Grace Alvarez Sesma
Explore how to connect with the original spirituality of your ancestors — with rituals and celebrations that align with your personal memories, family history, and cultural identity so you can honor your ancestors and heal generational wounds.
As the world continues to feel uncertain, do you find yourself searching for your spiritual and cultural roots?
You’re not alone. Many seekers are longing to feel closer to their ancestors, hoping to uncover and understand new parts of themselves as they experience their original spirituality.
Yet, it’s easy to feel even more disconnected and adrift when you’re unsure of how to honor your ancestors with cultural humility and respect.
For example, Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is increasingly celebrated by non-Indigenous, non-Mexican people without knowledge of Mexican Indigenous history, notes Grace Alvarez Sesma, a traditional native healer (curandera) from Mexico.
Yet, without enough background, some well-meaning celebrants end up using parts of this sacred observance out of context, which can unintentionally harm or co-opt Mexican and Indigenous communities and cultures. Without the information and tools needed to help heal unresolved issues with deceased relatives and ancestors, these celebrants can also harm themselves.
Thankfully, with the right tools and wisdom, you can respectfully participate in time-honored rituals that you can then pass down for generations. Families are grounded, generation to generation, in their unique cultural traditions. You have these traditions too, affirms Grace.
It’s time to learn how to connect with them...
Join us for a special 75-minute event as Grace guides you through a practice to connect to a beloved ancestor — then discover when, why, and how to honor your ancestor’s life and memory as part of a Día de Muertos observance.
You’ll discover the cultural significance of an ofrenda, an altar with items that are deeply meaningful to you and future generations, which also serves as an invitation to your departed loved ones to visit for a grand feast and joyous family reunion.
Grace will share how to make sure your altar offerings are authentic to your familial lineage, and how to keep them alive in your heart and in your memories.
It may seem like customs that honor the memory of your ancestors have been lost. Yet, as Grace will explain, you can reconnect with the customs of your ancestors through tools like storytelling, music, prayer, photographs... and creating an altar in your own traditions to honor them.
In this 75-minute free online event, you’ll explore:
- The spiritual and cultural significance of creating an ofrenda — an altar with items that are deeply meaningful to you and future generations
- Why your altar doesn’t have to be elaborate — as Grace shares examples of an altar’s elements, including flowers, photographs, food, icons, and other offerings
- Why you don’t have to be a part of any specific tradition to create a respectful altar that celebrates your ancestors and aligns with your cultural identity
- The key differences between appreciating and celebrating a culture vs. appropriating it
- An experiential practice to help you connect to a beloved ancestor in a gentle, safe, and grounded way — Grace will then share when, why, and how to honor your ancestor’s life and memory as part of a Día de Muertos observance
When you join us, you’ll also be among the first to hear about an opportunity to continue working with Grace in her new 7-week course. You’ll learn how to respectfully and joyfully celebrate the living tradition of Día de Muertos to heal and honor your ancestors. Along the way, you’ll learn a peaceful new way of relating to grief, death, and dying.
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Join this FREE video event with Grace Alvarez Sesma and explore how to connect with the original spirituality of your ancestors — with spiritual, familial, and intergenerational customs that align with your cultural identity, honor your ancestors, and heal generational wounds.
Free Video Event
What People Are Saying About Grace Alvarez Sesma...
“[Maestra Grace] is a powerful woman who empowers others with her work.”
It is difficult for me to put into words how much Maestra Grace’s teachings have impacted my life. She is a powerful woman who empowers others with her work. I felt her strong presence in the hallway at the retreat center before I even saw her. She is a beacon of light who shares her practical life experience and has devoted herself to bringing us back to what we already know. While she is adept at spiritual teachings and intuitive insights, she also has her feet firmly planted on the ground; she balances heaven and earth. She is not afraid to tell things as they are and has a rare gift of connecting with spirit and communicating with heart. I went home with a sense of gratitude and appreciation.
— Angela Scala, certified BodyTalk practitioner, Reiki practitioner, and Buddho/Enersense master practitioner, Massachusetts
“I am personally grateful for my own healing work that she has been part of, walking spiritually side by side with me.”
Tlazocamatli (thank you) for generously sharing sacred knowledge with our community. For some, this is teaching how to reclaim what has been taken from us, but that is familiar. I am personally grateful for my own healing work that she has been part of, walking spiritually side by side with me. Her understanding that healing may take time, her commitment and ability to allow yourself to be a vessel and support for creators’ work is truly an inspiration to me. Her advice and prayers are invaluable to me and my familia. I have so much to learn from Maestra Grace! Blessings to her as she walks her prayer.
