San Juan




  • Trauma-informed guided meditation practices
  • Loving kindness practices
  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Somatic resourcing


  • Community-building through music
  • Drumming
  • Music therapy techniques
  • Expressive art


  • Restorative poses
  • Movement therapy sequences
  • Dance
  • Laughter practices
  • Somatic release
  • Nature-based stewardship/healing practices


Project components

Benefits of Meditation, Music, and Movement

While there is certainly no silver bullet for relief from the severity of trauma caused by Hurricane Maria and its after effects, research shows that the use and practice of meditation, music, and movement support healing in powerful ways. A plethora of studies show practices in these self-care categories improve sleep, reduce stress, relieve anxiety, fight depression, lessen pain, generate kindness, lengthen attention span, and support post-trauma recovery.


For instance, a study on healthcare workers involved in relief work after Hurricane Katrina shows that meditation focused on inner resources significantly decreased PTSD scores and anxiety symptoms (  An empirical review conducted by researchers from John Hopkins University of 19,000 meditation studies that focused on 47 well-designed trials suggests that mindfulness meditation can help ease psychological stresses like anxiety, depression and pain (  A study on survivors of recurring floods in the northeastern Indian state of Bihar shows that yoga practice significantly decreased sadness levels, while anxiety significantly increased in the control group (


Research also shows that listening to music that one enjoys decreases the stress hormone cortisol and increases dopamine, a “feel good” neurotransmitter

The multipronged approach of meditation, music, and movement in Bajacu’ Boricua ensures that participants in the project will benefit from tangible techniques and practices that improve their wellbeing.


1 “Bajacu’” is Arawakan language that was spoken by the Taínos (indigenous people of Puerto Rico and other locations in the Caribbean) word for “dawn” or“morning light.” “Boricua” is a arawakan word for “the valiant people of the sacred house” and originates from the Taíno name for Puerto Rico, “Borikén.” In the present, “Boricua” is often used as a synonym for “Puerto Rican.”

With 155 miles per hour winds, heavy rains, and flash floods, Hurricane Maria was devastating. The hurricane inflicted approximately $90 billion in damages and displaced thousands of residents. The storm caused the largest blackout in U.S. history. Millions of Puerto Ricans were without electricity for months and lacked access to clean water, food, medicine, and fuel. An interdisciplinary study published in the New England Journal of Medicine estimated the death toll from Hurricane Maria and the resulting humanitarian disaster to be approximately 4600 lives lost (


More than one year after the storm, Puerto Ricans are still struggling with the effects of Hurricane Maria and its aftermath as many houses remain roofless or damaged, families face grief and loss, and 30-50% of the population is experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (


Irwin Redlener, head of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and president of the Children’s Health Fund stated, “Children who experience destructive storms are often the most vulnerable to long-term mental health effects” (


The need for Bajacu’ Boricua is clear. In the fall of 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico just two weeks after the island was hit by Hurricane Irma and in the midst of a severe economic recession.

We did and it was amazing, So Bajacu’ Boricua* is a collaborative project designed to support Puerto Rican children, youth, and parents/caregivers in their emotional and physical recovery from the trauma of Hurricane Maria and its aftermath through meditation, music, and movement.

Project Purpose

The impact Zones

Aguadilla,   pUERTO rICO


Caguas, pUERTO rICO


San Juan,  pUERTO rICO


ponce,  pUERTO rICO



2019 Amazing Team

Juan C. Lopez Berrios, Cayey-native with 17 years of experience in computer drafting and design, on civil/environmental engineering whose skills and leadership will guide Bajacu’ Boricua’s environmental stewardship projects. Plus Juan build  and design the website and collaborate on social media team.

Maria Jose Montijo, L.Ac is a California licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, cranio-sacral therapist, sound healer and performing musician. She is currently part of Shift Acupuncture Collective in Oakland and has been an acupuncturist and herbalist at Berkeley Primary Care of Lifelong Medical.

Special Thanks!

Selena Nadal - Official translator

Sara Camerinin - Social media

Daniele Apanaviciute - Social media

Megan Armbauster - Social media


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