Ecuadoreans take part in indigenous cleansing ritual to prevent spread of coronavirusRecord ID: 1464665
- Title: Ecuadoreans take part in indigenous cleansing ritual to prevent spread of coronavirus
- Date: 15th March 2020
- Summary: QUITO, ECUADOR (MARCH 14, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE PARTICIPATING IN AN INDIGENOUS CLEANSING RITUAL TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) INDIGENOUS LEADER HOLDING INCENSE INDIGENOUS LEADER HOLDING INCENSE CLOSE TO BABY IN STROLLER (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) INDIGENOUS LEADER ''YACHAK'' OF THE COMMUNITY OF GUANGOPOLO, ROSITA CABRERA, SAYING: ''We are always asking heaven, earth and nature, so that the infamous coronavirus does not reach us.'' VARIOUS OF PEOPLE LOOKING ON VARIOUS OF ELDERLY WOMAN RECEIVING BLESSINGS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) INDIGENOUS LEADER ''YACHAK'' OF THE COMMUNITY OF GUANGOPOLO, ROSITA CABRERA, SAYING: ''What are we going to do? We are going to teach people to use bitter plants, plants with a strong effect, which have very strong flavours (like eucalyptus) which will strengthen them. So, people should start placing twigs in the corners of the houses, inside, under the beds, in the bedrooms, and they can also be placed on top of dining tables.'' FRUIT PLACED IN MIDDLE OF SQUARE FOR CLEANSING RITUAL VARIOUS OF WOMEN COLLECTING FRUIT AND PLACING IT INTO BASKET WOMAN HANDING OUT FRUIT TO TODDLER (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) INDIGENOUS LEADER ''YACHAK'' OF THE COMMUNITY OF GUANGOPOLO, ROSITA CABRERA, SAYING: ''Now, more than ever, we have to consume vitamin C, (fruits) the ones that contain vitamin C. For example, not only oranges and lemons but garlic too, garlic that purifies the blood. Chew a bit of garlic in the morning. You can't go wrong with that. It will protect you.'' BOWL OF MEDICINAL FRUITS AND HERBS VARIOUS OF PEOPLE TAKING PART IN CLEANSING RITUAL (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) INDIGENOUS LEADER ''YACHAK'' OF THE COMMUNITY OF GUANGOPOLO, ROSITA CABRERA, SAYING: ''It's like going to church. If you believe that going to a Protestant Church will be good for you, then it will. If you believe that going to a Roman Catholic Church will be good for you too, then it will be. It's as if you were receiving the host. But for us it's more important to take part in open air rituals because it's spreading to everyone, energising them. It won't only give you energy but you in turn will take energy for your home and it's being carried to all communities too.'' SIGN ON THE DOOR THAT SAYS "ATTENTION, USE ANTISEPTIC GEL" WOMAN SITTING NEXT TO TABLE WITH GEL AND ALCOHOL TO DISINFECT HANDS ALCOHOL BEING SPRAYED ON WOMEN'S HANDS WOMAN PUTTING ON FACE MASK FACE MASKS BEING SOLD VARIOUS OF PEOPLE TAKING PART IN CLEANSING RITUAL
- Keywords: Ecuador coronavirus government indigenous infection ritual
- Reuters ID: LVA001C55XF7R
- Location: QUITO, ECUADOR
- City: QUITO, ECUADOR
- Country: Ecuador
- Duration: 00:03:40
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: In this small rural community in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, believers participated in an indigenous cleansing ritual on Saturday (March 14) to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), despite a ban on all public activities.
Rosa Cabrera, better known as Mama Rosita, is a yachak - the indigenous name people in Ecuador give to their shamans or healers - and belongs to the town of Kitu Kara, in the Guangopolo area of greater Quito.
She inherited the trade from her mother and grandmother. The responsibility of keeping the indigenous community in Guangopolo healthy, lies on their shoulders.
In different communities throughout the Andean nation, yachaks carried out ancestral ceremonies with sacred plants that, they claim, have cleansing effects or can boost immune systems and prevent illness.
Indigenous communities, which were decimated by viral diseases in times of the Spanish colony, have long used medicinal plants and good nutrition to fight infections, although they agree that washing your hands, wearing face masks and keeping your distance are also key to staying healthy.
Ecuador so far has confirmed 28 cases of coronavirus, including two deaths, and authorities have banned all public activities.
(Production: Cristina Munoz, Geraldine Downer)
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