In 1981 Dinah Veeris started her research for healing herbs and traditions by interviewing the islands elders to recover and preserve the secret knowledge of the former generations. She studied at the California school in Herbal Studies.
In 1991 she started her garden plant by plant and also wrote a book about herbs and their uses, and received several awards for her input in preserving the culture and the healing herbs. She received a decoration from the Dutch Royal Family.
Den Paradera refers to Paraguiri Indians who long ago had the biggest herb garden on the east side of the island of Curaçao. When the Spaniards came, they brought their slaves to the Paraguiri Indians to be cured and called the location "En Paradera". Later the local people changed this name to "Den Paradera" which means "the place where you feel at home".
Dinah Veeris, is known throughout Curaçao as a healer, or in the local language of Papiamento, a 'curioso’. She takes plants home and makes blends of herbal medicine to sell. Her knowledge of the local botany is impressive. Founder of Den Paradera, Dinah is working not only to save Curaçao’s traditional plants, but also the medical knowledge and arts these plants have inspired.
Healer Dinah is a one-woman crusade trying to preserve her homeland’s threatened, medicinal plants. She is also saving the wisdom of a vanishing generation of healers whose practices are steeped in African and National American lore.
Today, Dinah Veeris of Den Paradera, is racing against time to save not only medicinal plants, but also the traditional knowledge of how to use these plants as practiced by the island elders.