Hey y’all! It’s Jazzy and Ilán. We were the leaders of the day today, on Indigenous World Views Day. As leaders, we had to wake up way too early, and so as we’re writing this we are quite delirious. Waking up at 6 am, we got ourselves ready for the day before anyone was awake so that we could prepare for the day and wake everyone up by 7am. We ate breakfast and headed out to Jatun- Yachay-wasi. Which is an Indigenous community and school about 1 hour away from Riobamba. As we walked in we were welcomed and invited to take our shoes off in order to release negative energy into the earth and receive the positive energy from Pachamama (Mother Earth). We began a tour of the land where Ilán was asked to play a drum at the rhythm of our pace as we walked around. We then were invited to take part in a ritual that is commonly done before classes to balance our energy and keep us present. We danced around the circle while our PC, Ilán, and our tour guide Luis played music. After, we learned about different ways to get rid of negative energy such as walking barefoot on natural ground, hugging a tree, and leaving a crystal cup of water near a window sill or near the entrance of your home.
After our tour, we were introduced to an ancestral way of cooking underground called Pachamanca. The meal was cooked in a hole that was about 4 feet deep, there are initial layers of burlaps that hold the first layer of volcanic rocks that have been preheated, then layers of whole veggies, fruits, and meats are placed between layers of the volcanic rock, to finish the process they are covered with more rocks and burlap, which is then covered with soil. After about one hour all the layers of rocks and soil are taken off, which we both helped do and encouraged our peers to take part in. The food was served on an Andean cross made from grass covered with traditional textiles. The food was earth-shattering!! I, (Jazzy) scarfed up the amazing food, while Ilán ate slowly, contemplating how delicious and natural the food was. Everything was In it’s natural state, the most processed thing we ate was a delicious panela cheese. Eating this meal made us feel very connected and grateful for Pachamama (Mother Earth). We said our thanks to everyone who took part in making the food and made our way to visit a local lagoon.
On the bus ride back to Riobamba, there was a lot less talking than usual. We felt the shift in energy that can be attributed to our experience in Jatun- Yachay- Wasi. When we arrived at the hotel we all had to get “very cute” as our PC Mateo says because at 4 pm we had our Community Action Project presentation. During this, we got approval from the principal of German Abdo school to renovate the grass and paint a mural as our CAP project! We ended off the day with a delightful dinner served by our awesome chefs Iván and Carmita. It is now late and ya kids are ready for nighty night.
Good night and love you all – Ilán & Jazzy (the best leaders mwah and besitos) <3