Today’s Solutions: November 30, 2021

According to the 2020 COVID-19 Farmworker Study, 59 percent of all farmworkers in California have no health insurance and cite cost and distrust in the authorities, government, and the medical system as a deterrent. This issue has only become more urgent and been exacerbated by the pandemic, but one woman in the state’s wine country is hoping to make a difference when it comes to health access for these marginalized communities.

Jocelyn Boreta is a descendent of a Native American and Mexican migrant farmworker and the owner of The Botanical Bus. Boreta takes her bus and a crew of practitioners to different wineries around Napa Valley where she extends counseling and medical care to on-site farmworkers. The bus is sponsored by the farmworkers’ employer and Boreta’s team includes masseuses, acupuncturists, reiki specialists, herbalists, translators, and even a foot nurse. The emphasis is on traditional herbal medicine, but there are also informative seminars about common conditions like diabetes.

Workers can rotate free of charge through the different stations while enjoying a free lunch of rice, beans, homemade tortilla chips, and tamales. So far, the largest bilingual health clinic The Botanical Bus hosted took place at Silver Oak vineyard, with over 30 practitioners participating.

Boreta, who has an herbalism certificate from the California School of Herbal Studies, explains that the emphasis on plant-based healing is effective because while many workers may be hesitant to seek out traditional medical services, Indigenous remedies are far more approachable.

She said that plant-based medicine “is a powerful and culturally relevant form of healthcare that has proven to encourage the Latinx and Indigenous populations to seek out conventional and complementary care.” Research supports this claim with a 2019 study finding that Mexican farmworkers treated by a conventional medical provider are twice as likely to also be treated by a traditional healer in the same year.

Moving forwards, The Botanical Bus hopes to not only expand its service to farmworkers, but Boreta is also partnering with nonprofit West County Health Centers to bring the service to rural elementary schools as well.

Image source: The Botanical Bus

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Popcorn may be the next sustainable building material

Popcorn is more than just a tasty snack to munch on while at the movies—it may soon be widely used as a natural and eco-friendly alternative to man made home insulation. Scientists at Göttingen University ... Read More

Want to get students engaged? Consider career-based classes

Students who are engaged in the classroom are more likely to participate and retain more information, but what exactly keeps kids engaged? Researchers from Ohio State University surveyed 20,000 high school students across the US ... Read More

This 3D-printed eye is an eye-conic development for digital prosthetics

According to Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, Steve Verze, a 47-year-old engineer from Hackney, has been the fortunate recipient of the world’s first 3D printed eyeball. He first tried the eye on for size earlier ... Read More

Senegal’s only circus troupe helps homeless children get off the streets

Senegal has exactly one circus troupe: Sencirk—and it was founded by a former child beggar named Modou Touré. Before taking his place as ringmaster of his own circus, Touré, at the age of seven, was ... Read More

New breakthroughs in nutrient-sensing cells

Did you know immune cells can sense nutrients? A new study from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has identified the biological mechanism behind the phenomenon. The type of immune cells with these special abilities are ... Read More

How to stay warm this winter during outdoor social gatherings

Temperatures are dipping and snowflakes are falling, but that doesn’t mean we have to say goodbye to our outdoor social gatherings. Plus, it might not always be safe to gather indoors, and everyone will have ... Read More