Church of Santa Cruz, only surviving remnant of the college
The College of Santa Cruz, founded by the Franciscans in Mexico City in 1536, is a good case of how these conflicts played out. The purpose of the college was to train Aztecs from elite families to be Catholic priests. The college had two Spanish Franciscans as teachers, aided by a native assistant, and several dozen sons of elite Aztec families attended. They were taught Spanish, Latin, theology, and "grammar," that is, the basics of Latin literature and composition. But other forces, led by the Dominicans, opposed this whole plan; they kept the school from ever receiving adequate funding and in 1555 banned any native from becoming a priest. By then, our sources say, the school was already a ruin. During its brief life, however, the school did manage to train dozens of Aztec men. One of its instructors was Bernardino de Sahagún, who published several books on the Aztecs and the Nahuatl language and also the famous General History of the Indies, an immense project on which he was helped by students at Santa Cruz.
It describes, among many other things, giving patients hypnotic preparations of datura before surgery, which is pretty much what was done to me when they operated on my wrist. Plants are listed for treating bleeding, skin rashes, headaches, colds, wounds, and so on, including those great stables of pre-modern medicine, laxatives and purgatives. Some of these plants are still used by folk healers in Mexico for the same purposes described by de la Cruz, showing strong continuity within the oral culture.