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.