Hidden Garden will soon be home to a circle of plants which are all of African origin or of great importance in Afro-Costa Rican ethnobotany. For many years we have been researching the ethnobotanical experience of the Afro-Latino Diaspora and hearing stories of interdependent survival. Based on years of research here at the garden and the revolutionary book, In The Shadow of Slavery: Africa’s Botanical Legacy in the Atlantic World, we have a growing list of important medicinal, food and spiritual plants that came here from Africa over the past 500 years. These plants will be organized into a ceremonial space, using the Sacred Grove model from West Africa (see Ormsby & Egbeako ) in which plant conservation areas serve as grounds for other wellness and spiritual traditions to take place.
We have started with a list of plants that are either of African origin or have been integral to the survival of Africans in the Atlantic Diaspora. The list is a work in progress and features particularly those plants which can potentially grow in lowland Caribbean tropics. Those which have a number are already in our garden and the others are on our wish list (those marked with P are priority).