Category: public health

Doctor Wendy V. Coram Vialet Home to Help Heal through Nature and Education

Dr. Wendy V. Coram Vialet in the UVICES Demonstration Garden appreciating Medicinal Plants

Dr. Wendy V. Coram Vialet in the UVICES Demonstration Garden appreciating Medicinal Plants            Photo ©DaraMonifah

Since 2001, Native Doctor, Wendy V. Coram Vialet, N.D. returned home to the U. S. Virgin Islands after medical school to help using her appreciation and education of nature’s healing abilities. Respectful of the wisdom passed down from grandparents, traditional culture bearers and natural healers, Dr. Coram Vialet is also knowledgeable of the need to educate the community on cautions in order to prevent accidental toxic reactions.

Born and raised on the island of St. Thomas, she attended local public and private schools then continued to obtain her Bachelor degrees from the University of the Virgin Islands and Syracuse University in the Biological Sciences. In 1996, she learned about Naturopathic Medicine, realizing her life path as a healing facilitator. She graduated in June of 2000 with a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and in March of 2001, she became certified in Naturopathic Midwifery.

“I returned home to assist the people of the Virgin Islands in achieving a better quality of life through optimal health and wellness measures,” she said.

Listen to more about Dr. Coram Vialet:

Since there was no legislation for naturopathy in the Virgin Islands, at the time when she returned, Dr. Coram Vialet served as a Naturopathic Medicine pioneer and was instrumental in passing legislation (V. I. Code: TITLE TWENTY-SEVEN Professions and Occupations Chapter 4. Naturopathic Physician Licensing) to license naturopathic physicians in the territory.

Dr. Wendy V. Coram Vialet in the UVICES Demonstration Garden with Medicinal Plants

Dr. Wendy V. Coram Vialet in the UVICES Demonstration Garden with Medicinal Plants        Photo ©DaraMonifah

According to her LinkedIn profile, Dr. Coram Vialet is currently the Associate Director of the Institute for Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness at the University of the Virgin Islands. Prior to running for political office in 2014, Dr. Coram Vialet was also employed as the Director for the University’s Center for the Study of Spirituality and Professionalism. She has been most endorsed by her LinkedIn networking community in the areas of leadership, teaching, higher education, public speaking, research and community outreach.

While serving in her roles at the University, Dr. Coram Vialet also provides office hours at her practice in two locations on island. As stated on her Facebook about page, Corvia Natural Healthcare Services is, “an established family health and wellness office serving the V.I. community blending scientific medical expertise and traditional healthcare approaches.”

In addition to her professional studies, Dr. Coram Vialet also enjoys performance arts. She learned her favorite quote, “Nothing is so complicated, that it cannot be simplified by hard work,” during her years as a student in the Rising Stars Steel Orchestra. Also enjoying pageantry, she held the title of the first Miss University of the Virgin Islands in 1988.

For more information on Dr. Wendy V. Coram Vialet and Corvia Natural Healthcare Services visit www.corvianhs.com email info@corviahnhs.com or connect with her on Facebook page.

Liquid Chlorophyll Consumption in the VI: Superfood or Kryptonite

 

Chlorophyll Infographic CNHSThe local drink called chlorophyll in the Virgin Islands is similar to a blended iced tea. Made from extracting the chlorophyll out of plants and tea bushes, through the process of blending and straining of the excess bulk of the plants, what remains is a light iced tea flavored beverage usually served cold. Many who make it locally use guinea grass as their base ingredients, and then add lemongrass and other medicinal plants.

Found normally in health food stores, vegetarian restaurants, farmers markets or at some pharmacies, both forms are readily available for purchase in the Virgin Islands. The medicinal properties of either can vary depending on their ingredients.

Dr. Wendy in office at Corvia Natural Healthcare Services

Dr. Wendy in office at Corvia Natural Healthcare Services

According to Dr. Wendy V. Coram Vialet, of Corvia Natural Healthcare Services (CNHS), “the international version is made from a species of alfalfa, while the local version is usually made from guinea and or lemon grass.” Both guinea and lemongrass grow wild in the Virgin Islands.

Dr. Wendy went on to explain that in cases of iron deficiency anemia, chlorophyll is used to help with blood building as well as oxygenation. She said that, “it is a good source of energy and provides adrenal and immune support.”

