Don Elijio Panti lives on… in Belize and Wyoming (and our hearts)

Belize Maya Shaman Don Elijio Panti

We just love stuff like this…

Having once studied ethnotoxicology (don’t bother asking) at university and still maintaining an interest in the subject, we ran across an article datelined October 29 2013, Jackson Hole, Wyoming from  Planet Jackson Hole  by Dr Mark Menolascino. Now,  Jackson Hole is right up there with Belize in the beauty stakes – a very different but equally mind blowing  beauty. So our interest was piqued.

It’s a great story, well written, full of interesting stuff, gives a concise background on ethnobotany; all the things we like in an article about a subject near and dear to our hearts from two places we love.

Belize and Jackson Hole. God’s reward or mitigation to us for only thieving one apple from the Garden of Eden, some of us believe.

Bu what really caught the eye was a photo that contained not one, but yep, two people we also respect. Rosita Arvigo and the timeless spirit and healer that is Don Elijio Panti, that amazing man who must be responsible for a major portion of the population of Belize and nearby Guatemala, both in being responsible for successful births an then countless curing of people deemed incurable. When the New York Times writes an obituary about an otherwise unknown little guy from the Chaa Creek area, you know he had something going on (besides living past 100).

So here’s a headline, “Mayan medicine looks to nature”, and that picture of Rosita and Don Elijio that sometimes graces the Belize Travel Blog.

I even forgave the use of “Mayan” instead of “Maya”, something truly irksome and disrespectful. But we digress..

The point is that here’s a nice short story about of the true giants of Belizean history, yore and knowledge. There is every chance in the world that when a cure is found for cancer, Don Elijio will have had some part in it. No kidding.

Anyway, it’s a great story I can’t recommend highly enough.

Any tale that takes off from “My path through this rainforest of knowledge began on a small island in Belize. I was completing a masters in neuroimmunology and was on winter break after having spent a month in Vancouver, B.C., working with the world’s expert in the inflammatory mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease. I was relaxing in a hammock in the breeze after a day of bonefishing when an older couple asked for help with their motorboat.”

The story then travels through Don Elijio’s explanation that, “’Everything in life has a signature,’” he said, ‘as does nature, to show us the way to use this as healing medicine.’

“Hmmm … signature ( Dr. Mark Menolascino continued) . I had heard this before in my Ayurvedic teachings as well as from Native American medicine men. Chinese medicine approaches disease in much the same way. So off we went down his Medicine Trail through the rainforest, this five-foot tall, 100-year-old Mayan man with a cane and a large sack showing me this concept of “signature” and nature’s gifts,” the doctor wrote.

It only gets more compelling. Ol’ Don Elijio had that effect on people.

Even if you could care less about ethnobotany, ethno toxicology, Ayurvedic, neuroimmunology, Chinese medicine, alternative medicine or medicine in general, take a few moments and have read of this fascinating article. We guarantee you won’t waste your time.  You’ll add to your knowledge of Belize’s many special people, and who knows? It may well lead you down a path you’ll be forever grateful to have trod. Don Elijio was a door opener, and you may just find he opens one for you that you don’t know about, but you’ll be forever grateful to have discovered.

You just never know… Sometimes you don’t even need to be in Belize to have some of its magic rub off, or to access some of the thousands of years of wisdom still in use in that amazing little country.

But it’s nice to know that Don Elijio Panti’s Maya Rainforest Medicine Trail is still alive and well maintained at Chaa Creek, so if you ever do need some gumbo limbo, wild yam or jackass bitters, you know where to find them.

A pharmacy with a view straight out of heaven. With the Don looking down. Who could ask for more?

And to find more about it at snow covered Jackson Hole, Wyoming now that is something…

Chaa Creek blog