Empacho in Four Latino Groups: A Study of Intra- and Inter-Cultural Variation in Beliefs

Susan C. Welter, Lee M. Pachter, Robert T. Trotter, Roberta D. Baer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Scopus citations


It is usually impossible to know if reported differences between cultures are due to cultural differences or due to a difference in the methods used to study the cultures. This paper describes a collaborative, multisite study using a shared methodology to study intra- and inter-cultural variation in beliefs. A series of standard interview schedules were used to study Latin American beliefs about empacho in Guatemala, Mexico, and in the United States (Mexican-Americans and Puerto Ricans). Results showed consistency in beliefs about empacho both within and between the four samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-136
Number of pages28
JournalMedical Anthropology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1993



  • Empacho
  • Guatemala
  • Mexico
  • Puerto Rico
  • cross-cultural comparison
  • cultural consensus model
  • folk illness
  • intracultural variation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology

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