Curanderismo: A Popular UNM Class is Available in a Variety of Formats

June 1, 2023 - Rick Robb

News Online Classes and Programs

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Curanderismo, a term describing the practice of curanderas and curanderos, is also the subject of one of the more popular courses available through The University of New Mexico. Curanderas and curanderos use the methods of folk healing from indigenous Mexican traditions as well as from Spain and its North African heritage to cleanse (limpia) the energy or spirit of the affected person.

In recent years, interest in traditional medicinal approaches from the Orient, as well as from the indigenous healing modalities of the Americas has risen steeply among people curious about their heritage as well as those who’ve wanted to steer away from modern western medicine. The curanderismo classes were brought to The University of New Mexico by Professor emeritus and former VP of Student Affairs, Eliseo “Cheo” Torres. During his tenure at UNM, Cheo frequently lectured on the history and folklore surrounding curanderismo to a varied audience, including scholars, students, community members, and even medical professionals.



The courses are offered in a variety of convenient formats, levels of engagement, and cost.

For enrolled UNM students, Cheo teaches 3-credit hour online courses in the Fall and Spring for both undergraduate and graduate students. (See our Schedule of Online Courses for details.)

Starting on June 12th, 2023, UNM Continuing Education offers an in-person two-week course titled “Curanderismo: Traditional Medicine without Borders,” which is held in UNM’s Anthropology building. A live online version of the course will begin starting July 11th, 2023. Courses at UNM Continuing Education are open to anyone.

In addition to annual Summer Classes held in two-week (in-person) and three-week (online) sessions, a series of optional workshops are also scheduled. You can read more about these summer sessions on the Curanderismo Facebook page.

You can even take some of these classes online for free through the online learning platform, Coursera. Available classes include Traditional Healing with Plants, Traditional Healing of the Body, Traditional Healing of the Mind, Energy, and Spirit, and Global and Cultural Influences.

What does the future hold for Curanderismo training? Plans for a Oaxaca/Mexico City Study Abroad program are in the development process! Check for updates.

Want to know more about online classes at UNM? UNM Online’s Student Success Specialists are ready to answer your questions. Call 505-277-9000 or email Join them on Zoom for Virtual Advisement Hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to Noon (Mountain Time). Meeting ID: 967 7118 3893.

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