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Sastun: My Apprenticeship with a Maya Healer [Kindle Edition]

Rosita Arvigo , Nadine Epstein , Marilyn Yaquinto
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The compelling drama of American herbologist Rosita Arvigo's quest to preserve the knowledge of Don Elijio Panti, one of the last surviving and most respected traditional healers in the rainforest of Belize.

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 993 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Reprint edition (4 Mar. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #513,270 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By Bozena
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is a wonderful book that just transported me into the Amazon forest, I walked the path with Rosita and her shaman teacher. I found a new path in my life, the teachings of ancient Maya and want to learn more. The book is full of knowledge and practical things and yet reading it it was an adventure, exploration into the green world of healing plants and special people. Thank you for it. I just loved it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent Read! 30 Oct. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very informative. It also has a list of useful herbs at the end for those into that kind of thing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 2 April 2015
By Ouii
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love it!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.9 out of 5 stars  42 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book... beautifully written... could not put this down. 6 Sept. 2005
By Mary Jo Kringas - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a work of peace and beauty. Each chapter starts with a quick note on unique Mayan herbs and identifies their healing properties. This alone is a treasure. Sastun also gives an insightful, sensitive look into the character a true healer who deeply cares for his patients, mourns his lonliness, yet is energized by his spiritual support he receives in his healing and the thankfulness of his humble, hard-working and trusting Mayan patients. Personally, I loved this book... it reads quickly and easily, is beautifully written with touching humor and is remarkably uplifting.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank goodness Sastun is back in print! 29 April 2006
By BibliophileNYC - Published on
I read this title when it came out years ago and have collected a few extra copies for loaning out over the my hoarding is over.

This is truly a breathtaking story about the fragile links between traditional healing and current day healing. Truly, one of the most remarkable books I have ever read.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent account of traditional healing in the rainforest. 5 July 1996
By A Customer - Published on
I can only be grateful that Rosita Arvigo took on this challenge. Her own interests and career in alternative healing practices melded with those of a Mayan traditional healer. She was able to learn from Don Elegio and tap from his knowledge and experiences of his 60 year practice. And all of this essentially time critical, before further destruction of the rainforest and to memorialize Don Elegio's vast knowledge. Here's a real first-hand account of the search for medicinal cures in a rainforest, something we hear about in the media but never quite sure what it all entails. "Sastun" presents a realistic view of an American relocating and establishing a life in a Central American rainforest. One gets a glimpse of the life in a small Belizean village--the meld of Mayan and Catholic culture and the important role that a healer plays in this scene. We're visiting Belize soon and we'll make a specific point of visiting Ix Chel Farms and meeting Rosita Arvigo for a walk down the Panti Medicinal Rainforest Trail. I can only appreciate all that she has done in Belize in furthering the status of traditional healers in Belize and grounding it in science
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alternative medicine at it's best 20 Dec. 1999
By Noel Ramos - Published on
Rosita Arvigo and Dr. Balick have written a very good book about the her experiences with a Mayan shaman in Belize. It gives great insights about the vanishing breed of "bush" doctors. Good for anyone who wants to study the ethnobotany of Mayas or alternative medicines in general especially those made with tropical plants and herbs.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Circle of Life in the Jungles of Belize 20 Jan. 2010
By Jeannie Mancini - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Sastun, is the amazing memoir of an American women's adventure into a renewed way of life as she transports herself and her family deep into the jungles of Belize. Rosita Arvigo, and Italian/Assyrian woman from Chicago, together with her husband and daughter, make the difficult decision to leave the hustle and bustle of today's modern society to attempt a new life by homesteading and opening up a health facility in South America. Rosita is trained in naprapathy medicine, a sort of chiropractic massage therapy, and her husband is a trained paramedic.

Together they purchase a large many acre plot of jungle in Belize, spend years clearing the land as they set up practice, and live like pioneer settlers integrating themselves into this new world of backbreaking work and daily battles with sweltering heat, insect infestations, creeping jungle flora, perpetual damp and mold, and local diseases. Hearing of a local Mayan medicine man, Rosita makes his acquaintance and from that moment on, becomes determined to learn natural and spiritual healing to accompany her already trained hands.

After meeting Don Elijio Panti, Belize's renowned healer and Shaman, Rosita falls in love with the 90 year old sage and soon begins a long lived friendship and apprenticeship in which she will sacrifice much time to slowly learn the ways of the forest, train herself with Elijio's guidance, breathe the natural world around her, and learn to harvest the many hundreds of jungle plants that can heal all of man's physical and spiritual ailments. This story is one of the most engaging and fascinating memoirs I have ever read. I can't imagine any reader not falling in love with the delightful and mischievous Don Elijio, aged and wrinkled, so full of life, love, and laughter, that turns no soul in need away from his door. Hundreds of South American patients travel many miles each day to be treated by Don Elijio, to seek his wisdom, medicine and healing hands.

Never did Rosita imagine that such a full bounty of natural pharmaceuticals was right there at arms reach, just a few steps away in the heart of the Belize jungle. Just ripe for the harvesting, so many trees, plants, leaves, berries and bark samples, were there for the healing with the right knowledge to use them. Spending years with Don Elijio by his side training daily allows Rosita to witness healing and miracles like she had never seen in any modern medical facility or hospital. Medical emergencies and sicknesses abound in Belize and not a day went by where she didn't drop her mouth in awe as she watched and learned what the medicine man was capable of, using combinations of plants, the laying on of his hands, shamanistic spiritual counsel, and his 90 years of common sense and experience with the nature of man and the natural world around him. With a twinkle in his eye, an incredible sense of humor, and with the wisdom of the ages, he teaches Rosita to someday replace him as the village healer. The two embark on a journey close to that of father and daughter, welcoming the village people into their homes and hearts as they line up putting their trust and faith in their hands.

This is a very insightful and illuminating story that will entrance the reader with the wonders of the natural world and what it has to offer us if we just learn to tap into it's gifts. The book surely holds a story that is uplifting, inspirational, and is a book that will renew one's faith in mankind. I found the knowledge within this book eye-opening and felt the man himself, Don Elijio Panti, truly a magical human being. To his own people he is a God. After you read this book you will agree he is what the world needs more of.
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