international organization, Rafael has been an advocate for documenting, validating and disseminating the Afro-botany of Costa Rica.

Wilfred Cornwall is a local Afro-Costa Rican herbalist, who serves his community and its visitors in the traditional way of his grandmother and mother before him. Wilfred’s knowledge represents a fusion of African and Native American ethnomedicine that was passed down through generations. His story shows us the true challenge of traditional healers in a modern world and their need to adapt their practices if they are going to save their ancient art form from disappearing.

Conference Schedule

Saturday, September 2
10 – 10:30 am Opening Ceremony
10:30 – 12 pm Keynote Speaker Yeye Luisah Teish
12 – 2 pm Storytelling Luncheon with the Elders
2 – 3:30 Plant Walk with Wilfred Cornwall
3:30 – 5 pm Keynote Speaker Angelique Moss-Greer
5:30 – 6:30 pm Afro-Latin Dance Class
7 – 9 pm Dinner & Live Music
Sunday, September 3
7 am – 11 am Jungle Tour & Breakfast in the Bush with Victor Umaña
2 – 3:30 pm Keynote Speaker Rafael Ocampo
3:30 – 5 pm Healing Wisdom Over Time with Siany Palmer and Miss Sam
7 – 10 pm Live Music & Dancing in Town
Monday, September 4
8 am – 11:30 am Cahuita National Park Beach Tour with Wilfred Cornwall
12 – 1 pm Lunch
1 pm – 2:30 pm Integrating Traditional Medicine with Dr. Pablo Ortiz
2:30 – 4 pm Garden Tour with Rafael Ocampo
4 – 5 pm Panel Discussion

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