A post on Pinterest shared much of the same information plus the benefits of chlorophyll with increasing red blood cell formation, blood purification, and blood pressure regulation even to helping with bad breath.

She continued saying that it is also used in some forms of cancer, is a good source of nutrients, can be used for general health maintenance and in cases of fasting due to its mineral and vitamin content.

A cup of liquid Chlorophyll made in the Virgin Islands

A cup of liquid Chlorophyll made in the Virgin Islands

Just as they both have benefits; there are potential risks from overconsumption, or in some cases, consumption period, from those who have reactions to various herbs. “The main concern is the overuse of any herb or supplement that renders it non-effective over time or induces harm to the patient,” said Dr. Wendy.

“There are no regulations in place to ensure that the product is the same every time it is made,” she added, expressing a concern more related to quality control specifically to how the herbs are grown and prepared.

In search of information concerning other concerns, a tweet from Wellness Wednesday stated,“This was concerning RE: Risks of Liquid Chlorophyll” and shared a link to a Livestrong.com article that shared concerns from allergic reactions to digestive tract disturbances as well as that some of the plants used when making liquid chlorophyll could potentially expose consumers to,” heavy metals, pesticides and other environmental toxins from the water or soil. Pesticides can interrupt hormone function, damage the nervous system or cause cancer”.

Another tweet stated that, “The green chlorophyll also produces compounds called glycoalkaloids, such as solanine, that are toxic.” Researching further on the subject, one can find a scholarly study of the toxic hazard that might be associated with the consumption of green potato tops.

Jahweh David drinks chlorophyll at sunset, "because of its healing properties," on John Brewers Beach.

Jahweh David drinks chlorophyll at sunset, “because of its healing properties,” on John Brewers Beach.

Classically trained chef, who became an executive chef at the age of 24, food and lifestyle blogger Christopher Stewart shares in her post, why she drinks liquid chlorophyll. “I drink chlorophyll because of its healing properties,” said local artist, Jahweh David, who grew up learning about herbs from her mother (just as her mother learned from her grandmother) as well as local herbalists, also mentions similar reasons.  “It tastes great and is refreshing,” she added.

With an increasing number of people in the Virgin Islands learning about and consuming liquid chlorophyll, the need for more education has become apparent and there are those knowledgeable about and interested in helping the community by cooperating with each other. In addition to physicians, local researchers like Toni Thomas, Extension Agent at the UVI Cooperative Extension Service (UVICES), known for her book on Traditional Medicinal Plants in the Virgin Islands, is willing to help with educating the community with research-based information.

Affectionately known in her hometown within the Virgin Islands as Dr. Wendy, she is available at CNHS on Wednesdays between 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm and the third Saturday of the month in suite 104 at the Foothills and also has office hours at Synergy, in Red Hook. CNHS is an established whole family health and wellness office serving the Virgin Islands community using the principles and practices of naturopathic medicine. For more info visit www.corvianhs.com, email info@corvianhs.com or call (340) 774-0224. Stay connected on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/corvianhs.

Chlorophyll made in the Virgin Islands as sold at the Natural Livity Kulcha Shop and Juice Bar

Chlorophyll made in the Virgin Islands as sold at the Natural Livity Kulcha Shop and Juice Bar with a UVICES book on Tropical Fruit Nutrition

Savan’s Caretakers Returning Home to Organize

GrassrootsVI News – Savan’s Caretakers Returning Home to Organize

By DaraMonifah Cooper

Off-island ‘Savanero’, Iffat Walker walked through areas of Savan taking photos, video, talking to anyone and recruiting support both within and from around the community as part of the initial research stages for a clean-up and revitalization initiative set to initially kick-off in July. Her passion for her Virgin Islands’ neighborhood, and all of the family that still lives there, keeps her coming home regularly to visit and help build.

In addition to the research work done within the neighborhood itself, she also met with agencies and individuals who agreed to partner with the initiative in general support of re-building the community’s self-pride. After the first community meeting and a few initial networking meetings, including those with the Enterprise Zone Commission at the VI Economic Development Authority Director, Nadine Marchena Kean, and the University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension Service’s (UVICES) District Supervisor, Dr. Louis E. Petersen, Jr., Iffat is further encouraged to continue with her research and outreach efforts.

