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Letter from Publisher

Joe Dunne

Joe Dunne

Usually I rack my brain trying to put something in this space that matters. Over the last 5 years, I’ve shared bits of wisdom, life lessons, and experiences. This is a bit different.

      Natural Awakenings is a corporation based out of Naples, Florida. Unlike most businesses I have been associated with in my lifetime, popular phrases like “what’s in it for me?” or “what’s in it for our stockholders?” or “how will this affect our Wall Street ratings?” are never heard in our conversations or meetings. The NA mission has a different, higher vision. It’s almost a calling, at least in my world. Put simply, our mantra is “what’s in it for you, our reader and what can we do to make a difference—in community, in people’s lives, in life.”

      Decisions are based on a human (and dare I say it, love) standard. Each of our 90 publishers feels this love, compassion and consideration from the top down, and in turn, it spreads to our connections with each other. This naturally attracts people who align along similar lines, like our Puerto Rico (PR) publishers, Luis Mendez and Waleska Sallaberry.

      I recently met Luis and Waleska at a publisher’s conference. Everything I had heard about them was true. Dedicated to family, community, heritage, education and abundance, their spiritual side of giving was inspirational. Simply put, they are just plain good people, the kind of people the universe could use more of. Good people who lost it all overnight when Hurricane Maria came ashore in PR. Within a day their business, home and community—everything they had worked for and devoted themselves to—was stripped away. Huddled with their children while the hurricane savagely pounded the island, they managed to escape with their lives. That is not a dramatic statement. The personal reports we got days later were (and continue to be) horrifying, and for this they are grateful to have survived. 

      Now, it’s time to rebuild—basic needs, homes, towns, and communities, along with the holistic network Luis and Waleska helped create. We, at Natural Awakenings, want to help. If you want to help too, please visit pages 15 and 17, for details on our fundraiser to benefit PR.

With peace and love,



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