Just as many westerners have turned to alternative remedies to seek cures for whatever ails them, Ecuadorians, too, have begun to reconsider ancestral medicine in light of changing attitudes. Indigenous caregivers and midwifes are coming out of hiding in Ecuador thanks to a new legal system that supports the changing attitudes toward ancestral medicine. A new constitution adopted in 2008 recognizes the validity and importance of ancestral treatments not only for indigenous communities, but for the population at large. The Spanish conquest in the 16th century began a process of suppression of traditional remedies and eliminated significant amounts of indigenous…
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