Knowing that it takes a village, Iffat sought out the assistance of others who are already known for having similar or related missions. “It’s not my intention to reinvent the wheel. People here have already been doing this work and I’m just trying to help them work together better,” she stated. As one of the suggestions from young men in the neighborhood interested in having a community garden, Iffat also met with Albion “Chico” George of the UVICES office who is known for his work with starting up various community and school gardens.

Also seeking youth insight and support, she reached out to the Sankofa Saturdays Youth Cultural Education Initiative and was able to appear on their radio show as well as have footage taken and donated by their youth media team.

With challenges ranging from individual to organizational, she noted that there are a range of potential support systems needed and Iffat is determined to do whatever she can to use her community organizational, networking, professional and personal skills to rally others to give it another try collaboratively.

“Some have given up hope or were basically discouraged to continue due to a number of challenges, so we’re seeking that information as well as intend to be creative with forming solutions to those previous and current challenges,” she continued.

As one of the managing administrators for Community Action Now, Inc., a Georgia based organization; this is more than just another project for Iffat. She has a personal vested interest in the Savan area. “Many of the people walking around in Savan are my family,” she noted, also mentioning the need to change the negative impression some have of the area. “With Savan being the neighborhood in basically the center of Charlotte Amalie town, it would benefit the entire community to have it restored to better reflect its original reputation. The historical significance of Savan spans decades of stories with it being the first organized neighborhood for local businesses and activity,” she added.

Iffat noted that many Virgin Islanders are interested in returning home both to visit and to live, but like her, they are doing what they can from off island to help restore it first. With regular initiatives like the Department of Tourism’s territory-wide clean ups and all other organizations and individuals who regularly make their contributions on island or online, the air of hope and determination are building. With the assistance of those both on and off island, the Savan area and the Virgin Islands is prepped to becoming a cleaner, safer and more productive environment for residents and visitors alike.

For more information on this initiative, contact Iffat Walker at walkeriffat@gmail.com or check out the Proud to Be A Savanero Facebook group page and the main organization’s website based in Georgia. Photos are available here.

Bordeaux Farmers Monthly Market: A Healthy Experience for the Whole Family

Ras Amaha Kristos, the emcee of the Bordeaux Farmers' Market and a co-host of their weekly radio program.

Estate Bordeaux, St. Thomas, VI (April 12 2015) Ras Amaha Kristos, the emcee of the Bordeaux Farmers’ Market and a co-host of their weekly radio program stands at the podium. He is one of the local farmers that hosts a bi-weekly Estate Bordeaux Farmers’ Market on the Western most part of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. The family friendly markets exist in a lush natural environment where healthy and homegrown food, fun, music and other entertainment are enjoyed by visitors. (Photo by DaraMonifah Cooper, Fullsail University New Media Journalism Student)

Bordeaux farmers on St. Thomas host a monthly family friendly market in a relaxed natural environment to share healthy and homegrown food, fun and music with families in the local community.

Visitors enjoy the view from alongside the market pavilion.

Estate Bordeaux, St. Thomas, VI (April 12 2015) Visitors take their time enjoying the view around the market pavilion overlooking the farms, hilly landscape and ocean view during the bi-weekly farmers market in the Bordeaux Mountains. Local farmers host a bi-weekly Estate Bordeaux Farmers’ Market on the Western most part of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. The family friendly markets exist in a lush natural environment where healthy and homegrown food, fun, music and other entertainment are enjoyed by visitors. (Photo by DaraMonifah Cooper, Fullsail University New Media Journalism Student)

“Most people come only with the intention of purchasing local produce, but there’s so much more to experience than just the food, ” shared JahStarr Ras Koniyah, former secretary for the We Grow Food, Inc Bordeaux farmers organization prior to his untimely transition.

He would brag that, driving into the Western most part of the island, “the difference in the air,” is the first thing that changes as the city life is left behind replaced with the surrounding green hills and vegetation. The peaceful environment lays right in the middle of a small quiet neighborhood in the Bordeaux area also known as Fortuna.

Youth enjoy a game of 'basketball' alongside the market pavilion while their parents sell produce from their farm.

