Dr. Eliseo “Cheo” Torres talks about his new books from Kendall Hunt Publishing, Curandero and Curanderismo.
Since he was a boy growing up on the border of Texas and Mexico, Eliseo Torres, known to everyone as “Cheo,” has been fascinated by the folk traditions and folkways of Mexico and of his Mexican American roots. Both of his parents were versed in aspects of herbal lore and healing, and as he matured he learned from them a love and respect for the history and folk knowledge of the ancient art of curanderismo, or Mexican folk healing.
Now an administrator at the University of New Mexico, where he is Vice President for Student Affairs and a member of the Department of Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies faculty, Cheo regularly lectures and offers a 2-week summer class and 2 online courses on the history, herbal remedies, and rituals of Curanderismo to audiences ranging from scholars and students to people hoping to become knowledgeable about alternative and traditional medicine, including lay people and medical professionals alike.
Before coming to New Mexico, his most recent role was Vice President for Student Affairs and Professor at the Texas A&M University-Kingsville. He had various roles throughout his 20 years there.
Torres has published seven books on his life in and research on his subject area. His most recent books are: Curanderismo: The Art of Traditional Medicine without Borders, and Curandero: Traditional Healers of Mexico and the Southwest published by Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, and previously published: Curandero: A Life in Mexican Folk Healing, and Healing with Herbs and Rituals: A Mexican Tradition, both available from the University of New Mexico Press.