Our Story

Walking Palms was founded in 2016, after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the coast of Ecuador. The organization is located in the quaint beach town of Bahía de Caráquez, which was deeply affected by this disaster. Walking Palms arose in the interest of bringing down doctors, nurses, and volunteers from around the world to form medical brigades that would provided relief to over  6,000 patients affected by the 2016 earthquake. In doing this work the organization realized recovery efforts needed to be implemented to create sustainable community development.

Today, our organization is composed of three intertwining parts, education, research, and medicine. We are a global health organization that uses Systems Thinking to help our communities recover.  As an interdisciplinary team, we aim to promote and offer holistic, preventative healthcare and education to those affected by the 2016 earthquake. All of our work is community driven and based on data-backed research.


To connect and empower local communities promoting disaster recovery using education, research and medicine.

Vision & Action

We share a vision in which health care is affordable and preventative care is a lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle—one in which we can afford to take the time to invest in ourselves so that we have the energy to heal and serve where our skills may be needed. With a deep connection to our work and purpose, we can learn practical and theoretical applications toward ongoing global health disaster recovery. We believe that through an interdisciplinary approach to health care, we can help even the most vulnerable populations to overcome destruction and build an even healthier community.

Current Projects


Disease Research

Ongoing research and surveillance with vector borne diseases such as Zika, Dengue, & Chikungunya.



Programs are structured for both adults and children to learn about nutrition, science, chronic and infectious diseases, mental health and wellness.



Each community is unique and in order to best serve them we must listen to their needs first. We’ve built community gardens, created murals, and create safe space to share and connect.



Conducting public health research including climate and health, chronic and infectious disease, mental health, and environmental health.


Mental Health

Implement current health programs using alternative forms of healing such as music, yoga, art, & dance. In 2019, we hope to bring five new communities in our program.



Provide yearly examinations to communities including physicals, dental workshops & eye tests. Provide diabetic medicines for those at severe risk.


“A systems approach to community health”

Avriel Diaz  |  Co-Founder

Our Name

Our name originates from the Walking Palm tree, Socratea exorrhiza, indigenous to the rainforests of Central and South America. This tree is capable of moving 20 centimeters per year, extending and growing their roots into a new direction, leaving behind old roots to decompose. Roots left behind enrich the surrounding soils where the tree is constantly moving toward directions of light. Our organization strives to set our roots, enrich the lives of those we are able to touch and always strive to reach new positive light.


Ready to help?