Gold Water Alchemy

Campo Medicine: Lore, Magick, and Healing Traditions of the Dominican Republic (Online)

Campo Medicine: Lore, Magick, and Healing Traditions of the Dominican Republic 

Join us for a 8 week online course in the medicine of the rich lands of the Dominican Republic. In this class, we will explore the stories and folklore that have been passed down through generations in the countryside of the Dominican Republic. We will be able to witness the diasporic spreading of healing knowledge starting in Africa and moving through the Caribbean, particularly the Dominican Republic - where much African and Arawak influence is heavily present. Traditional medicine in the Dominican Republic is a reflection of the cultural history of the island and the diverse ethnic origin of its inhabitants. It represents a syncretic blending of Taino, African, and European traditions that includes elements of Catholicism, African tribal practices, and indigenous heritage. It operates with concepts such as the hot-cold classification of illnesses and plant remedies, the humoral functioning of the body, the distinction between spiritual versus physical disease etiologies and the use of plants, psalms, saints, traditional healers, and midwives for maintaining health and well-being, and curing illness. It is a holistic medicine that considers the patient in relation to a multitude of factors, including the patient's personal history, status within the community, and the natural, social, and spiritual environment. Online material and access to videos will be shared at the beginning of the course. Discussions and integrative conversations take place every Saturday or Sunday. Before the beginning of the course, you will receive a package with introductory material, including your syllabus and login for the online course site. During this journey, we will spend time getting to very intimately know 7 plants that are used for multiple purposes in Dominican folk healing practices. Other plants will be introduced during the course, but we focus specifically on 7 plants because to introduce 20 plants and only know a few things about each is actually a lack of connection to this work. We intend to provide a true and in-depth look at the plants that we are communing with. In practice as an herbal alchemist and teacher, I have come to learn that knowing more about a few plants is entirely more beneficial and useful than knowing a little bit about too many plants. The growth with plant wisdom is as gradual as evidenced in the cycles of nature. This is qualitative education. At the end of this course, each student receives a certificate of completion.* Within this course, we will go in depth regarding:

  • herbal preparations

  • regional folklore

  • religious and spiritual practices

  • ancestral traumas through political shifts

  • the cemi taino and plant ceremonies

  • history of the Dominican Republic's internationally recognized and rarely potent, mamajuana

  • and much more...

There is a trip to the Dominican Republic happening in the late summer of 2018, and you have the option of deciding to travel with and get some experience regarding the plants we will be surveying during the course. If you decide to travel with, you will be doing so at your own expense. This is not included in the price of the course. One of the books from which we will be reading excerpts of during the course, Muertos Que Viven, is written by my uncle, Lorenzo Araujo, who was raised in the campo (countryside) of San Cristobal. He narrates the stories of the characters, traditions, plants, and archetypes that have almost disappeared with the deaths of the last representatives of that generation in the region. The stories reproduce the impact that the deaths or the circumstance of the deaths of people or animals caused in his mind - an impact that was so deep that they continue to live in his imagination and life. In this class we go deep - engaging with the inner and outer experience of a people. Through it, we are able to remember a story that has been obscured but is fundamental to the awakening and shift that is happening in this day.

Why Is This Important?

Different people identify with different concepts, ideas, and ways of being. With the increase in those seeking alternative medicine in the United States, we find that cultural aspects of care relevant to diverse people must be identified to develop culturally congruent modes of care. Folk practices and the stories contained within the culture of a people speak profoundly to those approaches which may help build a bridge of connection between those whose ways of life may be distinguished from whomever may take this course. Moreover, this is important for those who identify with this culture (Dominican/Afro-Caribbean) and would like a more in depth understanding of where exactly they are coming from.

REGISTRATION IS NOW FULL. Email if you are interested in participating.

 Course Price:

$525 [$540 with PayPal fee] (This includes half or one-ounce 6 of the 7 plants we will be studying intimately. You will receive this in the mail prior to the beginning of our journey. There are some other plant materials which will be useful for your concoction - these are not included in this price. The books for the course will have to be purchased by you. All other texts you will receive by email from Gold Water Educational Center.)

  • There will be 2 free online information sessions via Zoom prior to the deposit due date. This is to share a bit more information about this course and answer any questions which may arise as you make your decision to enroll. If you decide to attend, you only have to attend one of the two dates. I provide two dates as options for people to attend according to their best convenience.

  • To sign-up for an information session, click here.

  • A deposit of $150 ($165 with PayPal fee) is due by May 13, 2019 to reserve your spot. If you are certain that you want to take part in this course but cannot pay the deposit by May 10th - email el@goldwateralchemy to request an extension for deposit payment. A maximum of one extra week is granted for those who cannot pay the deposit on time.

  • Payment plans are available. You will have an option to select your preferred payment plan via a document in the follow-up email once you make your deposit.

  • If you need extra time to pay, please state that in response to the email you receive from GWEC (not PayPal) after making your deposit.

*Excerpts of the syllabus will be shown during the information sessions as well, but if you have made your decision to enroll prior to information session, you can request it via email - email us at to request it.

Note: The additional fees for the deposit and the balance are based on PayPal fees.