Sophia Lopez: Auntie, Nature-Based Mentor
Sophia is a community herbalist and mixed medicine healing artist raised by elder plant people, wise wild waters, mighty granite rocks, storytellers, and a big beautiful family on occupied Huichin homeland of the Chochenyo Ohlone people, also known to many as the Albany, Berkeley border. Her healing art practice extends into her interdisciplinary performance and visual art making which are acts of healing and honoring the beloved connection between people-plants-and place, the human and beyond human ancestors across landscapes, the Latinx Diaspora, and the very own blood flowing through her veins. She is proud of her diverse ancestral lineages of Mexican, Mediterranean, Irish, Scottish, English, Choctaw, and only the blood knows where else stories no longer linger. With gratitude, she identifies strongly as the oldest sister of 4 and has always been a fire keeper for the many children of her block and neighborhood community. More recently, in the fresh Spring of 2017, she founded the Wild Roots Wellness Collective through Bard College in the NY Hudson Valley, where she recently graduated with a BA in Studio Arts and Latin American and Iberian Studies. Wild Roots is a community of young adults and youth collectively cultivating space for earth based education, sharing the wisdom of plant medicine, place based honoring, ancestral remembrance, and collective community healing. As a final gift to the Wild Roots community and those they serve, she prayerfully designed and ritually built a round healing hut out of native sugar maple saplings she harvested and wet felted wool paneling from scrap sheep wool discarded by a local fiber mill. She is devoted to continue this practice of weaving community earth circles back in her homelands and beyond as the mystery and land dream through her.