Traditional healers also known as curanderismo are important part of Latin American culture, society and a way of life. Traditional healers have been a part of Latin American culture for thousands of years and even today are considered as important as the traditional health care professionals (Avila, 1999). The services of these healers are used extensively and they are well respected and admired members of the community. Not anyone can be a healer and in order to become one a special talent and extensive training is needed (Avila, 1999). The purpose of this paper is to discuss the role of traditional healers in Latin American culture and to discuss what economic, social and religious reasons traditional healers are still so …show more content…
Finally traditional healers employ many psychological means as they are often keen observers and student of human nature (Trotter & Chavira, 1997). Many healers admit that the use of rituals is done for the patients’ sake as it aids in healing process. Remarkably there is a scientific support to this notion as the “placebo effect” indicates that something with strong suggestive power can deliver desired results.
Economic, Religious, and Social Explanation For the Use of Traditional Healers in Latin America There are numerous reasons why traditional healers are so widespread and commonly used in Latin America. One reason is purely economic as traditional healers are the only medical care many families could afford (Trotter & Chavira, 1997). Traditional healers in general do not take any money from their clients and definitely do not take anything from very poor clients. They could accept offerings for their service but it is done on case to case basis. So for that reason the most important economic reason why healers are used is because their services are free.
Another reason why healers are so popular is religious. As it was described above in order to be a healer one has to have a gift from the high spiritual power (Trotter & Chavira, 1997). Healers often offer some sort of a mix of religious, spiritual and physical practices that