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The AHG is pleased to announce lara pacheco as the winner of the 2020 AHG Award for Notable Work Supporting Diversity, Equity, and Justice. lara is the founder of the Atabey Herbal Apprenticeship, bringing together a diverse student body and space to explore different traditions, experiences, and backgrounds, focused on decolonizing food, anti-racism, and trans and gender competency, in addition to herbal and plant studies. This apprenticeship began with one student in the Portland area, and has expanded to almost 2 dozen students a year in 2020.
The Atabey Herbal Apprenticeship offers scholarships to BIPOC folks, and encourages students in their second year to join in as teachers of the program. Many who went through the apprenticeship program now serve on the Atabey Medicine Council. The Atabey Herbal Apprenticeship is dedicated to re-indigenizing, de-colonizing, and empowering via ceremony, sacred space, history, and acknowledgement. The program opens in the fall of each year, and runs from January through November.
lara is active in the community in many ways, including being a co-founder of Brown Girl Rise, as owner of Seed & Thistle Apothecary, and helping start the Common Good City Farm. lara honors personal ancestry as a “Taíno, Boricua Latinx mamita that believes our collective liberation is accessed through decolonizing ourselves by weaving into the web of ancestral medicine.” lara grew up learning about herbal medicine from her tata, and worked to heal herself before focusing on the herbal path to also support others.
lara is a practicing herbalist from the School of Western Herbalism, a student of the Ling Gui International Healing Qigong School, and is currently in an acupuncture teacher training to bring more healing support to marginalized communities.
lara always goes back to the plants. Sitting with the plants, creating ceremony, visualizing meditations of the relationships we have with the plants, and healing personal ancestry.