Estate Bordeaux, St. Thomas, VI (April 12 2015) Tikete Ludvig and younger brother enjoy a creative game of ‘basketball’ alongside the market pavilion while their parents sell produce from their farm. This and other creative activities are available for youth to enjoy freely around the market every other Sunday. Local farmers host a bi-weekly Estate Bordeaux Farmers’ Market on the Western most part of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. The family friendly markets exist in a lush natural environment where healthy and homegrown food, fun, music and other entertainment are enjoyed by visitors. (Photo by DaraMonifah Cooper, Fullsail University New Media Journalism Student)

Here children run freely and the one main road is only a connecting line allows locals and visitors to get into and out of the area. A large portion of the hillside is farm land and home to the island’s oldest Rastafarian community. Horses, cows and other animals can be seen in the area and on every other Sunday music heard coming from the bi-weekly Farmers’ market.

Ras Amaha clears the soil in a tire garden near the compost bin area of the market.

Estate Bordeaux, St. Thomas, VI (April 12 2015) Ras Amaha loosens and clears the soil in a tire garden near the compost bin area of the marketplace, preparing it for the next watering during the bi-weekly farmers market in Bordeaux, St. Thomas. Local farmers host a bi-weekly Estate Bordeaux Farmers’ Market on the Western most part of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. The family friendly markets exist in a lush natural environment where healthy and homegrown food, fun, music and other entertainment are enjoyed by visitors. (Photo by DaraMonifah Cooper, Fullsail University New Media Journalism Student)

Here is where you’ll find many of those known as the caretakers of the land as from sunrise to sunset there is always a hand in the soil preparing for the next rains or reaping. Young and old assist in the work and also in the enjoyment of celebration when it’s time. Along with technology that has made it’s way into this community, you will also see random children running around the market playing games made of everyday items like basketball with cardboard water boxes or baseball with sticks and stones. Even a simple game of tag transforms groups of youth into flashes of color and happy sound as they run by.

Husband and wife farmers working together are a normal site to expect at the bi-weekly market.

Estate Bordeaux, St. Thomas, VI (April 12 2015) Husband and wife, Ras Kiddus and Selah, stand proudly together. Selah said she only takes photos together with her husband displaying a perfect example of the type of family unity seen in the Bordeaux Mountains during the bi-weekly farmers market. Local farmers host a bi-weekly Estate Bordeaux Farmers’ Market on the Western most part of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. The family friendly markets exist in a lush natural environment where healthy and homegrown food, fun, music and other entertainment are enjoyed by visitors. (Photo by DaraMonifah Cooper, Fullsail University New Media Journalism Student)

Here is where local families are found singing, dancing before, during and after they sell or trade their produce with each other and visitors that may appear. Decades of memories and traditions color the stalls high-lit with red, yellow and green as well as African symbols, sayings and faces.

A relaxing trip to the Bordeaux Farmers’ Market on a bi-weekly basis tends to leave smiles on the faces of many and lighter souls return to their homes after sunset every other Sunday from the hills of Bordeaux, on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. “A long ride for long life,” as We Grow Food, Inc. co-host Empress Shaca, proudly shares during their weekly radio show.

The Fruit of V.I. Agriculture in Good Hands: Profiles of Local Leaders – Dr. Louis E. Petersen Jr.

DaraMonifah.theArtist

The Fruit of V.I. Agriculture in Good Hands with Dr. Louis E. Petersen, Jr. and Commissioner Carlos Robles – Part One | Petersen’s story
By DaraMonifah Cooper

Dr. Petersen with UVI President Hall during AgFair Opening Ceremony Dr. Petersen with UVI President Hall during AgFair Opening Ceremony


Dr. Louis E. Petersen, Jr.
is a born and raised U.S. Virgin Islands leader whose life-long passion for agriculture has led to an exemplary career which has helped him to blaze a trail of successes that promise to be continued in his latest role at the University of the Virgin IslandsCooperative Extension Service (UVICES).

As described by Dr. Petersen, the story that led him on the path to agriculture began in 1975 during the longest teachers strike in the history of the Virgin Islands. He was a student at the Charlotte Amalie High School and along with other students, didn’t agree with staying at home. Although there were no teachers…

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The Fruit of V.I. Agriculture in Good Hands: Profiles of Local Leaders – Dr. Louis E. Petersen Jr.

The Fruit of V.I. Agriculture in Good Hands with Dr. Louis E. Petersen, Jr. and Commissioner Carlos Robles – Part One | Petersen’s story
By DaraMonifah Cooper

Dr. Petersen sitting with UVI President Hall and Dr. Marilym Brathwaite Hall during the STT-STJ AgFair Opening Ceremony

Dr. Petersen sitting with UVI President Hall and Dr. Marilym Brathwaite Hall during the STT-STJ AgFair Opening Ceremony


Dr. Louis E. Petersen, Jr.
is a born and raised U.S. Virgin Islands leader whose life-long passion for agriculture has led to an exemplary career which has helped him to blaze a trail of successes that promise to be continued in his latest role at the University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension Service (UVICES).

