From 2004-2009 Adolfo and I apprenticed the Despacho Ceremony with Don Mariano, a paqo (andean priest) from Charkapata of the Q'ero Nation. The Q'ero Nation is situated at one day on horseback from the road to Paucartambo in Cusco and it is the oldest in the Inca Tradition. They live at 4,300 meters of altitude in the Peruvian Andes. They grow potatoes, olluco, oca (types of Andean potatoes). This is what they eat. Medical assistance is scarce. They work and live as a community of about 800 people. They marry among them and have kept their customs alive since the Inca times.
A "Despacho Ceremony is a ritual process for the Andean people to strengthen their harmony, reciprocity & reverence for Pachamama (the mother land) and the Apus (mountains). The Andean Priest performs the Despacho Ceremony as they are the keepers of the ancient knowledge of the natural world. The Despacho is an offering meant to nourish the natural world and protect the human world. The Despacho is central to Andean Beliefs and is a microcosm representing every aspect of life in the Andes. It is a ceremonial art form similar to the Tibetan Sand Mandala Ritual.