Curanderismo was long suppressed, starting with the Spanish conquistadors, who ruthlessly imposed their cultural values on indigenous populations.
Because of the opposition it faced, curanderismo wisdom was preserved by being passed down from teacher to apprentice for generations outside the medical mainstream view--that is, until relatively recently, when people such as Young and Avila stepped forward to bridge the ancient with the modern.
Many people seeking curanderismo training are conventionally trained health care professionals.
Curanderismo sprang out of ancient Mesoamerican civilizations, whose contributions, although largely ignored, have greatly shaped today's world.
in a Chicano barrio: A study of envidia and susto.
Eliseo Torres discusses his experience with curanderismo
as both an academic and as a Mexican-American growing up in a small community where folk medicine was a common cultural practice.
Curanderismo is a wonderful, ancient tradition that has roots in both the medicine of the Old World and in the wisdom of the indigenous peoples of the New World, particularly the Aztecs and Mayans, who had a vast store of knowledge about the healing and curative powers of herbs and their derivatives.
The trick is to bring Curanderismo in line with conventional medicine--and vice versa, so that folk healers can work in tandem with and supplement modern medicine in the kinds of settings where people may not always have access to conventional health care.
For the last ten years, I have been teaching the course Traditional Medicine Without Borders: Curanderismo in the Southwest and Mexico at the University of New Mexico.
In addition to the three-credit-hour course on the history and practices of Curanderismo that I co-teach at the University of New Mexico, for the past several years, UNM students have attended classes at La Tranca Healing Institute, learning about folk healing within the context of the health care model that I hope to import to the United States.
Curanderismo and Yerbas: Mexican Folk Healing Medicine and Folk Beliefs
especially in the Southwest; to emphasize the influence of Curanderismo on the current medical trend of holistic and integrated medicine; and to describe and discuss the basic usage of herbal medicine and rituals in healing various illnesses.