As described by Dr. Petersen, the story that led him on the path to agriculture began in 1975 during the longest teachers strike in the history of the Virgin Islands. He was a student at the Charlotte Amalie High School and along with other students, didn’t agree with staying at home. Although there were no teachers in the classroom, what they did was to start an agricultural club at the school. They gradually got support from various sources, including from Cyril Emanuel King, the Governor at the time. King came to visit with them and expressed his love and encouragement for what they were doing. According to Dr. Petersen, when Governor King came, “the following day we got all the tools that we needed that we didn’t have.”

Dr. Petersen with Charlotte Amalie High School Future Farmers of America

Dr. Petersen with Charlotte Amalie High School Future Farmers of America

Reminiscing, Dr. Petersen shared that, “In the summer time, Governor King employed us through the youth commission, which was the ultimate encouragement. Petersen reports that when they were finished with school, they left and studied. In between his studies, Petersen came home to seek employment. For a semester, he worked for Extension Service. “That’s where my love, my familiarity with the role of the Extension Service office became apparent,” he explained. When he returned home from school, he continued to work at the Extension Service office.

In 1992, after first being a UVICES student worker and then Agent, Dr. Petersen was promoted to the position of UVICES District Supervisor. Three years later he became the U.S. V. I. Assistant Commissioner of Agriculture, then returned to UVICES as the District Supervisor, only to be promoted to U.S. V. I. Commissioner of Agriculture in 2007.

During the last eight years in his most reputable role as U.S. V. I. Commissioner of Agriculture, he said that he experienced “an extremely challenging but fulfilling eight years.” He reiterated, “There was no plan that was laid out for us when we started so we weren’t sure what to follow. Having gone through the full circle of thinking it through, sitting with staff, sitting with farmers devising a plan and then putting that plan in to action and seeing many parts of the plan be fulfilled,” Dr. Petersen explained how he lead the team that chalked up another great accomplishment for the Territory.

Expounding upon the same topic, Dr. Petersen said, “We are a territory that has been overlooked so many times by the National agency of agriculture and the USDA. Because of that we often times have not been considered or included in programs.” He added that two of those examples are the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, which was made law in 2004, and the Farmers Market Promotion Program grant which was authorized in 1976.

Petersen Back at Work with CES speaks to NSF Grant Workshop Presenter Research Development Consultant Lucy Deckard

Petersen Back at Work with CES speaks to NSF Grant Workshop Presenter Research Development Consultant Lucy Deckard

He continued, “We took two of those eight years fighting a battle back and forth with correspondences, teleconferences and everything else before we were finally given the status of being eligible. That I feel was a great accomplishment because in my recollection we’ve never before challenged the U.S. Department of Agriculture to include us in programs that we were not eligible for. Subsequently, funding from that program was used in many areas including the fruit orchard establishment project which is now territory-wide.”

On the Farmers Market Promotion Program grant, Dr. Petersen shared, “We fought five years out of the eight years for the second one and only in 2012 did we become eligible. It was a great accomplishment and milestone in our history. Because of those two victories the territory is now eligible for more funding for agricultural development.”

“The two primary local agencies in the territory that work on behalf of and in support of farmers are indeed the (V.I.) Department of Agriculture and the UVI land grant program, meaning the Extension Service and Experiment Station, so we have always worked together,” shared Dr. Petersen. “I cannot think of one initiative in which we didn’t collaborate.”

He went on to say, “At the (V.I.) Department of Agriculture, our mandate was very broad whether it was outreach and policy establishment however with the Extension Service program our mandate is informal education to the farming clientele.”

Dr. Petersen and Carlos Robles on "What's Going on @UVICES" with hosts (DaraMonifah Cooper - capturing photo) and Christina Chanes

Dr. Petersen and Carlos Robles on “What’s Going on @UVICES” with hosts (DaraMonifah Cooper – capturing photo) and Christina Chanes

Commissioner Designee Carlos Robles, shared the same sentiment in the way the two agencies work hand-in-glove together. He expressed how long he has been learning from Dr. Petersen’s example from as far back as their school days attending Charlotte Amalie High when he first learned about the agriculture club that Petersen had played a major role in starting. In terms of how he sees the offices working together he made it clear that UVICES always plays a mandatory role in the success of the (V.I.) Department of Agriculture’s goals. “Informing farmers on how to work more efficiently and effectively is where we will be leaning on UVICES,” he added.

