Map of Argentina and Chile
The Pachamama The Pachamama Pachamama

The Pachamama (Mother Earth)

Pachamama means "mother earth" or "good mother" in Quechua. For Andean people she is related to fertility, therefore she is directly related to a woman and a mother who worries, cares and feeds her children.
The term Pachamama stands for pacha meaning "earth" and "time", and mama meaning "mother" in Quechua.
Mother of time – name given maybe because she is linked to the pace of seasons?
When she comes to our mind we imagine her with the shape of a woman whose age can vary depending on the regions.
She is the Earth Goddess in the Amerindian religion in South America. The men, animals and plants’ mother earth, she was considered a human being so it was convenient to respect her and give offerings.
Pachamama is invoked as the "patron saint" of everything above or below earth.

In the heart of the Andes, at about 4,000 mts. above sea level, is the High Plateau shared by Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Chile. Lake Titicaca is situted in this huge plateau with more than 8,000 km². Offering a mejstic beauty, the nature is hard and not very generous in this area. However, after thousands of years, men have managed to make a living on this infertile land, and great civilizations have built extraordinary cities such as Machu Pichu or Tiwanaku. Living between sky and land, the people in this region share a vision of the world intimately linked to sacredness. Everyday activities are always preceded by well defined rites whose origins date back to the night of times.
Unfortunately and inevitably, the customs and traditions are disapperaing as time goes by.

According to the legend, the first men appeared on the shores of Lake Titicaca. They worshipped the gods who had given the gift of life: Inti, the sun and Pachamama, the mother earth. Thanks to the many archeological discoveries in the High Plateau, it was possible to understand the importance of these deities for the ancient people like the Incas. Some of their rites are still preserved among the Andean people’s traditional culture. Nevertheless, these rites have been influenced by the catholic religion imposed by the conquerors in the course of time.
A weird cocktail that seems to feed the enthusiasm. For the Amerindian people - the vast majority in the entire region – land, men and animals belong to the Pachamama which presides over all the things. Every act involving the community starts with a ceremony to honor her. And in these situations the leaves of coca, created by Inti to ease thirst, hunger and tiredness, are never missing.
Coca leaves are used by indigenous people as a way to connect the gods’ world to the men’s world. In addition, it is an element of utmost importance in the Andean people’s social life. It is not only offered to the gods but also to the neighbours or even the authorities to ask for service or help.

You will have the opportunity to become acquainted with these traditions, beliefs and thousand-year-old lifestyles in the North of Chile and above all, in the Argentine northeast. In fact, all the rites linked to the Pachamama are present especially in Salta and Jujuy provinces. If you cross the Argentine – Bolivian border, the pachamama will be felt even more...

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