Eliseo “Cheo” Torres, vice president for Student Affairs and professor of Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies at The University of New Mexico, in conjunction with the UNM Women’s Resource Center, will host the “Traditional Medicine without Borders: Curanderismo in the Southwest and Mexico,” two-week course at UNM from July 16-27. The program has been a longstanding success for the past 18 years.
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. Over the past several years, the class has expanded to both an UNM online class for credit offered in the spring and fall.
Those interested in taking the summer class can take it either for UNM credit, as a registered student, through their MyUNM portal or as a non-credit course through UNM Continuing Education.
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 all come together to share and learn about traditional healing methods,” said Torres. “The first week local curanderos will be involved, while both Mexican curanderos and local curanderos will take part in week two.”
“Rita Naverrete Perez, a curandera from Mexico City, does a very popular demonstration on laugh therapy and how it can be used to heal,” said Torres. “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 25 from 1–4 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.”