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Presenter Bios

The class features many presenters in addition to Dr. Torres.  Below are the presenters for 2019.

Alex Jackson

Alex Jackson photo

Alex is a Holistic Health Practitioner in Traditional Maya Medicine who cofounded Centered Spirit – Cultural & Holistic Center.  He is a graduate of the Massage Therapy Training Institute of Kansas City, MO, with a National Certification in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.  Alex is a certified practitioner in the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy.For over a decade, Alex’s primary focus in his practice has been on traditional ways to heal the body and spirit through the abdomen.  Proper balance in the core can resolve many physical ailments and emotional traumas.  Alex sees the abdomen as the doorway to achieve this balance or “Centered Spirit.”  Traditional Maya Medicine has been at the core of his work, often providing the missing link in healthcare for his patients.  Alex’s passion is to bring this ancient healing wisdom to our modern world.  Alex treats acute and chronic health conditions in women and men.  His treatments address menstrual/reproductive issues, digestive disorders, post-surgical scar tissue/adhesions, musculoskeletal pain and chronic anxiety/nervous system problems.


Anselmo Torres

Anselmo photo

Dr. Anselmo Torres Arizmendi has been involved with the Traditional Medicine without Borders class for more than 9 years. He will return again this year to present his dia de los muertos lecture. It has been a long journey from his home in Cuernavaca, Mexico to his first day at UNM in 1998 as a master’s degree student who spoke limited English. He was honored by the Senate of Argentina for his contributions to education and the economic development of Latin America. The Distincion Gubernador Enrique Tomas Crests is named for an enlightened public official in Argentina.  Read more...

Anthony Fleg

Anthony Fleg photo

Anthony Fleg considers himself a love activist, grounded in a deep belief that love can serve as a vehicle toward equity, justice and social transformation. He is from Baltimore, but now happily lives in New Mexico with his 4 children and wife Shannon. He is a family physician who thinks of his work of healing as “occasionally done with a stethoscope, more often done in communities…done with youth and elders, done through art, language, culture, and LOVE…done through listening more than through talking.” Anthony is a co-founder of the Native Health Initiative, a partnership to address health inequities through loving service and is a faculty member at the University of New Mexico in the Dept of Family and Community Medicine and in the College of Population Health. ​

Arlo Starr

Arlo Starr photo

“Dr. Arlo Starr (Cherokee) is a licensed Doctor of Asian Medicine, acupuncturist and herbalist, and the owner of Red Root Acupuncture and Herbs in Albuquerque, New Mexico which has over 500 (mostly) organically grown loose herbs.  He is the co-director of Native Acupuncture Project, a 501c3 working to revitalize language and healing traditions in Indigenous communities. He has taught acupuncture and acudetox for addictions and trauma in Juarez, Guatemala, and various Indigenous communities throughout the Americas. He began working with herbs at age 12 when he learned how to harvest mushrooms in the redwood forests of Northern California, and stinging nettles, seaweeds and St. John’s Wort throughout the Pacific Northwest. He has apprenticed with traditional healers in Oklahoma and continues to work with plants daily. He has treated thousands of people of all ages, backgrounds, and ailments with herbs and natural medicine and is passionate about the revitalization of Indigenous languages and lifeways.”

Bernadette Torres

Bernadette Torres photo

Grandma Herbalist, Teacher, Health Facilitator, Director of Shabeta’s Healing Garden, began her journey with medicinal plants and healing as a child in the mountains of Taos, New Mexico where her father introduced her to her first healing plants. She worked in health food stores since 2004, learning the valuable connection between heath and food. Recognizing the nutritional value in many plants, she became passionate about learning all she could from many amazing herbalists, curanderos, and healers from all over the world. Every summer, she leads private and public medicinal Plant ID hikes for the Integrative Medicinal Students at UNM and others. In 2009, she began teaching at the New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics, the only national recognized massage school that offers an herbal program. Read more...

Aurelia Ivoy & Olga Burrero

Elisa Lucero and Kathy Vega

Lucero and Vega photo

Elisa Lucero and Katherine Vega are trained drum circle facilitators. Each has decades of experience sitting and participating in various kinds of community building circles and each has their own experience with finding medicine with the drum. Elisa Lucero came to drum medicine 26 years ago through the Lakota Sundance Ceremony.  She danced 12 years and has been given permission by her Sundance chiefs to share some songs with the people. Right before leaving New York City to come to New Mexico, Katherine Vega was introduced to the drum by one of her Elders.  For the past 14 years, she has been drawn to it to help her go within as part of her own healing journey.  With the drum we tap into the pulse that runs through us all. As we tap into the Universal pulse, we begin to connect with each other, our community and our Mother Earth. With the drum we all have a voice. Let’s come together in one heartbeat to celebrate our lives through music, song and prayer! In the drum we find healing, celebration and some of our most sacred moments. The medicine of the drum begins with your own heartbeat. Ancestors Drum has facilitated hundreds of drum circles with all populations ranging from severe Alzheimer’s patients to incarcerated youth.    