— C.D., Denver, Colorado
“It was through Maestra Grace’s teachings and stories that I experienced a rebirth and affirmations to what I was experiencing”
Curanderismo is a way of viewing and interacting with the natural world and the spiritual energies of people and elemental forces. At the time when I met Maestra Grace, I was trying to make sense of these physical and unseen forces I was beginning to come in contact with after many encounters with death and loss. It was through Maestra Grace's teachings and stories that I experienced a rebirth and affirmation of what I was experiencing. Beyond showing me what traditional healing systems look like and how they’ve functioned for our ancestors, what Maestra teaches is how to deeply revere sacred ways of knowing and the responsibility one takes on when on this journey of healing.
— Mario Ceballos, POC Fungi Community
“She leads by example of what it means to walk with integrity, respect, and love for sacred traditions.”
As a knowledge keeper, teacher, mentor, and practitioner of traditional healing systems and curanderismo, Maestra Grace Alvarez provides beautiful learning experiences, uniquely delivered through storytelling and heartfelt sharing of her years of experience dedicated to cultural perseverance as an act of community resiliency. I have had the honor of learning directly from Maestra Grace about aspects of traditional healing systems, as well as indirectly in community spaces, talking circles, and healing ceremonies. She generously shares teachings that benefit the health of family and community structures with all the strength and love of a wise grandmother matriarch. She leads by example of what it means to walk with integrity, respect and love for sacred traditions.
— Phoebe Velazquez Islas, Traditional Birth Attendant and Student Midwife
“Grace has inspired me through strong mentorship, to challenge myself with heart-centered remembering and honoring my own ancestral path”
As a descendent of European, Mediterranean, and Eurasian Steppes immigrants, Grace has inspired me through strong mentorship to challenge myself with heart-centered remembering and honoring my own ancestral path. For me, this means recovering myself and the cultural values of my ancestors, and awakening to these times as a good ancestral ambassador who is being responsible for acknowledging I am a guest in this land as a caring human.
— Susan Estep
“Each time that I have worked with [Maestra Grace], I have experienced profound changes in my relationships...”
Each time that I have worked with her, I have experienced profound changes in my relationships... to self (body and mind), with others, and within my own sense of the sacred in my life. I consider this to be true healing. Sometimes the changes are unexpected, as when I came to see her for assistance with digestive issues. The session was very helpful in addressing those concerns and, in addition, resulted in healing a deep and long-standing rift between myself and my mother before she passed away. I bring my whole self to the work I experience with her; because she has the capacity to meet me there.
— Jennifer Wolfe, Iowa
About Grace Alvarez Sesma
Grace Alvarez Sesma, a cultural practitioner of Yaqui descent, was born in Mexico. Called to the path of curanderismo (a traditional Mexican healing system) in childhood, she was profoundly influenced by the work of one of her aunts, a curandera, and an uncle who was a well-known huesero, as well as by her mother’s remedies that were part of her family’s daily life.
Beginning in early childhood, Grace was visited in dreams by Our Lady of Guadalupe and a group of Indigenous Grandmothers dressed in the traditional clothing of different Native tribes of the Americas, who urged her to return to Indigenous healing ways and help bring forth the call from Mother Earth for a return to Indigenous values and the protection of the land, water, and holy places.
Keeping the words of the ancestors in her heart, in 2013 she successfully launched an online social media campaign that helped stop the trademarking of Día de los Muertos by The Walt Disney Company.
In addition to her healing practice, Grace is a facilitator for the Academy for Professional Excellence at San Diego State University School of Social Work, and she annually serves as Elder-in-Residence at the First Nations Iskotew and Kumik teaching lodges in Canada.
Grace is a 1993 Fellow of the National Hispana Leadership Institute, a collaborative project with the Center for Creative Leadership and Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government. She is a member of the Kumeyaay-led Kanap Kuahan (Tell the Truth) Coalition, an advisor to House of the Moon (an Indigenous healing and restoration program to address the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women/People crisis), and a board member of the Yaquis of Southern California.
Grace is an engaging cultural educator who helps organizations understand and be responsive to the historical experiences of Indigenous peoples as well as contemporary issues affecting them. She warmly welcomes into her circle those who are ready to listen with an open heart and are willing to do the work of healing, understanding, and supporting Indigenous culture and traditions.