When asked how he feels about returning to UVICES, Dr. Petersen proudly stated, “I find myself continuing in many respect what we began and working for the same goal and the same clientele, but from another perspective.”

To be continued…
Keep following this blog, facebook, twitter and instagram for stories on Ag Commissioner Carlos Robles and We Grow Food, Inc. President Elridge “Sparks” Thomas

For more information email dcooper@uvi.edu.

#VIAgriFest2015 | The Largest and Best Agriculture, Culture & Food Festival of the Caribbean

If you’ve never been to an Agriculture and Food Fair, hailed as the largest in the Caribbean, consider attending the 44th annual Virgin Islands AgriFest held on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands February 14 – 16, 2015. “AgriFest gives you a snapshot of not only agriculture, but the possibilities that we can do with our Agriculture industry by adding value to our products. It also celebrates our culture and things that you normally don’t see throughout the year, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to see and purchase,” Clarice Clarke, UVICES Public Information Specialist and VI AgriFest Coordinator of Promotions interviewed on What’s Going on @UVICES (Weekly Radio Show).

Sponsored by the V.I Department of Agriculture, University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) Cooperative Extension Services (UVICES) and the V.I. Department of Tourism, the theme of Agrifest 2015 is “Agriculture: The Heart of it All.” In a St. Croix Source story, UVI President Dr. David Hall describes the AgriFest as, “a family-oriented, community engagement activity where we can renew and widen our circle of friendship, begin cultivating networks, and celebrate the cultural diversity represented.”

Gates always open at 9:00 am and close at 6:00pm with an opening ceremony that starts at 10am on the Saturday morning. People from near and far attend the fair to take advantage of it’s vast array of agriculture education, fresh local food, local produce, live music and other entertainment, children and family activities, shopping opportunities with so many vendors being available in one place and it’s consistently low cost. The entry fees remain affordable at only $6 for adults, $4 for senior citizens and $3 for children.

VIAgriFest2014 poster

VIAgriFest2014 poster

Centrally located on the Rudolph Shulterbrandt Agricultural Complex at Estate Lower Love, across from the Albert A. Sheen St. Croix campus of the University of the Virgin Islands, the fair always takes place during the 3-day President’s Day weekend. Three stages in the various areas of the fair provide simultaneous ongoing entertainment throughout the day with one of this year’s highlights being a Calypso show focused on Lord Kitchener and his music. Youth groups including the Superior Court Rising Stars Youth Steel Orchestra, St. Croix Educational Complex Marching Band and others. St. Croix Heritage Dancers and other adult performers also share Virgin Islands culture with the viewing audiences.

“We will reach a day when everything we eat is produced here in the Virgin Islands.” ~UVI President Dr. David Hall, from the VI Source Feb 15 story.

About 48 farmers from St. Croix and other islands occupy about 70 booths, 88 vendors sell t-shirts, jewelry and other items. In addition, fair goers can visit the livestock pavilion, food pavilion and farmers market to check out locally raised animals, grown and prepared food. “We sell only the local food, no alcoholic beverages or sodas whatsoever,” Clarke noted proudly on a radio interview.

UVI components will be participating in the exhibits by displaying their products and the services offered to the community according to a press release on the UVICES website. A centerpiece of the fair, the UVI Tent has numerous programs showcasing their services, lead by UVICES, which focuses on the fair theme and showcases plants and fruits that promote healthy heart eating. The new UVICES publication, “Tropical Fruits of the Virgin Islands and their Nutritional Values,” also highlighted and on sale, which is available along with their other educational publications year-round at UVI bookstores on both campuses.

“Travelers to the fair include people from the other Caribbean islands visiting us who always look forward to coming and participation,” Clarke shared.

Native Son is the official AgriFest ferry and Seaborne Airlines helps get people there from neighboring islands. Major sponsors include Innovative, V.I. Department of Tourism, V.I. Lottery, V.I. Port Authority, DaVybe 107.9 FM, Water and Power Authority, V.I. Waste Management Authority, Choice Communications as well as the men and women of the VIDOA and UVICES for their annual management and organization of the AgriFest.

