Julio Rivera, above, is founder of Liberate Meditation, an app that helps people of color find inner peace. Photo: Courtesy of Julio Rivera.

Afro-Latinx Julio Rivera had a profound need to connect to the wellness space, and was overjoyed when he found inner peace at the New York Insight Meditation Center. 

But whenever he couldn’t make it to the center, he felt an overwhelming amount of anxiety. Julio then began searching for an alternative that was more accessible. He decided to use his knowledge and skills as a software engineer to create a free meditation app 🧘🏽‍♂️ 

Instagram @evalongoria

The result? Liberate Meditation📱an app which provides support to people of color just like Julio, by helping them find inner peace. On this app, users can register for free to access instructors of color who can help guide them through meditations and talks. Julio says he wants to show people there is something they can do about their emotional suffering. 


Julio is far from alone in his desire to keep mental illness at bay. Latinxs suffer from common mental health conditions like generalized anxiety disorder, major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and excessive use of alcohol and drugs. 

Suicide is a particular concern for Latino youth. Yet only 33% of adult Latinxs with mental illness receive treatment each year, compared to the U.S. average of 43%. And without treatment, conditions can worsen and become debilitating. 

Other challenges for some Latinxs seeking mental health help include language barriers, lack of health insurance and anti-immigrant rhetoric. 


It’s important that Latinxs find outlets to relieve stress such as painting, cooking, socializing, camping or dancing. And for those who have a smartphone, it may be as easy as downloading Julio’s app and remembering to take a deep breath.