Felina Ortiz

Felina photo

As a Nurse-Midwife, I specialize in Women’s Health.  I love educating women about their bodies and helping them unleash their inner power.  I am an activist for “Female Rights”, including Reproductive Justice.    I speak Spanish, and I specialize in working with culturally diverse women.  I am an advocate for the disadvantaged.  I believe in holistic care and I am respectful of others’ spiritual and cultural beliefs.  I joined the College of Nursing to work in the Sandoval project, which is a faculty practice clinic in Sandoval County that offers group prenatal classes.  These classes not only improve access to care for rural, culturally diverse families, but also provide prenatal care, education on nutrition, diabetes prevention, breastfeeding, depression, and positive parenting.  In the future, I hope to add didactic teaching in the nurse-midwifery program to my clinical instructing experience.  I am active in the national Midwives of Color Committee, which is a sub-committee of the American College of Nurse-Midwives.  I have helped create a national mentoring program that helps recruit, support, and empower midwives of color so that they can have a positive impact within their own communities.  

Jorge Partida

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Dr. Jorge Partida is Chief of Psychology for the Los Angeles County, Department of Mental Health.  He  is a clinical and research psychologist, specializing in addiction and trauma. He is an author, consultant and national speaker integrating Native Ancestral Teachings with traditional Western psychotherapy. Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, Dr. Partida immigrated to Chicago at nine years of age and there, obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Loyola University and his PsyD from The Illinois School of Professional Psychology (ISPP). Dr. Partida has been a consultant on many national and international projects designing and implementing clinical programs to address addiction, education, health, community building, diversity and spirituality. He has worked with local and national governments to coordinate services for those most impacted by poverty, war and displacement. He has worked in Liberia, Africa, in the repatriation of boy soldiers, forming “intentional communities” in war and poverty-impacted countries such as Colombia, Peru, and Mexico.  Read more...

Laura de los Santos

Laura de los Santos Laura De Los Santos Third generation Mexican-American whose family arrived to Chicago around 1920, bringing traditional Mexican healing practices with them. Her maternal great-grandmother and great-aunt were sobadistas (female massage healers), parteras (midwives), and hierberas (women who make medicine from plants), treating community members in Mexico and the Chicago area. Traditional medicine was always complimentary to western medicine for her family. She became interested in learning about this ancient practice, the use of medicinal plants, and about women healers that keep this tradition alive more deeply after visiting the Yucatan Peninsula and meeting a traditional healer woman. She is interested in documenting this ancient tradition and the wisdom from practioners while trying to make sense of it for others. Ms. De Los Santos holds a Masters Degree in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago, a Masters Degree in Latin American and Latino Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is a docent at The Field Museum in Chicago within the permanent exhibit of the Ancient Americas and related exhibits.

Laurencio Nunez

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Maestro Laurencio (Lauro) López Núñez, a well-known curandero, botanist, author, and temazcalero has studied the medicinal qualities of plants for over 15 years. He has written a book on the medicinal qualities of plants. He is an employee of CECIPROC, a local non-governmental organization that has been working with underprivileged communities since 1992 to install ecologically friendly latrines that promote the overall health of the communities he serves. It is one of the first groups to support community gardens fertilized by composted human waste.  He is a master teacher in UNM’s Occupational Therapy summer course: Introduction to Mexican Traditional Medicine with Dr. Terry Crowe.  The course was designed through a partnership between CECIPROC- a non-government Oaxacan organization working in community health, Tierraventura - a small business offering unique eco-tourism and the University of New Mexico Occupational Therapy Graduate Program in the School of Medicine.

Lorenzo Candelaria

Candelaria photo

Seventy two years old and seventh generation Atrisco farmer.  The topic we are discussing is very dear to my heart and those lessons were taught to me by my grandmother who guided me to the understanding of the sacredness of the earth.   I come from a family of six siblings and my father and grandfather before him back seven generations have been farming this land in Atrisco for almost 300 years.  


Manuel Terrazas

Manuel Terrazas photo

Born in the city of Delicias, Chihuahua, he married Maria Teresa Guevara in 1986 and has 5 children. Since his childhood, he has shown an interest in nature and what Mother Earth has to offer as he worked in agriculture alongside his father. He learned about the plants that grew around the environment he grow in, embracing their healing properties for any ailments that he and his family could think of. His interest in learning about medicinal plants helped him select his field of study. He studied at the University of Chihuahua and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Engineering with a concentration in Agronomy, which allowed him to continue studying nature and the crops of different plants.  He has continued to involve his family in embracing medicinal plants and their beneficial properties, while also combating different ailments to maintain a healthier way of living. In 2004, with the support and guidance of the University of Chihuahua, he was able to obtain the first liter of oregano and deepened his understanding of it.  Read more...

