In an age of high-tech, highly specialized medicine, the ancient healing arts of curanderismo are an attractive alternative. When they are ill, Mexican-Americans in the southwestern states often prefer to visit the curandero — the traditional healer — who uses herbs, scents, and rituals to treat the ills of their body, mind and spirit. Producer Maria Martin visits healers in the border town of El Porvenir, Mexico and in Buena Vista, New Mexico. She talks with Virginia Arranice, an apprentice who has been studying with the healers in Northeastern New Mexico for over twenty years. It is a much more personal approach to treating illness — complex, but not necessarily scientific- and one that modern health care professionals in the region are now exploring. At the San Francisco Mental Health Clinic, Instituto Familiar de la Raza, Dr. Concha Saucedo, the director, discusses the connections curanderismo makes. Medical anthropologist Robert Trotter says the approach offers hope at a time when modern diagnostics can be too impersonal. It is a story about balance, the goal of curanderismo, and one that Martin tells with interviews, excerpts from literature and cultural references.
The Soundprint documentary series features the best work of top radio producers. The award winning documentaries are renowned for drawing the listener into the story with compelling interviews, authentic voices and rich sound. From memoirs to science, health and popular culture, Soundprint creates a powerful experience the listener will not soon forget.
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Soundprint Executive Producer: Moira Rankin
Audio Engineer: Anna Maria de Freitas
Associate Producer: Debra Morris