My name is Jessica H. Simmons. As a recent graduate from the Anthropology department at NMSU, I am traveling to Peru to explore, with the skills given to me by my beloved mentors, the philosophies, mythologies, medicines, and cultures of the people in this sacred land.
Trained in the biological sector of anthropology, while receiving influence from many other professors of different anthropological sectors, my training has included many other worlds that I give thanks to for my position today. Training, study, and/or observation in the ancient arts of herbalism, wildcrafting, midwifery, yoga, Ayurvedic medicine, various sectors of CAM (complementary and alternative medicine, US and Mexico), allopathic medicine (Mexico), ceremonial medicine and practice (of many cultures), massage, nutrition, and countless other experiences/training has also been responsible for where I stand today, alongside my training in anthropology and botany through academic settings.
An Expedition in Peru:
And so I find myself in the Lands of the People of the Sun, the womb of Pachamama, and a mystical place of so much fascination in the West. This blog is intended to be an ongoing documentation of these travels, the cultural experiences therein, what is to be taught and learned, and my research into the heart of the Peruvian world of ethnomedicine. This travel is not a strict plan of action and I will be traveling to many places (Lima, Cusco, Pisac, Pilcopata, Pulcalpa, and others) without a time frame in mind. I have made many connections such as the Paititi Institute of Peru and with many ceremonial leaders and doctors who I wish to remain unnamed. However, as I am sure to have many things to document I would like to quote Octavia Butler as to the nature of this quest and blog:
“Here I was into astronomy, and here into anthropology, and there I go into geology. It was much more fun to be able to research and write about whatever I wanted to.”
To me the world is a diverse place of infinite knowledge and possibility, and to strictly categorize a thought process or press information into a preconceived model is not always the best avenue for exploration. I say this with respect for all the unchanged models and the continuous expansion of specialized thoughts and fields, as these things too have brought the world of academia and human knowledge to where it is today. However, I tend to be a bit of an anti-mold, anti-linear kind of observer and admire those thinkers who, at their time, were and maybe still are considered “unconventional” in philosophical approach or even extremist: Jean Baptist-Lammark, Bruce Lipton, Einstein, Charles Darwin, Marx, Meister Ekhart, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Candace Pert, Michael Moore (herbalist), countless Nobel Peace Prize winners and, more importantly, those who are not even recognized for their studies and contributions to science (Dr. Jillian Stansbury, Dr. Plata, Dr. Moncayo, Dr. Goetz, Dr. Hammer, etc., etc.). Just as we are still unable to admit connection, accept and incorporate quantum physics into the heart of medical programs (especially cellular biology), so are many other philosophies and sciences being neglected the recognition of interconnectedness to one another in the most profound, and real ways.
And so (Entonces), in this blog, as I intend for there to be quite a bit of influence from research and academia, I intend to keep the ideas free flowing in origin and the connections made therein liberal and open through various degrees of philosophy. It is my intention to also keep this blog insightful, factual, and comprehensive to anyone who has a desire to read or follow such work. I hope, with intention, that this blog be both entertaining, informative, inspiring, enlightening, and educational. With this said, let us go now into the mountains of Peru…