 Maria Teresa Guevara


Maria Guevara photo

Born in the city of Delicias, Chihuahua, she is the 3rd of 9 children in her family and has 5 children of her own with her husband, Manuel Terrazas Marquez: Fabiola, Manuel, Maria Teresa, Luis Guillermo, and Sebastian. As an instructor for “Jardin de Niños”, she worked in different educational centers for the Federal Government from 1980 – 2013 and has worked serving the education sector for 30 years. She studied in Chihuahua, Chihuahua and obtained a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education, a Bachelor’s in Audiology and Language, a Master’s in Educational Management, and is Professor in Early Childhood Education.  In 2004 she began working on a project with her husband, Manuel Terrazas Marquez, when she saw the surprising benefits that the Oregano oil had on her youngest son who suffered from bronchial asthma. She also saw the surprising benefits that it had in the health of her entire family, each of whom had different ailments.  Read more...


Mino photo

Ashéninka (Brother) Mino  was born in a palm tree hut and grew up in the Ashéninka Indigenous Community in the central jungle of Perú. His first native language is Ashéninka. He comes from a family of healers. His grandfather, Sheripiari (healer, in Ashéninka language) Kentzikoari, traveled on foot and by spirit to many nearby communities to work with sick people. Mino, as a child, was learning as he sat next to and watched his grandfather. It is natural among the Ashéninka to use all the natural elements that grow around them. His parents guided Mino to continue learning the wisdom of the sacred plants that help heal  through Ashéninka Traditional Healing. Mino is a teacher in Intercultural Bilingual Education and Translator for Ashéninka/Castellano, which inspired Mino in the development of primers and reading materials in the Ashéninka language. His first three working documents for reading and writing in the Ashéninka language are "Alphabet Ashéninka", "Nabireri" and "Kamaari Ipoña Ashéninka".  His older sister "Sshibá", currently works as a Naturopathic Doctor, who also profoundly influenced Mino's life.  Read more...

Monica Lucero

Monica Lucero photo

Dr. Monica Lucero DOM is a Native New Mexican that has dedicated her life to preserving traditional medicine in all its forms. She is a Nationally Licensed Acupuncturist, Sobadora
(traditional body worker) and herbalist, with passion and love for Native Herbs. She currently practices at Two Red Brother's Herbal Apothecary and at Del Corazon Medicine.

 Nely Mancilla

Rita Navarrete

Rita Navarrete photo

Curandera (Traditional Healer), Temazcalera (Mexican Sweat lodge Guide), Sobadora (Energetic and Physical hands on healing), Consejera (Counselor), Yerbera(Herbalist), Nutricionista (Nutritionist), Quiropraxia (Traditional Chiropractor) Orador Motivacional (Motivational Speaker).  Rita has been practicing Traditional Healing for over 28 years.   Rita started her practice in Mexico City, and has continued her practice in Cuernavaca, and Jilotepec.  Rita is also the director of Kapulli Mexico, La Cultura Cura, a school and clinic of Traditional Medicine in Jilotepec México.  The school’s goal is to empower survivors of domestic violence to first heal then learn to heal others.  Her specialty is working with individuals with cronic illness, and life coaching.  She will tell her patients, “Curanderismo is not magic, I cannot heal you, but I will teach you to heal yourself.” Rita is internationally know as an educator of Rizaterapia (Laugh Therapy), and Temazcal (Mexica sweatlodge).  She is a professor at Centro de Desarollo Hacia La Comunidad, at the University of México, Morelos.  She teaches clases in Temazcal, Massage, and Medicinal Plants.  Her motto is that she would like to implant a seed of knowledge in as many people that cross her path.  Her belief is teaching others will allow her to help preserve traditional medicine.

Robert Vetter

Vetter photoRobert Vetter, M.A., is a cultural anthropologist who has been conducting fieldwork in the area of spirituality and healing among the Southern Plains tribes since 1980. He has been adopted into families in the Cheyenne, Kiowa and Comanche tribes. His adopted grandfather was Oliver Pahdopony, the last medicine man of the Comanches. Along with his adopted Kiowa uncle and medicine man Richard Tartsah Sr., he authored the book Big Bow: The Spiritual Life and Teachings of a Kiowa Family. Through his organization Journeys Into American Indian Territory, he has been sharing experiential workshops with thousands of people since 1987.  Read more...

