Antonia Estela Pérez was born in NYC. Her connection to the urban world and culture is strong. This same love inspired her curiosity to learn the city's ecological and human history.
It is through understanding of the plant's history of origin and migration that she has also been able to more fully understand herself and guide herself to a life of creative and collaborative service. Through observing the responses and shifts in the earth due to patriarchal and capitalist paradigms, Antonia centers her work in re-imagining new systems that hold foundations in land based wisdom. Antonia comes from a family of farmers and educators where plant medicine has always been used. Antonia is a certified permaculturist, sivananda yoga instructor, environmental and social justice educator, reiki practitioner, visual artist and is currently enrolled at the Arborvitae School for Traditional Herbalism (she has studied with several herbalists and healers in the North East and in Chile).
Maria Jose Maldonado Leon, aka Jota, was born in Bogota, Colombia. Violence and instability in the nation led her to emigrate to the US with her mother. She grew up in many homes, many towns, witnessing the way the 'american dream' distorted the essence of the human spirit. Since she was sixteen years old she has worked in the service industry to support herself while developing as a creator. These life circumstances have instilled a deep appreciation for the spectrum of the human experience. The pain that living in the grip of capitalist greed can engender is something she observes transforming through her dance, voice, writing and weavings. Prayer for alignment with consciousness of the planet and its natural cycles brought her to work and live with wisdom keepers and elders of the Q’ero, Shipibo, Kogi, Matsigenka and Muisca Original Nations. Maria is a yogi, a cantadora and a collaborator. Her life is in service to evolution.
Ana Ratner is an artist and doula. Although she grew up in New York City she has spent her life traveling upstate to study plant medicine, tend bees, raise sheep, farm, and harvest nettles, mustard, and mushrooms. She came to Herban Cura through her interest in femme and female healing from a non-western perspective. Her health work focuses on herbalism, reproductive health, birth support, gut and microbiome balance, and emotional wellbeing. She is always excited to talk about all things related to vaginas and poop. Ana grew up learning gardening, herbal wisdom, and wildcrafting from her mother, who learned from her mother, who learned from her mother in the mountains of Mistretta, Sicily.