The following is a biographical profile on one of Belize’s esteemed traditional healer, Don Elijio Panti (1893-1996):
- Elijio Panti was born in San Andres, Peten, Guatemala, on July 15th, 1893.
- Shortly after his birth, his parents brought him when they came to live in San Jose Succotz Village, Belize, 1893.
- Elijio married Gomercinda Tzib in 1907 and moved to San Antonio, Cayo in 1912.
- He worked as a chiclero in the jungles of Belize and Guatemala. It was during a chicle camp in 1930 that he apprenticed to Don Jeronimo Requena, a noted Garifuna bush doctor.
- Elijio and Gomercinda had only one daughter, Emilia. Unfortunately, Emilia passed away in 1962 during the birth of her fifth child.
- Don Elijio’s wife passed away on New Year’s Day, 1980. He never recuperated from the deep grief he felt at his wife’s passing. He said, “Loving a woman was the best part of my life.”
- Elijio began his illustrious career as a traditional healer in San Antonio, Cayo in 1931. With knowledge and wisdom that grew over the years, he first began healing his own family, his villagers, then the nation, then Central Americans and finally gained world-wide recognition as the last living Maya H’men (he who knows) of Belize.
- Using his simple, ancient healing methods with herbs, massage and prayers in his village clinic, Don Elijio cured untold thousands. He contributed more than five hundred plants to the National Cancer Institute’s search for natural compounds that might have cancer fighting effects.
- There are many throughout the world who owe their lives to this great and simple man.
Dr. Panti received many awards throughout his life, among them were: Distinguished Citizen Award, University College of Belize
How to cite: ISCR/NICH. “Don Elijio Panti (1893-1996).” Belize’s Heroes, Patriots & Benefactors Exhibit. Retrieved from: [Insert BHA Website URL]
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