Program Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dr. Elizabeth De La Portilla on Curanderismo

The January Meeting for the San Antonio Herb Society will focus on the traditions and traditional methods of healing. Before there were doctors, surgeons or hospitals, local societies looked to the natural and supernatural worlds for their healing powers. Local herbs were used and traditions were passed down generation to generation. In Latin America, Mexico and the southern western states of the US, these healers were known as curanderos (or curanderas). They were respected members of their communities. These healers were herbalists; some focused on physical ailments and some were midwives.

The study and practice of these ancient traditions is called “Curanderismo.” Dr. Elizabeth De La Portilla, who is an anthropologist currently with San Antonio College, will discuss this very old and honored tradition. She will explain how the Latin American and Mexican cultures viewed illness and then looked to sources of healing that are different from those of our current culture’s views of health and illness.

This is sure to be a fascinating lecture that you will not want to miss. As an added bonus, Dr. De La Portilla will have available for purchase, and will be available to sign her book, “They All Want Magic: The Nature and Practice of Curanderismo.”

Join us on January 14th, 7:00 pm, at the San Antonio Garden Center for an exciting evening as we welcome Dr. Elizabeth De La Portilla. The appetizer tables open at 6:30pm. Those whose names begin N thru S, please bring a finger food (with recipe to share). We’re in the San Antonio Garden Center, located on the corner of Funston and N. New Braunfels.