Rodney Garcia

Rodney Garcia photo

Rodney Garcia was born into a Cuban, immigrant family and grew up in Miami, Florida.  Originating from the Cuban countryside, his farther emphasized an appreciation for gardening and wholesome foods while his mother taught the usefulness of traditional healing and plant medicines.  This early exposure formed the groundwork for a lifelong interest in the healing arts. During his medical training at New York's Weil-Cornell Medical Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center he worked as an Anesthesiologist specializing in cancer and critical care.  At these medical centers he grew to appreciate the need for an integrated approach in medical practice;  one where Body, Mind and Spirit are all engaged towards achieving balance and health.  At Memorial Sloan-Kettering he began a fellowship where he worked on gaining experience in Integrated Medicine and End-of-Life care.  In an effort to further understand his evolving perspective of healing as a force beyond physical explanation, he attended a Shamanic initiation hosted by The Open Center in New York City.   Read more...

Selma Sroka

Selma Sroka photo

Selma Sroka MD, Fellow AZCIM- completed medical training at the U of MN 1991, and Family Medicine Training in 1994, when she joined the Faculty for the Hennepin County Medical Center’s Residency Training Program. Dr. Sroka completed the U of AZ: Center for Integrative Medicine’s Fellowship Training, started an Integrative Health Clinic at HCMC’s Whittier Clinic and brought the IMR (Integrative Medicine in Residency) curriculum into her program, helping young doctors in training to think more holistically.  Dr. Sroka found her personal path to healing through experiences/teachings with a Lakota healing family in SD, who adopted her into the Tiospaye 25 years ago. She was led through a ceremonial process called Hanblache (Vision Quest) which was about her life’s work and the development of her faith.  Read more...

Shannon Fleg

Tom Chavez

Tom Chavez photo

I was born and raised in the Española Valley in Northern New Mexico. In part, I have learned to have great respect for traditions, culture, and community and how they are in maintaining critical health and wellbeing. As such, I have pursued higher education in particular to promote the strengths and address the disparate needs of our New Mexican communities. I received my bachelor of arts in psychology as well as a master of arts in counselor education from the University of New Mexico (UNM). Furthermore, I received my doctoral degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which provided me greater knowledge in multicultural issues and motivation to promote social justice. These experiences have provided me the skills needed to work with the diverse cultures of our state. I have practiced counseling and psychotherapy in multiple child and adolescent settings including school, juvenile justice, community clinics, and inpatient/outpatient psychiatric care. Currently, I am an assistant professor in counselor education at UNM. Part of my academic interests include the development of effective child and adolescent counseling intervention, diversity/multicultural responsivity and adaptation in intervention, and the integration of traditional methods of healing in contemporary counseling and psychotherapy. Interest in multiculturalism and traditional healing practices has stemmed from the holistic health and wellbeing practices of Curanderismo, which has provided self-determined and effective preventative care for individuals, families, and communities of New Mexico for generations. To further the possibilities of integration, I have participated in the local organization called RAICES which promotes health and wellbeing through bringing community together to remember the traditional ways of healing, which in turn inspires collaboration in community as well as motivation to care for one’s self, family, and community.

Tomas Enos

Enos photo

Dr. Tomas Enos, President of Milagro Herbs, Inc. in Santa Fe, New Mexico is an ethnobotanist, teacher, and natural products formulator.  Based upon his education and experience of over 28 years in the herb business, Dr Enos has demonstrated success in developing natural products for national distribution.  Dr. Enos received his PhD from Union Institute and University in 2001 after completing a two year apprenticeship and study of traditional healing practices in Oaxaca, Mexico which culminated in his dissertation on curanderismo and holistic healing.  He continues to practice this centuries-old system of health that treats body, mind, and spirit through applications of herbal medicine, counseling, reflexology, massage, and visualization techniques.  Read more...


Tonita Gonzales

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Tonita received her Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics, and Bachelors of Arts in Graphic Design from The American University in Washington DC. She recently completed her studies of Traditional Medicine at the University of Mexico, Morelos, at Centro de Desarollo Humano Hacia La Comunidad. She completed her diplomados in Acupuncture, Medicinal Plants, Massage (Sobadas), and Temazcal. In addition, Tonita worked side by side with several different Curanderos throughout Mexico. She was honored to be asked to be an apprentice for Rita Navarrete Perez. Rita Navarrete Perez is internationally known for her expertise in Temazcal, Medicinal Plants, Massage, Nutrition, and Counseling. Tonita worked in Rita’s Clinic and Temazcal in Mexico City, and School/Clinic in Jilotepec Mexico, that focuses on women who are survivors of Domestic Violence. She continues to work with Rita, and is honored to have such an amazing Maestra in her life.