Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Chicana and Chicano StudiesLatino Health Issues

Who is a Curandero?

What is Curanderismo?
Common Beliefs

A curandero is a person who practices the use of curanderismo. He/she is usually a spiritual guide/leader within a community. This person is usually the person sought when someone is sick or experiencing unusual circumstances

There are several similar roles in different Latina/o communities, the most common and widespread are:

1. Shaman:





6. Pharmacist:


Common in Peruvian "curanderismo" ( known as ayahuasca) methods a shaman is similar to a curandero in which they play a role as healer and spiritual leader in their community.


A cura is most typically found in Mexican American and or Mexican folk healing. They are the spiritual and healing leaders in their respective communities.


A yerbero is person who is a specialist in herbs and plants. This person is highly knowledgeable of the uses and remedies that different herbs and plants can offer to patients in need of treatment. They are commonly associated with pharmacist in the western tradition.


A partera is basically a midwife. She deals with pregnant women and is their primary source of guidance, caretaking, advice, and eventual delivery of the child.


A sobador can be thought of as a sort of massage therapist. These people are trained in healing methods that use rub and massage techniques.


Believe it or not, your local pharmacist plays a very similar role like a yerbero, only they deal with more Western based medication/treatment methods. They are also knowledgeable of alternative medicines, not as extensive as a yerbero.


Accessibility | Privacy | ASU Disclaimer This site was created by Fabian Valladolid in fulfillment of requirements for the course CSS 335: Latino Health Issues taught by Dr. Szkupinski Quiroga at Arizona State University, Spring 2005.