Celebration for the Pachamama in Havana

Regina Cano

Circle for the ceremony.

HAVANA TIMES – On the first day of August, through the streets of the Havana municipality of Guanabacoa, people greeted Rafael Sanchez Ruiz – visual arts artist – who has been accustomed since 2012 to make a pilgrimage for the Pachamama (Mother Earth) from his home to the Loma de la Cruz hill, located in this town, accompanied by all who want to join.

The tribute to Mother Earth or Pachamama Day, a habitual holiday in several Latin American countries, was known by Sanchez through three Mayan shamans from Guatemala who were in Cuba sponsored by that country’s embassy on the island. They held conferences and rituals about its meaning, at the dawn of what was known as the closing of a spiritual and natural cycle for the world.

During these actions Sanchez was bequeathed by these priests, consecrated samples of the ritual performed, which endorse him to assume this responsibility year after year.

The celebration shows gratitude to the earth for the fruits it gives us, thus honoring the spiritual entities that will help in the process of regeneration and balance of the natural system, maintaining its rhythm and the cycles that make up its fertility, for being life-giving, nourishing and to protect us.

Rafael and those who accompanied him this year – less than usual – sensitized and worried about the sustainability of Mother Nature, held a ceremony with offerings of fruits, chocolate, beans, bread, flowers and honey – feeding the land the same that it gives us to survive in it – as well as prayers and sahumerians so that it continues this generous benefit.

Each participant had the opportunity to make their own personal requests to Mother Earth, for well-being, good health, and to keep away the negative energies from their lives and that of their loved ones.

At the end of the festivity the attendees collected purified earth and ashes already consecrated by the fire lit during the tribute, which they took home to deposit in a kind of clay amulet created by the artist himself, to carry with them the blessing to their homes.

Although it has not belonged to our traditional baggage, the fiesta for the Pachamama in the Cuban capital joins the celebration of the great land, America, for prosperity, for life and good for all.

(Click on an image to display the gallery.)

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Regina Cano

Regina Cano: I have lived my entire life in Havana, Cuba – the island from which I’ve still never left, and which I love. I was born on September 9, and my parents chose my name out of superstition, but my mother raised me outside the religion professed by her family. I studied accounting and finance at the University of Havana, a profession that I’m not engaged in for the time being, and that I substituted for doing crafts, some ceramics, and studying a little English and about painting. Ah! – concerning my picture: I identify with Rastafarian principles, but I am not one of them. I wear this cap from time to time, but I assure you I just didn't have a better picture.