Healing sexual trauma in the borderlands
meet our artists
Jackie Barragan began her healing journey at a young age through the ancestral wisdom passed down from her grandmother and mother through the use of herbs, massage and prayer. She has been an active member and practitioner of ancestral healing and indigenous modalities on the border for 18 years.
Artist, poet, actress and healing performer
Additionally, she has studied Tai Chi, Chi Kung, Yoga, and Buddhist Meditation. She received her certification in Zen Shiatsu Massage and Asian Bodywork Therapy at the San Francisco School of Massage. She also holds a certification in Thai Yoga Massage where she studied in Laos. During her time in Southeast Asia, Jackie studied Vipassana Meditation at the Wat Pa Tam Wua Forrest Monastery in Thailand. Later, she received a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology focusing on Indigenous Cultures of the Americas and Grassroots Organizing. Jackie has continued to dedicate much of her life to learning about her Native American and Mexican/Indigenous roots and continues to be of service by facilitating and participating in healing through indigenous ceremony.
Max Bellman-Seeskin has been a Board-Certified Music Therapist since 2007, with a B.A. in Music Therapy from California State University, Northridge. Currently Max is a Master's level intern studying Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Antioch University, working towards becoming a licensed counselor to serve the LGBTQIA* community. In addition to providing individual therapy, Max also facilitates the Youth Transgender Support Group and the Adult Transgender Support Group at the Borderland Rainbow Center of El Paso.
Jesús I. Valles, a queer Mexican immigrant writer-performer from Cd. Juarez, México/El Paso, TX. Valles is a 2019 Lambda Literary fellow, a 2019 Walter E. Dakin Playwriting fellow at the Sewanee Writers' Conference, a recipient of the 2019 Letras Latinas Scholarship from Community of Writers, a poetry fellow at Idyllwild Arts Writers Week, and a recipient of a 2019 Fine Arts Work Center scholarship. Valles is also a 2018 Undocupoets fellow, a 2018 Tin House scholar, and a fellow of the 2018 Poetry Incubator. Their work is published in The Shade Journal, The Texas Review, The New Republic, Palabritas, The Acentos Review, Quarterly West, The Mississippi Review, Tin House, BOAAT, and forthcoming in Winter Tangerine and The Adroit Journal. As a theatremaker, Jesús is the recipient of four B. Iden Payne awards, including Outstanding Original Script and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama for their autobiographical solo show, (Un)Documents.
Donna Snyder founded the Tumblewords Project in 1995 and continues to organize its free weekly workshops and other literary events in the borderlands around El Paso, Texas.
Snyder formerly worked as an attorney representing indigenous people, people with disabilities, and immigrant workers, and also prosecuted misdemeanor environmental crimes and fraud, beginning her practice of law in Dinétah, formerly known as Navajo Indian Country. In her 30s, Snyder began writing both prose and poetry and developing a reputation throughout New Mexico as a writer and performer of spoken word.
LVN, artist, drum circle facilitator
Neorah has called El Paso her home for thirty-six years. She is an LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse), a local artist who has had her artwork displayed in several local exhibits, and is an active board member of the El Paso Art Association. She is a drum circle facilitator and leads Tof Miryam Hebrew Chant & Healing Drum Circle, and Drumming With The Elders (drum circles in assisted living centers). She also facilitates Healing With The Arts workshops/classes.
The Emotional Mastery Coach
an Emotional Mastery Coach, Holistic Practitioner, and an Acharya from the Mahajrya Buddhist tradition. For the last ten years, I have made meditation, mindfulness, and spirituality the foundation of how I live my life, and now how I run my business. In 2014 I graduated with a degree in Holistic Health with a focus on Mind/Body Transformational Psychology. Since then I have dedicated my life to working with hundreds of clients witnessing astonishing transformations. Through time I have discovered that my passion is to teach women to self-heal and master their emotions. I believe that Emotional Mastery is the key to create and manifest the life we desire. Most importantly, I am a woman, a mother, and a human being, gracefully figuring out this thing called life.
Gris Muñoz is a writer and cultural worker who has been providing Limpias and curative ritual in the El Paso community and southwest for over a decade. She has completed four years of Danza Xochimeztli in Hidalgo, Mexico. Gris specifically works with the spirit/ancestral connection. She is Xicana of Apache descent.
Indigenous community organizer and healer
Amanda Tello (she/her) recently completed her Master of Divinity at Eden Theological Seminary near Saint Louis, Missouri. She is Esselen/Rumsen; community organizer; and raising free children as a conscious and intentional parent, while being called to heal by the very same children. Amanda's work emphasizes healing from colonial genocide and deepening our relationship to self and Creator through our relationship to land.