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Arte Sana launched the  Plantas y Gente Plants & People initiative  in 2022 to reaffirm and restore our relationship with indigenous plants by relearning  and honoring their original names, their ancestral medicinal and cultural significance, and their important role in promoting biodiversity for healthy habitats.

This project aims to engage bilingual voices, to share our collective history of indigenous plant advocacy and to promote environmental justice for healthy, thriving communities living in cultural authenticity.
The image was inspired by the indigenous plant fertility spirits created by the Otomi people of Mexico through the ancient tradition of amate paper making from the pulp of the fig and mulberry trees.

 The nopal was chosen for its important role in our ecosystem and because it is one of the most sustainable, nourishing, and resilient crops in the world.  The nopal or nōpalli is not only an ancient symbol of Mexican culture, but is also a cultural reference that has been flipped by those who are proud to wear “el nopal en la frente” (the nopal on our forehead)  and honor our Mexican roots.

"Nature is an amazing teacher, full of metaphors and life lessons.  It is a vast and ever changing tapestry of plants and animals, water and fire, earth and sky.  Observing the how, what, when, where, and why of these changes often serves as a mirror to our own experiences in life, providing us with powerful insights on how we can grow and heal.  In nature we’re reminded that painful experiences do not have to define the rest of our lives."
The Sexual Assault Victim Advocate (SAVA) Center 

Founded in 2001, as a Texas-based, national 501 (c)(3) Latina-led nonprofit, the concepts of “el arte sana” y “la cultura cura” guided Arte Sana’s bilingual training and outreach campaigns to eliminate language barriers and enhance victim assistance for marginalized survivors of sexual violence.

Twenty-one years later, survival of the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis and systemic racism on the nonprofit sector meant that Arte Sana had to adjust its outreach work. The deep disparities in this nation, the exclusive nature of some conservation groups, the growing environmental crisis, and the need for BIPOC communities to reclaim their history and share untold stories all created a sense of urgency for a new direction.
The Reading Lists
The Plantas y Gente, Plants & People Reading lists are for promoting native plant advocacy by informing and broadening conservation, and environmental justice conversations with untold or undertold stories and research findings.  
Click on images to access the reading lists 
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Bilingual infographics
We will soon make some infographics available to help inform and engage
Spanish-speaking communities as agents of change for enviromental causas. 
Click image below to enlarge the graphics.
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Summary of activities & resources developed in year 1 of the project.
The first Dripping Springs Earth Day Proclamation recognized local and state conservation groups.

Translation of 50% of the 2022 Lights out, Texas! ¡Apaga las luces, Texas! social media toolkit Spanish language translation for Texan by Nature.

An Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Board Development Reading List & EDI Reading & Resource List were developed and shared with leadership of the Native Plant Society of Texas.

The Green Juneteenth Reading List was compiled then supported and shared by local conservation groups.

The Our Raíces (roots): A Latin American Naturalist Reading & Resource List was compiled for Latin American Heritage Month 2022 

The bilingual EDI statement was drafted and approved by the Native Plant Society of Texas.

Inspired by the #LatinoConservationWeek social media campaign, the very first #TexasNativePlantWeek social media campaign was launched in October 2022.
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