Diversity Speaker Series Welcomes Folk Medicine Expert

By: Adriana Avila, Staff Reporter

UNM Vice President for Student Affairs and Education Dr. Eliseo Torres will discuss curanderismo — Mexican folk medicine — at this year’s kickoff event for the Second Annual CNM Diversity Speakers Series, said Reference Librarian Olivia Baca.

The series gathers a group of speakers to dis­cuss topics to benefit the community, said Baca. Torres is an expert in the field of Mexican folk medicine and teaches a class on the subject annu­ally at UNM

“It’ll be quite the experi­ence,” said Baca.

Torres said he has studied and practiced curanderismo for about 30 years and has been teach­ing it for about 12 years.

“I’m looking forward to the event,” Torres said. “CNM and UNM; we’re neighbors and I’m excited to share with my neighbors what I’ve learned.”

Two displays have been set up in the Main campus library to highlight what will be learned at the event, said Baca.

Torres said he plans to speak about why some Hispanics still have a strong belief in traditional medicine and the relation of herbs, rit­uals, items and methods used for healing.

“I will discuss rituals for Mal de Ojo or Evil Eye to Sustowhich some sociologists call ‘Magical Fright,’” Torres said.

Along with the cure of Mal de Ojo, he will be discuss­ing herbs like aloe vera for cuts and burns, and how cat’s claw is useful for the immune and digestion system.

He said an egg can be used for cleansings because of its absorbtion of negative vibration. Certain plants are used for energy cleansings and incense, like Copal, he said.

“We’ll have fun. I don’t want to give too much away,” Torres said, “It’ll be like show and tell.”

Torres has written five books about curanderismo and the two most recent books “Curandero: A Life in Mexican Folk Healing” and “Healing with Herbs and Rituals: A Mexican Tradition” will be avail­able at CNM libraries by mid-October.

The Diversity Speakers Series will be presented Wednesday, Oct. 24, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Student Resource Center.

The series began in the fall of 2011 as a way to promote diversity and engagement on campus, said Baca.

Dr. Ben Wakayama spoke about Japanese Internment camps during WWII at the inaugural event, and Dr. Harold Bailey spoke in Spring 2011 as a part of the Black History Month celebration on campus, she said.

Wakayama’s and Bailey’s presentations can be viewed at cnm. edu/libraries, then select “News” and then “Diversity Speaker Series.”

For more information on the event, contact Olivia Baca at obaca9@cnm.edu or 224-3278.

“The most important thing is diversity,” said Torres. “Diversity is the strength of New Mexico and that’s what makes us unique.”

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