La Cultura Cura is a transformative health and healing philosophy that recognizes that within an individual’s, families and community’s authentic cultural values, traditions and indigenous practices exist the pathway to healthy development, restoration and life long well being.
This culturally based framework focuses on building on the natural opportunity factors and on what is healthy within an individual, family, community or culture. This indigenous based life view promotes what is right based on culturally grounded physical, emotional, mental and spiritual principles and practices.
This philosophy and process of transformational health and healing is illustrated in the following elements, as in the parts of a tree that root an individual, family and/or community. This interconnected movement is necessary to consider for integrated health, healing, growth, leadership development and individual, family and community P.R.I.D.E.
1. Purpose/Destino – Based on Individual, Family/Community Dignity (DIGNIDAD)
A basic premise of the individual, family/community dignity acknowledges that within the ancestral wisdom of a people are the teachings and medicine necessary for growth and healing. It is understood that the teachings and healing elements inevitably come from the people themselves. Therefore, in order for true healing, or rebalancing to be sustained, although the initial incentive may come from an outside person (organization, funding source), the ongoing motivation for individual, family/community growth and rebalancing must come from within the circle of those who desire or need growth or change.
2. Responsibility – Based on Respect (Respeto) for Family/Community Vision
Individuals must have a vision that reflects the potential of their true self in reference to their family and community. If a person only has a negative view of their self and their culture then they have no avenue for growth ,development or a healthy response-ability (ability to respond to life’s struggles). A person’s primary ethnicity is the root of that vision. It is necessary for the person to be guided to allow them to dream, reflect, and rediscover the life-enhancing values and gifts of his own indigenous culture. As part of this process it is necessary for them to know and understand their history in order to understand the process that created their present situation. By this process, and with the proper guidance, a boy,man, girl, woman will be able to separate the pain and imbalance that they and their people are experiencing from the essence and strength of the positives aspects of their culture. As part of their indigenous heritage, all people have traditions and customs for clarifying and rediscovering this vision of growth. These traditions and customs must be integrated and practiced in a balanced, consistent manner and guided by sanctioned elders that are committed to this process.
3. Interdependence – Based on Individual, Family/Community Trust (Confianza)
The strengthening of a community, and the families within it, directly, enhances the development and healing of its individuals. As individuals heal and grow, they re-integrate with the positive vision of the community. Families/communities, and the individuals within them, must develop interdependently. If one is missing, then disharmonious growth occurs, which leads to false hope and development. It is essential to know the difference between co-dependence, individualism, and indigenous cultural interdependence: (confianza). Through the redeveloped interconnectedness, (Transformatonal Healing and Development: Circulos) cycles of generational destruction and pain are interrupted and a commitment to generational healing and development is initiated, individual by individual, family by family, community by community.
4. Development – Circular Learning Based on Love (Carino) for Life
A love for life is the basis of a circular learning process. As times change, people must learn “new” ways (based on ancient teachings) to live in the world as individuals, families, and communities. There must be pride in one’s ethnicity, respect for those of all roots and a process for balancing differences. The new ways must be both life-preserving and life-enhancing. In addition, organizations, institutions, systems and dominant societal communities must also learn to live in new ways being willing to change their philosophy, policies and procedures based on the needs of the evolving community. Elders from the community must gather in communion (Circulo) to give blessing and offer guidance to connected efforts focused on the love and healing of the next seven generations.
5. Enthusiasm – Living Life with a Sense of Hope (Spirituality/Esperanza)
Living life with a sense of spirit (spirituality) allows an individual, family/community to approach life with an element of enthusiasm (ganas). Instilling or re-instilling that sense of hope (spirituality) in an individual, family/community allows one to deal with the difficult, and sometimes overwhelming, day-to-day pressures with a sense of “greater spirit”. As part of this development it is important for a community to engage in ongoing and consistent community affirming celebrations and events to acknowledge the emerging leaders and the positive efforts that are taking place in order that they may take root and grow.
How: The National Compadres Network (NCN) is a 501 C-3 nonprofit organization founded in 1988 that brings together a culturally based cadre of recognized leaders to provide expertise and support in the areas of:
- cultural healing informed services
- capacity building
- technical assistance
- collective impact building
- leadership development
- resource and material development
- racial healing
- racial equity
- fatherhood, teen fatherhood
- reproductive health
- trauma informed services
- culturally based health and mental health
- juvenile justice
- transformative Justice
- transformative leadership
- transformative healing
- transformative education
NCN works closely with organizational partners, community leaders and decision makers, locally and nationally, to create sustainable systems of change, and continuum of practice. NCN provides the necessary support and expertise.