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Ceremonial Terrace in Q'eros

1 March 2023
By: Coco Box
Part Of Jimmy Nelson His Team- Coco Box
Photo- Jimmy Nelson- Q' eros- Peru - Homage to Humanity
Photo by: Charlotte Chastain

Ceremonial Terrace in Q'eros

Calling in The Apus! With the help of Willka Yachay, and funds from the Serving Our Spirits Fund of EarthAction, and the  Jimmy Nelson Foundation, the Q’eros community finished building a terrace for a core practice of their worldview – the despacho – last year. Because of conditions in Peru, we had to wait a bit for images of the inaugural ceremony, but we are so happy with the result!

The multi-level design, by inspired pro bono architect Carlos Rey, represents the three worlds of the Andean philosophy, and more. Thirty masons built the terrace in ten days!

The Jimmy Nelson Foundation wants to thank all of our collaborators, all of our supporters who are the proud owners of a JNF book or art, and the Apus through beautiful ceremonies from this powerful spot!!!

Despacho Ceremony

With the arrival of the terrace, there’s now a dedicated place within the community for a ceremony widely known by its Spanish name, despacho, which refers to the burning of offerings to send messages to the mountain spirits, or Apus. Known as hawarikuy in Quechua, the ceremony is performed to mark important moments in life such as marriages and births, but also to ensure a good harvest. Coca leaves are placed together with various foodstuffs and small stones or pieces of paper and folded into a small package that is placed into a fire. In some cases, the paqo, the healer, makes the offering to strengthen the connection with Mother Earth, Pachamama, and the Apus.

Photo by Charlotte Chastain for Willka Yachay