FELICIA COCOTZIN RUIZ (Tewa/Xicana) is a curandera and indigenous foods activist whose work is deeply rooted in the healing properties of sacred plants. Sharing the Medicine of the People, Felicia weaves together stories of indigenous wisdom with the intention of her dishes, applying “Culinary Medicine” as named by one of her Maestras.
WHAT IS A CURANDERA? Curanderas are traditional healers, who carry knowledge of foods, herbs, and other cultural remedies working with the body, mind, and spirit. In curanderismo, it is believed that disease can be caused by psychological, physical, and spiritual factors, creating disharmony of the body, mind, or spirit. Curanderas help bring people out of that diseased state and back into harmony with various remedies and little rituals.
Curanderismo has been practiced throughout the Americas for over five hundred years, with each healer offering a unique skillset applying her natural gifts and training. Felicia’s own maternal great-grandmother was a curandera in northern New Mexico, where she caught babies, provided hands-on healing, and created herbal remedies for her community and family.
SO IT IS WITH GREAT HONOR, that with permission from her elders, Felicia carries on the lineage of natural healing ways through private consultations, medicine workshops, and ceremony.
Felicia completed training as a massage practitioner from Bio-Link Therapeutic Massage Institute (1995), holds a certificate in holistic aromatherapy from the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (1996), is a graduate of the T. Colin Campbell Plant-Based Nutrition Studies Program (2014), is a yoga nidra instructor certified by the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center of Los Angeles (2017), and is the board chair for the non-profit N.A.T.I.F.S. Lastly, she has earned her copalero (a sacred clay tool used to burn plant aromatics) with a ceremony held in her honor by curandera Patricia Federico in the spring of 2018. Felicia continues to study the ethnobotany of the Southwest with her favorite teachers, the indigenous grandmothers of the region.