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In the late 19th century, the city of Jutiapa in Guatemala became the birthplace of a spiritual healer, Francisco José García. Like Anthony William, the present-day Medical Medium and New York Times bestselling author, or the Mayan ah-men, Mr. García helped his community overcome illnesses.


Today his great-granddaughter, Natalie Saldarriaga, with only a single photograph of her great-grandfather, works to recuperate Mr. García's healing contributions and tell his story.

Francisco José García

was raised by a single mother and took his surname from the García family, who gave his mother a home and job when she needed one. He studied pharmacy and became a well-known spiritual healer in Jutiapa—from Náhuatl, meaning river of flowers. He channeled natural recipes from spirits to fill his medicine book, serving his community in many ways.

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Courtesy of Natalie Saldarriaga

Natalie heads to Jutiapa to locate his medicine book.

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Courtesy of Natalie Saldarriaga

Farmacia San Jose belonged to Natalie's grandparents and it's there that the medicine book was last used. 

Only a few recipes were recuperated from memory, one is La Essencia Maravillosa used for fevers, measles, and the dreaded chickenpox.

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Thank you Natalie Saldarriaga and Raíces Cultural Center for allowing CAHAAS to share and produce this visual online exhibit based on A Medium in the Family originally posted on

Raíces Cultural Center Digital Archive

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