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Dr. Tony Zavaleta-Reid was born to U.S. Marine Corps parents in Southern California shortly after World War II.  His father moved the family to his home town, Brownsville, Texas in 1954, to work with his father in the ranching business. 

Tony grew up on his grandparents ranch in northern Mexico around agricultural workers called Braceros learning their lore and legends.  This lifelong interest led him to study Anthropology at The University of Texas at Austin receiving a doctoral degree in 1976.

For the last 40 years Dr. Zavaleta has been “The Border Anthropologist,” working on high profile cases such as the abduction of spring breaker Mark Killroy and the murder of Joey Fischer.  

Zavaleta has been actively involved in every aspect of U.S.-Mexico border growth and development and has been appointed by two U.S. Presidents to national boards and commissions.  The Mexican government awarded him their highest prize, “The Order of the Ohtli,” The Pathfinder.

However, through it all, Dr. Zavaleta considers his passion to be Mexican folk medicine called Curanderismo, and he has spent many decades studying the practice of folk medicine and folk healers on the border.  His interests have always been directed to how increased knowledge of other’s cultural realities leads to the improvement of the health care delivery system.

Dr. Zavaleta has published three books dealing with folk healing and medicinal plants and will speak about his book entitled, Curandero Conversations, which is the result of 25 year study of curandero †Alberto Salinas.  The book contains hundreds of actual ailments and remedies drawn from the tradition of border healer El Niño Fidencio (1898-1938).

Lecture Location: Conference Theater  Saturday


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