Global Glimpses: Willemstad, Curaçao

In February 2011, I visited Curaçao, an island-state in the southern Caribbean Sea, off the coast of Venezuela. Among the highlights was a tour of Dinah’s Botanic & Historic Garden, a short drive from the capital of Willemstad.

The dynamic Dinah is a treasure trove of ancient stories, healing tips and songs, passed down orally over many generations. I loved the guided walk through Den Paradera, her peaceful botanic garden with over 300 wild curative plants.

Respected islandwide as a healer, Dinah said: “These plants tell the story of our culture. My mission is to elevate the knowledge of herbal remedies. I want people to know and understand that the knowledge of our slave elders was important — they knew a lot.”

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