After a lifetime in the USA, Herbalist Dani Solorio (they/them) is moving back to Mexico. Solorio was born in Zacápu, Michoacán, Mexico and immigrated to California at age six. Growing up with their abuela’s traditional healing remedies, they founded Compton Health Bar in 2012 to nourish BIPOC in their own underserved neighborhood of Compton through holistic medicine. But Solorio felt a pull to return home, so they are closing the physical location and moving to Michoacan this spring. However, they will maintain the store’s online presence to continue serving the community. Their next mission is to connect others with ancestral healing practices.
What do you envision for yourself when you move back to Mexico?
"I will continue this journey of medicina tradicional and share it with others. There is a group of people from Michoacan, the same place that I am from, and they want to connect to their roots. The intention is to move between Michoacan and Ciudad Mexico, because in Teotihuacan, I have a connection with a family who also teach me medicina tradicional. There's only so much here [in the US], especially for the people that are really wanting to immerse themselves in this medicina."
How did you find and connect with the family in Teotihuacan?
"It was actually my first trip back to Mexico after 28-29 years here because of immigration. I didn't want to go back to Michoacan; the wound was too stuck. [On] Instagram there was this woman seeking to take people to Teotihuacan in October of 2021 to work on the Mictlan, the underworld of ourselves. Immediately I was like, “Yes, I need that.” I connected with the family hosting that group. We became friends and stayed in touch. After that experience, I let go of the fear to explore this side of myself and my ancestry, and to share it with other people. This very deep spiritual experience changed my perspective to feel this needs to be part of every aspect of my life. Then in March of 2022, I finally went back to Michoacan for the first time feeling ready to face whatever was there."
What happened in Michoacan?
"The trip to Michoacan was very impactful. I set that intention to be open to whatever medicine is there. The first person I meet is somebody who does temazcales and traditional medicine. We click and I start doing my personal work with them. Then eventually I was like, “Would you be open to receiving people from LA that I know will respect this medicine?” They said yes, so we organized the first experience on October ‘22."
How was the experience?
"We did two groups back-to-back. It was seven days of different medicinas tradicionales, from limpias to temazcales. That was amazing, seeing how people connected with the land, medicine, and themselves. To see it actually come to fruition was more affirmation that as I'm on this journey, inviting others to come with me feels like the right thing to do. I'm not there as a facilitator or guide. I have as much healing as everybody else to do. Then in January , the family in Teotihuacan approached me to say, “Do you want to do a collaboration with us?” I was like, “Hell yeah I do.” They all have their nine-to-five jobs, but their life and spirituality, their growth and healing is around the Toltec tradition. It’s much older than anything else. There is a cosmology, but there's no deities, just energias. When you're directing your energy, giving gratitude, setting an intention, you direct it at Gran Espiritu, the source that unites us all. There’s Abuelo Fuego, Abuela Agua, Madre Tierra, Gran Espiritu, and that’s it. Anybody else you bring in are basically helpers, and why would you pray to the helpers when you can connect with the spirits themselves? That's the key thing I connected with. We are all medicina in our own form."
What practices do you want to share in talleres?
"At this moment, I'm feeling passionate about limpias because they're about letting go. There’s something liberating about letting go of heavy burdens, patterns, and thought processes. It feels like we're headed towards something big. It feels necessary to release so that we can go into whatever new era is coming with a much lighter, clearer spirit. I'm planning something in Michoacan in August. I always prioritize inviting people that come with respect, openness, and honesty. The talleres are eight people and each cohort connects with each other in an open, authentic way. We witness each other’s humanity."
What advice do you have for young people of different diasporas who want to connect with their roots?
"Remember we're already connected. We just forget because the systems currently in place are designed to keep us from getting ahold of that connection. Listen to your intuition, because anytime you're drawn to something, there's something there for you. Just follow it, and doors open. Push through the fear and trust that you were guided there. The abuelos are guiding you."
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