One of the most unique, popular courses at the University of New Mexico is back fully in-person this summer. Curanderismo, the art of Mexican folk healing, is a tradition passed down through generations both in New Mexico and beyond. With Professor Emeritus Cheo Torres, and a plethora of healers and health practitioners, students are not just learning, but experiencing something incredibly special. On June 12, the in-person course through Continuing Education began. 

Elder and smoke
Curandera performs cleansing

You can experience curanderismo in a variety of ways. At the opening ceremony, elders and practicing healers performed large scale limpia–a spiritual cleansing with the combining of the elements around us.  Other experiences include  laugh therapy (risa terapia), shawl alignments (manteadas) and preparation of medicinal teas (tes medicinales.)

Limpia in practice

There were over 100 people in attendance, both class participants, and longtime healers in the Albuquerque area. This course has built a community which extends well beyond campus.



Class participant
Student partakes in giving thanks


This year, there are 150 to 200 students in attendance. There are students and presenters from Brazil, Mexico and Guatemala, as well as students from 15 other states including California, Washington, Minnesota, Utah, New York, Arizona and Texas.

Instructor Eliseo "Cheo" Torres

Other elements of the opening ceremony included the blowing of the conch shell, the beating of the drum, and giving thanks to each other and the world around them. The class runs through June 23.


Conch shells
Blowing of the conch shell

Learn more about the remarkable method of holistic medicine here.