The Anderson-Arroyo Foundation
The Anderson-Arroyo Foundation is committed to healing trauma; the trauma suffered by individuals, as well as the earth-based trauma of abused landscapes and other-than-human species. Through land regeneration projects and collaborative wilderness retreat programs, our goal is to help heal the earth and its inhabitants, side by side, hand in hand.
Our goal is to provide Spiritual Retreats for Veterans, first responders, and other trauma survivors on their journey through PTSD and Moral Injury.*
*Statistics are showing that Moral Injury, more so than PTSD, is what leads to suicide among Veterans. Moral Injury is not a psychological injury or a diagnosis, it is a spiritual injury and a natural response to trauma. Moral Injury creates a rift in our soul as we are torn apart from being witness to or participating in something that goes against the moral fiber of our being. It is a rift that also separates individuals from family, community and even god. Spiritual Direction can aid in the healing of Moral Injury and is a much-needed component in addition to psychological assistance for PTSD. Group and individual retreats will be offered for veterans and others who desire spiritual guidance.
For more information or to donate please contact us.
Board of Directors
The Anderson-Arroyo Foundation
Jen "Gen" Anderson - Director
Jen Anderson is a proud native of the Sonoran Desert, born and raised in Tucson Arizona.
Jen has her Masters Degree in non-denominational Ministry and Spiritual Leadership from Claremont School of Theology, and is currently working on her PhD in Spiritual Practices, with emphasis on healing trauma. Jen specializes in spiritual direction and wilderness guiding and combines the two for a unique experience of healing and transformation.
In addition to her theological background, Jen proudly brings her experience as a transportation coordinator, where she handled multi-million dollar budgets and complicated logistics for television series.
Jen's diverse skill set include commercial truck driver, heavy equipment operator and vegetarian chef. Over covid, Jen had the honor of apprenticing to be a bee keeper.
"Building this sanctuary takes participants and volunteers who are willing to bring ALL of their skills to the table and learn new skills on the fly."
Kari Zimmerman - President
Kari Zimmerman has built a successful and diverse career across the public and private sectors, encompassing communications and outreach, project management, proposal development, marketing compliance and business growth.
Kari worked in the theatre arts, and spent over 20 years working for Fortune 500 companies in the financial sector in New York City. She has also served on the board of arts non-profits.
Kari is very familiar with trauma and the importance of a spiritual journey and spiritual retreats. She attended church and worked in lower Manhattan in September 2001 and was at Ground Zero on 9/11. The events of that day permanently impacted her emotionally, physically, professionally and spiritually. It has given her a perspective on trauma and healing, and reinforced to her the importance of spiritual support and healing spaces.
Mike Sam is a US Air Force veteran who served overseas, specializing in logistics and as a trained first responder. Currently, he is the off-site manager for the Conservation Concierges Project Climate Workforce where he works closely with organizations such as Veteran Affairs, the Outward Bound Leadership Program, and the Goodwill OJT Career Development program. He oversees project management, grant management, and coordinates with government officials, private companies and local communities.
In addition, Mike Sam has dedicated years to advancing LGBTQ rights as a member of the Board of the Hollywood Gay and Lesbian Center. In his adjacent career as a couture fashion designer, his creations are seen on red carpets and stages around the world.
He is thrilled to be involved with the Sonoran Desert Sanctuary with its dual purpose of serving the environment and the mental health/spiritual well-being of veterans and others affected by trauma.
Dedication. Expertise. Passion.
Our growing team of advisors covers our full circle of needs, from permaculture, arid farming and environmental building experts, to desert herbologists and spiritual guides across faith traditions.
Guru Das Bock
Guru is a founder of the Awareness Ranch in Tucson Arizona. He studied Geoscience, Earth Systems Science, Dendrochronology at University of Arizona. As an accomplished green building architect, contractor and land regeneration expert, he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Sonoran Desert Sanctuary.
John Slattery is the founder of Desert Tortoise Botanicals. He is an experienced herbalist and an expert in the plant and cactus biodiversity of the Sonoran Desert. He joins the Sonoran Desert Sanctuary as an advisor for land regeneration and reforestation, and to help plan the Botanical Garden. He regularly teaches courses on sustainable wild foraging and indigenous herbal medicine. Desert Tortoise Botanicals looks forward to partnering with the Sanctuary on future educational programs.
Jeffrey is a creative consultant and project developer for major theme parks, brands and film. He has been recruited to assist in the development of the Sonoran Desert Sanctuary based on his previous work developing the Los Vegas Springs Botanical Garden. Jeffrey has extensive experience with the layout and design of public spaces and the creation of educational programs.
Christian Smith is the head of the student association for the Process Theology Department at Claremont School of Theology. As an organization that provides students with an education and practical experience at the intersection of ecology and spirituality, the Process Theology Association is excited to collaborate with the Anderson-Arroyo Foundation on the Sanctuary project. The Association will provide student volunteers to assist in restoring native habitats while collaborating on retreats to cultivate mindfulness and spiritual practices that students can use in their religious, spiritual, and therapeutic contexts as ministers, chaplains, and spiritual directors.
As a 4th generation regenerative farmer and an ag entrepreneur, Juan has accepted risk and has weathered many storms, His mission is to align and connect front-line farmers and innovative ag companies to the right funding opportunities and support them in executing environmentally sustainable, high-impact, community-building projects. The Sonoran Desert Sanctuary is an incredible opportunity to regenerate land, create a botanical garden to preserve the local biodiversity; and create an innovative aquaponic container farm to pave the way for the future of arid region agriculture.