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A new way to spread old remedies

By combining modern technology with the iconic design of Hispanic shaved ice carts, a north Brooklyn-based human rights organization seeks to spread the traditional healing practices of the Latino community in a unique mobile wellness cart.

The El Puente Green Light District (GLD) is seeking $13,500 through the online funding website Indiegogo.com to finance El Timbiriche, a mobile wellness cart that will act as an interactive collector and distributor of health-related information in South Williamsburg and Bushwick.

El Timbiriche, which translates to “little kiosk,” will use videos, tablets and social media to bring the time-honored home remedies of the Latino community to local parks, schools, libraries, community gardens and senior centers.

“We wanted to find a creative way to address the disparity of health care knowledge within the Latino community,” said GLD Director Anusha Venkataraman. “El Timbiriche would serve as an interactive way to educate the community.”

The idea for a mobile wellness cart came from a growing concern of local residents over the absence of knowledge about traditional Latino home remedies.

“El Timbiriche was born out of a series of community workshops and events that gathered residents of Los Sures to talk about home remedies,” according to the GLD. “We shared stories and prepared remedies. Many expressed sadness over the loss of knowledge, cultural traditions, botanicas and other local healing spaces.”

Through a grant from DesignNYC, the GLD partnered with designers Farzana Gandhi and Pablo Delcán to create the layout and branding of the cart.

In addition to spreading knowledge of traditional remedies in the Latino community, the GLD hopes that El Timbiriche will also attract those who are new to the neighborhood.

“It will provide a way for newer residents to interact with the older, preexisting Latino community,” Venkataraman said.

Donations will be accepted at http://bit.ly/1CxsEu7 until February 19 and will be used to buy the plywood, aluminum panels, tablets and other materials needed to bring El Timbiriche to fruition.

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