Eliseo “Cheo” Torres is once again taking his popular two-week in person summer Mexican Traditional Healing, or Curanderismo class, to the world-wide stage through Coursera online learning. 

For the past 18 years, Torres has been teaching an in person two-week class every summer on The University of New Mexico campus. Since its inception in 2000, the class has swelled from 30 to more than 200 students annually.  

“The summer class is more than a class, it’s an experience,” Torres says. “People come from all over the country as well as some internationally to take the course—many of them more than once.”

With the popularity of the subject, and the limited opportunity to learn about it in a university setting, Torres believes that the most logical step is to once again offer it as a free, non-credit option on an international stage through Coursera.

“Several years back, I offered a shortened version of my course on Coursera,” Torres says.  “It was only one class that covered the basic history and traditions of Curanderismo. Since then I have broken the class into smaller sections which has allowed me to cover much more of the topic.”

Beginning on Jan. 14, 2019, Torres first of four Coursera courses, Curanderismo: Traditional Healing Using Plants, will open and run through Feb. 17.  The second course, Curanderismo: Traditional Healing of the Body, will run Feb. 25 through March 31; followed by Curanderismo: Traditional Healing of the Mind, Energy and Spirit from April 8 to May 19. The final course, Curanderismo: Global and Cultural Influences of Traditional Healing will run from May 27 to June 30. While the classes are offered one after the other, they are not sequential and can be taken in any order.

“Coursera is a great option to reach students all over the world and teach them about this part of our culture that remains relevant today,” Torres says. “The last time we offered courses through Coursera was several years ago but the demand for information on the subject hasn’t died down.”

Students who register to take any of the courses through Coursera can take them for free, or for a small fee if they wish to receive a certificate of completion. Registration is currently open for the Curanderismo: Traditional Healing with Plants course only via Coursera.org, and registration for the other courses will open soon. 

Aside from being a professor, Torres is the author of several textbooks on the subject of Curanderismo. The two most recent additions, Curanderismo the Art of Traditional Medicine without Borders and Curandero Traditional Healers of Mexico and the Southwest are used in his classes are available through Kendall Hunt Publishing Company

Torres is scheduled to teach his 19th annual summer class Traditional Medicine without Borders, Curandersimo in the Southwest and Mexico — the class that started it all — next July 8–19, 2019, on the UNM campus.  

Additionally, Torres currently offers two online for-credit options, one in fall and one in spring, for UNM registered students. Information on all of these courses can be found on the UNM Curanderismo webpage.