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Webinar: Culture is Our Wellness [La Cultura Cura]

August 18, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CDT

Last updated on April 24th, 2024 at 10:54 am

Culture is our Wellness [La Cultura Cura]

Summary: The science of medicine has been part of every culture around the world. However, the contemporary allopathic medical model represents only part of our understanding of health, healing, and wellbeing, and not failing to mention, it is not always accessible to marginalized communities. This webinar introduces the practice of Curanderismo as an ethno-indigenous form of health and healing originating in Mesoamerica and practiced among many Latinx communities. The presenters will discuss their work with traditional medicine and present the specializations of Curanderismo, which can be used by people of all cultural backgrounds and various health providers with their patients.

The presenters will begin with a brief opening ceremony, provide their personal narratives of traditional healing, a historical grounding of Curanderismo, present the specializations of the traditional medicine, and discuss current efforts to integrate traditional and allopathic medicine.

Objectives: At the end of this presentation attendees will be able to…

  • Describe a general knowledge base of Curanderismo.
  • Identify the specializations of traditional healing practices.
  • Appraise the role of traditional healing in their work.

Intended Audience: Healthcare, safety, occupational, and agricultural professionals, and anyone with an interest in learning how these health practices impact health beliefs and wellbeing for populations that value this specialization in healing.


Caroline E. Ortiz, MS, MPH, RN, NC-BC, Associate Professor – Holistic Nursing Program, Pacific College of Health and Science

Growing up bicultural and bilingual along the U. S.-Mexico border in the Texas Rio Grande Valley, Caroline encountered a myriad of perspectives on health. As the daughter of a nurse, she took her medicine and followed the doctor’s orders. As the granddaughter of a Mexican woman, she drank her herbal teas, submitted to body sweepings with an egg, and followed the recommendations of the local curandera. Now with over 25 years of nursing experience, Caroline’s work, which has been shared locally, nationally, and internationally, centers on promoting individual and community health through holistic approaches. Currently, she is an Associate Professor in Holistic Nursing at Pacific College of Health and Science and a doctoral student at Villanova University. Caroline is apprenticing in curanderismo, the traditional Mesoamerican medicine from Mexico, and researching the use of traditional medicine by Mexican American women living in the Texas Rio Grande Valley. This path has brought her back to where she started… navigating life with a foot in two worlds.


Thomas A. Chávez, Ph.D., Assistant Professor/Research Faculty, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Division of Community Behavioral Health

Dr. Thomas A. Chávez is a counseling psychologist and currently a faculty member at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center/School of Medicine. He has taught courses in counseling with an emphasis on cultural proficiency. His scholarship focuses on improving the health and well-being of Latinx communities through culturally centered interventions. In part, his mission is to integrate traditional medicine to promote holistic health. As such, he has grown up with the practices of traditional healing and has over ten years of practice in the specialization of traditional massage and ventosas (fire cupping) and facilitating sweat lodges.






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August 18, 2022
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CDT
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