Marion F.

Her generosity in a moment of crisis evolved into a lifelong commitment.

When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September 2017, Kripalu Yoga teacher Marion Fischer didn’t think twice about opening her part-time home on the island of Vieques to anyone who needed shelter. Little did she know that her generosity in the moment of crisis would evolve into a lifelong commitment to helping the island heal ... or that Kripalu donors would be helping her.

For six months after the hurricane, several families, along with workers from the National Guard and the Humane Society, stayed at Marion’s house. When Marion got down to the island she found not only physical devastation, but off-the-charts levels of depression and anxiety, especially among kids.

Marion moved to Vieques full-time in the summer of 2019, and thanks to a donor-supported grant from the Jonathan P. Schwartz Teaching for Diversity Fund (Schwartz TFD), she brought Kripalu Yoga with her.

With the support of Kripalu’s generous donors, she started a yoga program in the island’s middle school. She dreams of expanding the program to rest of the schools on the island. She hopes the kids will inspire their parents to try yoga. 

“The principal wanted to steer me to the ‘problem’ kids who ‘really need it,’” Marion recalls. “What she didn’t realize was everyoneneeds it. It’s the best anti-anxiety medicine there is.”

Marion founded a studio, Serenity Point Yoga, on Vieques, and she’d like to start a community yoga program under the island’s 350-year-old ceiba tree, which was presumed to have died after being battered and stripped in the hurricane.

In February 2019, the tree bloomed again.

Kripalu donors’ gifts to Schwartz TFD weren’t responsible for reviving the ancient tree. But they did help Marion’s love and service bloom on Vieques. 

“This is where I’m going to stay,” Marion says. “I’m going to spend the rest of my life doing this.”