Salina is a community health educator with a focus on sharing local nutritious food and nature-based experiences with youth. Salina lived and worked in Guatemala for 10 years, providing access to education and health resources in marginalized communities. During this time, she was introduced to the healing properties of plants through ayurveda, and solutions to issues in land degradation through permaculture.
Being intrigued, and wanting to learn more, she completed her PDC through OSU with Andrew Millison in 2017, and the Advanced Permaculture Design for Climate Resilience course in 2019.
In 2017, Salina became co-owner of Garden of Hope, a social business which provided permaculture based environmental experiences for youth, garden design consultations for schools and centers, and a community composting service. The business supported the Garden of Hope Permaculture Center- a safe green space for children to connect with nature, foster joy, and develop life skills.
The Garden of Hope Team, led by Salina, won the PINA design contest in 2018, which allowed for physical improvements to the center, as well as funding to create bilingual videos introducing permaculture in Spanish, Kaqchiquel, and Guatemalan Sign Language. Salina strives to create spaces that are inclusive and accessible to all.
Salina transitioned back to the U.S. in October 2019, and Garden of Hope changed status to a nonprofit project under Asociacion Juntos Podemos, of which Salina is a board member.
In 2020 during the pandemic, Salina worked with unaccompanied minors, advocating for, and developing culturally sensitive programs that allowed kids to connect with the earth, nature, and comfort foods.
Since 2021, Salina has worked under her business name, La Vida Permaculture/La Vida Yoga, integrating the permaculture principles into her work with children, designing and implementing educational community gardening and garden to kitchen programs for all ages.