The following story was told to me by Mrs. Isabel Perez, a native of Encino, Texas and presently living east of Falfurrias, Texas where she and her husband Rodrigo have a ranch.
Mrs. Perez recalls as a young girl around 1937 being an eyewitness to a treatment that Doña Rosario Altamira de Abrego prescribed to a baby boy named Esiquio Cantu who was very sick with double pneumonia.
The baby was taken to the doctor in Falfurrias who said that the baby didn't have a chance to make it through the night.
Roque Cantu, nephew of Doña Rosario, told the parents of the baby to take him to his aunt, la curandera Rosario, that she could make him well. The family took Esiquio to her and after examining him she told them to go hunt and kill a rattlesnake and bring it to her.
After finding and killing a rattlesnake the father returned
with it to Doña Rosario. She told him to skin it and then
roast the snake until it was toasted. When the snake was all
toasted she ground it up into a powder and then mixed it into
pork lard. She then proceeded to massage the baby's body with
the mixture and wrap him with blankets. After the infant started
sweating profusely she said that he was going to make it through
Baby Esiquio got well and is still very much alive today as an adult man.
Esiquio Cantu was not the only person Doña Rosario cured as she was well known throughout Brooks County for her home remedies in curing the sick.
The following information I obtained from Doña Rosario
Altamira de Abrego's death certificate at the Brooks County Clerk's
office in Falfurrias:
I'd like to thank Mrs. Isabel Perez for relating this story to our readers on how people from the ranchos depended on curanderas or curanderos to make them well.