Local media coverage of the fair is always expected and for more information about the fair from it’s committee members, the AgriFest 2015 Bulletin publication is sold all three days at the fair and made available afterwards as a pdf on the ces.uvi.edu website or connect with their social media pages @uvices. The official AgriFest website is www.viagrifest.org.

MEDIA COVERAGE:

VIAgriFest2015 made front page news on the St. Croix Avis Sun-Mon, Feb. 15-16 newspaper

VIAgriFest2015 on front page of the St. Croix Avis Sun-Mon, Feb. 15-16 newspaper

Virgin Islands Daily News coverage of VIAgriFest2015 from cover page

Virgin Islands Daily News Coverage of the VIAgriFest2015 (from page four)

V.I. Seeking Solutions in Solidarity with Ferguson

handsup

Saving Our Sons, Healing Ourselves: Reflecting on Michael Brown. Photo by Jalani Horton

Daily News Story on the Gathering

Virgin Islands Daily News Story on the Gathering in Case you Missed it…

On a day like today all I care to do is write
The sound of my own voice instigates a useless internal fight
Why does it surprise us when we know where we are
We should’ve already had a plan before the distraction got this far

Now we’re falling right into the senseless master plan
They don’t have to see your cards if you’re always showing them your hand
Is it really that impossible to think outside the box?
The strategy should be easier to see, we’re the ones that made the locks

But just because we did it’s the end of the discussion
We also make the keys so why we accepting this concussion
Wake up my people, it’s not time to act off of emotion
Let’s use this as a reminder, to ourselves we need devotion

It’s not that I don’t care or don’t see the reason to speak out
Sometimes when the noise is so loud, I’d just rather listen than shout

I’ve learned through our confusion; in the silence comes the solution

Get to the core, constant contact now needed even more
ReBuild. We are the resounding resolution

©DaraMonifah

Giving ThAnkhs for siStarQueens like Dena & Jahweh for bringing the V.I. solidarity gathering to life for the sake of our listening, learning, healing and re-building.

Saving Our Sons, Healing Ourselves | Their Lives Matter; Our Lives Count! Headed down to Brewer’s Beach #Solidarity #BrownFriday#blackfridayblackout #BlackLivesMatter #FergusonDecision #KWANZAA365Sankofa Saturdays Unsung Sheroes VI

saving saving1 saving2 saving3

Through Our Own Eyes: Iridology Seen as Major Highlight of International Healing Symposium by Attendees

Virgin Islanders and attending participants learned and experienced practical holistic health methods, received hands on diagnosis and treatment from natural healers on Sunday, September 21, 2014 at the Bordeaux Farmers Market on St. Thomas, VI. The Indigenous Healers’ Collective Inc. hosted the third annual Indigenous Healing Symposium entitled “Implementing Ancient Healing Wisdom,” in order to help the community learn about the natural methods of healing and maintaining health that we all can do for ourselves.

RAs Speedy

Ras Speedy-I presents and gives a demonstration on chlorophyll.

Tweet: Ras Speedy-I teaching the audience the ingredients and how to make at the 3rd Annual…

Lukata Shango

Lukata Samuel gets his Iridology assessment from Dr. Odada Shango

In addition to herbalists and massage therapists, a major highlight was the presentation of Iridologist Dr. Odada Shango who spent much of the day performing live one-on-one consultations both during as well as the day after the Symposium, by popular demand. According to Dr. Shango, when you look at the iris, an Iridologist can actually see the invasion of parasites. “We look for tissue changes. We see literal signs, openings, closing and different colors that indicate if there is bacteria in the system.”

Dr. Shango continued to explain that one way of describing the eyes can be broken down into three parts: strong, medium or weak constitution. When looking at persons with strong constitutions, you can’t always tell what’s wrong easily and “the eye doesn’t give information as fast as someone with medium or weak constitution.” Dr. Shango continued that these persons often end up being the ones having seemingly unexpected health failure because no one realizes anything is wrong until it’s severe.

Healer Allan

Healer Allan Haynes “making dem ball” out in pain… then they always smile renewed.

When treating ailments we have to look at the body holistically. The physical body is just the house for the spirit, so when we’re looking at the body holistically, we have to approach it from a spiritual, mental, emotional and then the physical. We have everything within already. Education means to bring everything within out.

