Francisca Santibanez is a plant|heart based healer, herbalist, visual artist, and educator. Raised in South America, she spent her childhood in Brasil and Chile. From a very young age she was deeply connected with plants and had the awareness that her primary relationship was with nature and life itself. She inherited a love for herbs from her mother and grandmother, both whom were avid herb gardeners and medicinal tea (aguita de yerba) drinkers following a long tradition of Chilean folk kitchen medicine.
In 2013 Francisca chose to formalize her studies and dedication to the plants and joined the Ohlone Herbal Center in Berkeley, California to complete their Clinical Western Herbalism Training program where she currently offers support as their Student Services Coordinator and teaches workshops.
Besides her path in Western Herbal Medicine, she has spent the last 15 years studying and exploring in depth various other healing modalities which she weaves into her practice and integrates into her offerings. These include Andean-Amazonian Vegetalista Practice, South American Folk Healing, Curanderismo, Shamanism, Ayurveda, Holistic Nutrition, Yoga and meditation. Artistically, Francisca delves between mediums such as drawing, painting, photography, mixed media, sculpture, jewelry making, pottery, etc. These days she’s most interested in invoking expression of her plant communions through the use of the aforementioned mediums.
"There's a standing invitation for each of us to receive life as a sacred gift. To honor our bodies as holy vessels for our infinite spirit. To take every moment as a miracle with the opportunity to express and receive the medicine of the heart(of life). I believe that we are not only part of nature, our Pachamama and her eco system but rather an integral expression of the earth, and her intelligence; not separate from all other living beings. Through an intentional practice of acknowledgement and inquiry we can create and nourish the fertile grounds for our natural allies and helpers to make their presence in our lives. Plant spirits communicate this way. Our body’s healing mechanism responds this way as well. When we invite medicinal plants to form a reciprocal connection with our body’s systems, we are able to re-attune to our primitive thriving nature, fostering our body’s natural ability to heal itself to take place."