For the 19th consecutive summer, Dr. Eliseo “Cheo” Torres, vice president for Student Affairs and professor of Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies, hosts the “Traditional Medicine without Borders: Curanderismo in the Southwest and Mexico,” two-week course at The University of New Mexico from July 8-19.
This popular summer class is an opportunity for Mexican traditional healers to share their knowledge about “curanderismo,” the art and science of Mexican traditional healing through a unique class.
Those interested in taking the summer class can take it either for UNM credit (as a UNM registered student) through their MyUNM portal or as a non-credit course through UNM Continuing Education. Registration is open through Continuing Education and UNM for the summer 2019 semester.
Torres takes an integrative approach to medicine and his class features demonstrations incorporating curanderismo with various traditional and holistic health techniques. The course uses healers and health practitioners from Mexico and the Albuquerque community as instructors.
“What’s unique about this class is that local curanderos, practitioners and healers come together to share and learn about traditional healing methods,” Torres says.
“Rita Naverrete Perez, a curandera from Mexico City, does a very popular demonstration on laugh therapy and how it can be used to heal,” Torres says. Some of the other demonstrations include energetic cleansings, firecupping, and juice therapy.
Each summer in conjunction with the class, the UNM Women’s Resource Center sponsors a Mexican traditional health fair (feria de salud) on the UNM campus, which is open to students and the community. This year’s fair will be held on Wednesday, July 17 from 12:30 to 4 p.m. in the north area of Zimmerman Library near the Duck Pond.
“The healers will provide traditional healing treatments including herbal medications, spiritual energy cleansings and other healing techniques, which have remained a part of the Mexican culture for centuries,” said Torres. “The event is free but donations will be accepted.”
Over the past several years, the class has expanded to both an UNM online class for credit offered in the spring and fall. This year, Torres is also integrating four free online short courses (5 weeks each) through Coursera. “If you aren’t a registered UNM student and don’t need the class for credit, or can’t come to the two-week in person class, the Coursera courses are an excellent option,” Torres says. “The material is taught in a video presentation format that is interesting and easy to understand.”