Ras NashambaI

Ras Nashamba-I, high-in-demand vegan chef and baker, gives a culinary demonstration.

Amad Martin, a symposium attendee, mentioned that this was the first time he’d had an iridology diagnosis. “His diagnosis was very accurate,” Amad recollected with a smile. His younger brother Lukata also enjoyed his session and they both learned more about why they should stay away from sweets and different forms of flour products. “We have reached a point where we are eating for pleasure which is not our culture,” declared Dr. Shango.

Approximately 10 local and international healers presented their different modalities to the people in the form of lectures, demonstrations and workshops. Food, herbs, herbal products, arts & crafts and more were on sale. Entertainment included drumming, poetry and dancing.

More live tweets from the symposium:

Another successful public event educating and entertaining ourselves at the 3rd…  (click link for pictures from the Symposium)

Brother Malak of pouring for customers at the 3rd Annual Healers Symposium…

Ras Bookie, Virgin Islands Numerologist, enlightening the community audience here at the International…

‘Where Mosquito Bite, Leads to Insight’: Fighting Chikungunya Virgin Islands Style

http://virginislandsdailynews.com/news/epidemiologist-declares-chikungunya-epidemic-in-v-i-1.1754655

Dr. Odada Shango Iridology Session with Lukata SamuelFinally being officially categorized as an epidemic by the CDC, Virgin Islands community members have been using various local herbs, plants and remedies to weaken the impact and shorten the length of time seriously affected. Taking the bull by the horn, many outside of the territory can learn from wellness store owners, along with local and regional natural healers, who share knowledge and wellness tips to Virgin Islanders.

The V.I. Health Department declared that the territorial outbreak is officially an epidemic… since May!  While the grassroots community had long already declared the situation an epidemic amongst themselves, store owner and customers at the Natural Livity Kulcha Shop and Juice Bar expressed their concern and disdain for how the crisis has been handled by the Virgin Islands Government. Like many other places within the Americas, most people in the Caribbean region are not immune. http://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/geo/americas.html

jahleejah_

Juice Bar owner, Jahleejah Love Peace, exclaimed that when she felt it coming on, she attacked it quick! Her remedy included fresh juice blends and products she sells in her store like Chlorophyll and the Flu Shot, “which is a high dose of Vitamin C by combining fresh orange, lemon, grapefruit, ginger and some cayenne pepper.” Along with those, she says that she gave herself and her children some ACF Fast Relief Immune System High Penya's MoringaPotency supplement. Jahleejah shared that, other products she commonly suggests include, “local moringa, neem bark bitters, lemon grass for the fever and chlorella.” She mentioned that for the pain people should, “get rubbed down with a herbal blend,” which she also carries for the numerous customers that have been coming in in droves.

One in particular, shared what he used to minimize the effects of his extremely uncomfortable experience along with his conclusion. “It’s all about how we take care of our body,” shared Brother Dawuud N. Nyamekye of Caribbean Historical Tours. Not being able to drive his safaris while being ill, he stated his belief that,

“when you don’t watabreak out then you didn’t fully get it and have not built up the full immunity.”

Getting lots of rest and drinking a lot of liquids especially coconut water and seamoss were additional tips that Dawuud used himself. http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/chikungunya-caribbean

Both of his arms were covered in a rash that appeared as ongoing multiples of small reddish bumps, but he still smiled when mentioning that he agrees with the common saying about prevention being better than cure. He admitted that with the amount of mosquitos currently present in the Virgin Islands, strengthening the immune system is the wisest thing to do so that when one does get the virus, it won’t affect them as harshly.

Natural Food Grocery & Deli Chikungunya picOn the other side of town, there’s the Natural Food Grocery and Deli which has been, “helping the Virgin Islands find health since 1975,” as their catch phrase states. They put up a display of preventative and supportive products including mosquito repellents, citronella candles, joint and muscle ache creams and immune system supplements. The display also included printed information about the Chikungunya virus.  Store customers come in daily requesting immune support products and seeking ways to learn more information.

In an interview with visiting Naturopathic healer and Iridologist, Dr. OdaDr. Shango giving a consultationda Shango, he mentioned that mosquitos don’t just bite anywhere. He continued that, “mosquitos are attracted to heat, warmth and tend to infect people in areas of their bodies that are weak so people should pay attention to where they bite.”

‘Where Mosquito Bite Leads to Insight’ ~DaraMonifah