Weeds: Plant Medicines of Resilience in Borike

Borike is the original name for the island of Puerto Rico, an island that was first met with slavery over 500 years ago when it was first colonized. It remains a colony today, also known as a territory of the US. The land is occupied by many settlers and entrepreneurs who seek tax exemptions without understanding the sacredness of the land and the people who tend to it. Even with climate change, land occupation, and land abuse, plant medicines continue to resist through the cracks of rocks, synergize with native and introduced trees, help till and fertilize the soil, and seduce us with the medicines of the land.

This class will discuss how the following plant medicines, which Ola has come to most admire as they persist in growing everywhere and are used by people native to Boriké: morivivir (Mimosa pudica), curujey (Tillandsia spp.), mato (Mucuna urens), romerillo (Bidens pilosa), bledo (Amaranthus spp.), Santa Maria feverfew (Parthenium hysterophorus), anamu (Petiveria alliacea), and verdolaga (Portulaca spp.). Ola has witnessed these plant medicines in the form of weeds as resilient companions tending to people and the earth. They symbolize the Afro indigenous legacy of resistance of the land.