Curanderas & Chocolate: Cuentos of a Latina Life transcends boundaries, explores culture

 photos by B. Kay Richter

August 22, 2019 - San Antonio

Article By: B. Kay Richter - Contributing Reporter - SA Sentinel

The definition of curandera is of a traditional native healer or shaman in Latin America. The life of a curandera is dedicated to the administration of remedies for mental, emotional, physical and spiritual illnesses. 

 It is with this definition that Patricia Zamora takes the helm of her one-woman show featuring stories of love, loss and spiritual rejuvenation. She brings these themes to life with nine playful characters while exploring the concepts of faith and healing through a series of short vignettes.

“I feel so strongly the need to create and share stories,” Zamora said. “This is my way to honor so many interesting real life characters that have crossed my path. It is also so important to me to highlight and honor my beautiful culture.” 

The show, directed by Jade Esteban Estrada, runs two consecutive evenings on Thursday, August 22 and Friday, August 23 at the Guadalupe Theater. Estrada is not a newcomer to the San Antonio theater scene. In fact, he is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York, but began his acting career at the Guadalupe Theatre in 1986. His shows and comedy performances continue to please audiences today, and in 2009, he founded the Acting Masterclass Series, which is where he met Zamora. 

"I can think of no better place to present this work than the Guadalupe Theatre," said Estrada. "I feel this play is a bold and powerful representation of 21st-century Latino theatre."

Zamora seems content bringing to light the part of her culture that isn’t often portrayed in the mainstream which lends more of a unique draw to the show. 

Patricia Zamora on stage during her one-woman show (Photo by B. Kay Richter)

Patricia Zamora on stage during her one-woman show (Photo by B. Kay Richter)

“The faith healer is such a prevalent figure in my life and all of the stories that my mother would share with me. It is universal in all of us,” Zamora said. “ It’s the thread that ties together all Latina groups whether we are immigrants, first generation American, love our culture but speak very little Spanish, whatever our story and background may be. I wanted to find the commonalities in our culture and not the differences.”

Having graced stages in her hometown, Austin, Houston, Corpus Christi, and the Rio Grande Valley, Zamora has spread both her creative energy and that which she has gained through the experiences of her own life to audiences across the state. The themes of unity and personal development join viewers into her own perspective of life, transmitting that positive sentiment out into the world. 

Estrada also brings his own worldly flair to the course of this show lending his experience and expertise from his extensive resume in acting, directing, choreographing, and writing. 

Both the theatre and spiritual world will likely be pleased. 

If you go:

Curanderas & Chocolate: Cuentos of a Latina Life 

Thursday, August 22 and Friday, August 23

Performance begins at 8 p.m. 

Guadalupe Theater

1301 Guadalupe Street 

San Antonio, Texas 78207

General Admission $10

Presented by: Teatro Salon

Written & Performed by: Patricia Zamora

Directed by: Jade Esteban Estrada