Milwaukee Edition
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print

Letter from Publisher

On the cover of our September issue of Natural Awakenings, I featured a beautiful photo of Luis Mendez and Waleska Sallaberry, the publishers of Natural Awakenings Puerto Rico. The magazine had barely hit the stands when Hurricane Irma swept through the Caribbean. Merely days after we  received confirmation that they were okay and in recovery mode, hurricanes Jose and Maria swept through, leaving Puerto Rico and Luis and Waleska’s home and community devastated.

When we finally heard from them, the reports were heartbreaking. While they were tremendously grateful for their family’s safety, their lives shifted into survival mode. Martial law went into effect on the island, and people were standing in line for days, desperate for food, water, gas and medicine.

Several weeks later, Waleska brought their two youngest children to the U.S. where the three stayed with Kelly Martinsen, publisher of Natural Awakenings Long Island. Luis stayed in Puerto Rico to help support and rebuild their hometown of Rincon and the surrounding communities.

As I sat down to write this letter, I was alerted that Martinsen awoke in the middle of the night to an electrical fire, which subsequently burned her house to the ground. I was stunned and could only think, “I have no words.” Martinsen, however, had beautiful words to share. She posted on Facebook: “We had a fire, and I know that the word out there is that we ‘lost everything.’ I want to assure everyone that this is not the case. While our house may be totaled, ‘everything’ I need was found the morning after the fire as I held my kids (all three!) and my husband in my driveway… for now we have no needs.” She then went on to thank Waleska who, while staying in Martinsen’s home, awakened her in time to get everyone out of the house.

After having her life turned upside down by hurricanes and then witnessing fire demolish Martinsen’s home, Waleska posted a picture of the cover of her new 2018 planner which reads, “Best year ever,” in beautiful script.

As headlines are flooded with reports of hurricanes, fires and earthquakes, stories like this one highlight the power of perspective. What if we all lived free of attachment to material things and maintained a peaceful sense of trust in what lies ahead?

As Thanksgiving arrives, may we remember to be grateful for all that we have—especially those things that can’t be bought or destroyed. Whether it’s a beautiful sunset, a helping hand from a stranger or the embrace of a loved one, such nonmaterial gifts are our true wealth.

Natural Awakenings has started a campaign to raise money to help Luis and Waleska and the holistic health community in Puerto Rico to restore and rebuild. To donate, please visit:

GoFundMe.com/NaturalAwakeningsPRfundraiser

Counting my blessings,

Gabriella Buchnik, Publisher

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Letter from Publisher

“Game Changers,” one of Natural Awakenings’ themes for October, focuses on the youth of our nation taking the reins to make a difference in social and environmental areas.

Letter from Publisher

Natural Awakenings is just one of many publications delivering cutting-edge information about natural, noninvasive, non-pharmaceutical health remedies presented by health and wellness advocates, scientists and researchers.

Letter from Publisher

As we strive to stay true to our values and ensure that our children feel loved, we need to model this behavior by applying those values in our interactions with others.

Letter from Publisher

Wisconsinites are fortunate to have an abundance of local, organically grown choices. In its 2017 organic agriculture status report, the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems reported that, nationally, Wisconsin is second only to California in the overall number of organic farms and in the number of farms adding organic acres.

Letter from Publisher

While Milwaukee has had its share of unraveling over the years, today activism abounds as community leaders strive for healthy, livable communities that include safe, friendly neighborhoods; public access to green space; thriving, locally owned businesses; and transportation alternatives such as mass transit, cycling and walkability.

Letter from Publisher

A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that extraordinary health benefits may be achieved through fasting, a practice long revered throughout the world for its spiritual benefits.

Letter from Publisher

For years, scientists and climatologists have been warning that the world will face severe water shortages resulting from a combination of climate change and the irresponsible overuse of precious water.

Letter from Publisher

Today Milwaukee has a diverse, sophisticated palate that includes vegetarian and vegan restaurants and a range of international cuisines that were difficult to find in the area a decade ago.

Letter from Publisher

We may expand and grow by giving, practicing gratitude and forgiveness, taking responsibility for our own lives, creating strong social networks, and having a sense of purpose.

Letter from Publisher

Read this issue to become inspired about reducing plastic waste, walking to improve physical and mental health, and keeping pets healthy and happy through responsible feeding.

Letter from Publisher

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. ~Dalai Lama

Letter from Publisher

Whatever our reason for vacationing, travel can open our souls and transform us in unexpected ways.