Louse Davilla receives a cleansing ritual treatment from her mother, Esther, Burlington, Washington. The farming community is home to several generations of Mexican immigrants, but Esther days her practice of traditional Mexican healing, or Curanderismo, is fading in the US. See the full story at NPR's partner station, KUOW. September 2013.
Louse and Esther pose outside their home in Burlington, Washington. Though Louse has learned some from her mother, she says she's uncomfortable with continuing the practice on her own. October 2013.
Esther smells a bottle of orange blossom frangrance used in one of her healing rituals. A practitioner for more than 40 years, she splits her time between her daughters home in Washington state, and her hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico. October 2013.
Esther prepares an elixir of mint sprigs, eggs and orange blossom fragrance for her daughter's cleansing ritual. She says she learned the practice from her own mother in Guadalajara, at 13 years old. September 2013.
Esther displays her hands, which she's used for years to conduct cleanses and massages for patients. Traditionally passed down between generations in Mexico, Curanderismo is a practice Esther and Louse say is rarely carried over into immigrant communities in Washington state. September 2013.
As Mexican families build their lives in the US, more are reporting their turn to Western medicine and health clinics, rather than the traditional medicine practiced by Esther. September 2013.
Esther says she treats several people a day using Curanderismo back in Guadalajara, but in Washington, her work is confined mainly to family or close friends. September 2013.
Jorge Chacon, another Mexican healer based in eastern Washinton's Wenatchee, smells a sprig of rosemary he uses in cleansing rituals for community members who still request them. See the full story on the Seattle Times. April 2014.
Chacon holds an uncooked egg over water during a cleansing-ritual demonstration. Chacon says the egg represents a single-celled being and is used in several traditional rituals he learned from his grandmother. April 2014.
Chacon also has degree in psychology and works as a counselor in Wenatchee. Like Esther, he says Curanderismo is a fading practice among US Mexican immigrants. April 2014.
Chacon walks passed an alter in his home used for healing rituals. For patients more comfortable meeting with a curandero, doctors and clinics sometimes call on him to address psychological issues such as anxiety or depression. April 2014.