This past saturday 16th, 2016 Ecuador faced a 7.8 hearthquake which produced a great destruction in different parts of ecuador.
It affected mostly the cost side of Ecuador leaving over 500 known fatal victims and over 4,000 injured, plus over 20,000 homeless pleople of all ages. However with this post I wanted to highlight the other side of the story. Ivolving the help that was amazing yet not surprising to see. Ecuadorians are very generopuse people and showed so by the unbelievable amount of volunteers and dotations given to the victims of this tragedy. From children to friend, family, military, police, firefighters, students, teachers, T.V celebrities everyone showed up to help or donate anything that they could give. Along with the national help came the international support as well
Now here is the problem and the real reason of my post. The help given so far will only be enough for a shortt time as an inmidient help, but we will not be able to overcome this tragic event in a week or two. this is why I want to give anyone out there with a good heart a way that you can help the people in Ecuador.
This are safe ways that you can donate and show your support Bank of America you can donate to the account number: 3751560139, under the name of “UNDP REPRESENTATIVE IN ECUADOR”, Swift code: BOFAUS3N and ACH routing number: 111000012.
If you are outside the country in New York, also in Bank of América an Account with the name “CCU SECRETARIA GESTIÓN RIESGOS/PLANTA CENTRAL” account number: 01121807.
If you need any help froom the United States or Canada call this number: 1844 668 4543.
What does "Cinco" mean in Ecuador? I will give you a clue. It's not a number...
In Ecuador we had a tradition that has come for generations and it's as old as my grandmother's memory. It is an event that follows after the burial.
Personally I hadn't been in an event such as this one when I used to live in Ecuador. However now that I'm back, I unfortunately had to be in this unique event. With this post I will tell you all I've learned from this tradition with the meaning it holds, along with what I've personally experienced emotionally. First of all as I've said, I've never been in this event before so it's all very new to me as well as some of you. What I've gather is this. After all the friends leave after the burial. All the closet people to the deceased gather together to get ready for the next step in the process of letting the dear member of the community go. The way to get ready is by gathering all the deceased belonging. Of course I am referring to the clothing, bed sheets or blankets, pillows, hats, pretty much anything that can be washed. Also the belonging are left in sacks for the next day. As the new day begins, a few of the faintly members wake up early to get lunch started for the people tart will accompany them to the "cinco". Once everyone has eaten, the family will call the bus to come pick everyone up. After the bus is loaded up with the clothing and accessories of the deceased, all the people get von the bus and leave for the "Cinco".
This mass washing takes place in a nearby by river where all the people accompanying will wash the clothes or help hang them. I experienced this as well by helping to hang the clothes on the rocks or anything that had the sun on them.
It was over within am hour or so. I was impressed since it was a lot of clothing and blankets. But then again there were about 70 people without counting the kids.
The next point to discuss is the meaning of this event. I did ask many of the older family members and other people who attended. Most of them gave me one answered to the meaning of the "cinco" which was that it helped anyone who cared dearly about the deceased easy the pain of losing them after the previous very emotional moments that they had to endure. There were also other theories such as one that said that it would wash the soul of the deceased off their belongings or it would wah the bad senses off the clothes in case someone else wanted to use them. I personally liked the first theory since I did see a difference between the family members before the "Cinco" and after it
Overall the "Cinco" in Ecuador holds a very important part in the steps of a deceased person's family members and friends. This event means a great deal to help people easy the pain of losing important people in their lifes.
This are my thoughts and what I've learned this past few days. I would love to read what you thought about this tradition and what meaning of it for you prefer. Do you have anything similar where you live at this moment? Would you like to have something similar in your community? Please leave your comments below.
Sadly I came across such an event and would like to share it with you.
From the most part and what I can recall from all past memories, this process hasn't change. I am going to walk you through the steps that follow after a community member has passed away.
Starts with "El doble" which means that the spiritual leader of the community was informed of the even and moved on to the local church to sound the bell. It's not like a school bell ring or a time to eat bell rings. It's a sadder ring. Starts with one ring alone and follows with a 3-5 seconds interval until the next ring. This process continues for about 10-15 minutes ending with the spiritual Leader announcing the name of the community member that has passed in order to call all friends and family to a awake; which starts that same day or night, to accompany the family.
Now for this nex part I myself tried to nake it through the night but I went as long as about 5:37am and completely passed out. Even though I didnt make it, before I passed out I saw people coming back already. Overall people will stay until about 03:00 am and come back at about 04:30 am. However the family members do stay up most of the night and sleep in turns for about an hour or two. There has to always be someone accompanying the deceased.
Another thing that cough my attention was the custom to put water under the coffin. I researched this because no one at the wake was able to give me an answer. It said that; and I rephrase, if the deceased has died with thirst there has to be put a glass of water under the coffin in order to give the soul water to drink while it's still with us. This glass of water has to be left at the same place for nine days; this is the scary part, there will be less water at the end of this wait period. The result is for the leftover water is said to be a cure for people tart suffer from the heart, nervous or asma.
To conclude, I saw that when it came to this custom. It hasn't lost any tradition or change in anyway. But there is more I will like to share with you in a different post. Please let me know what you think and how different this process is from the traditions in the place where you are at this moment.
When you travel with your friends anywhere in Ecuador make sure you follow this rules to be safe and seem less like a tourist.
1. You will always sit next to your best friend.
2. If your group has more than 3 members, then sit at the very last chair on the bus.
3. When you get on the bus, never make eye contact(except when you are going to greet them).
4. Never pull your chair back... ever!
5. If your friend pats for your ride, pay for them the next time.
This event is Organize by the community leaders plus the queen of the community(this will be another story) the indor tournament composed of as many teams as there are willing to participate. This includes anyone from outside the community; in fact, it is encouraged for outsider to participate.
This specific tournament was composed by 20 teams. What I personally liked from the previous tournaments traditions were the mascots from each team. Everyone became very creative and brought the strangest animals to represent their teams. I remember one time there was this penguin like mutation of a dock brought by a team. It had the uniform and the way it stoop up as a penguin made it very hallarious and of course they won and the mascot was published on the newspaper. Sadly this tradition doesn't seem to have kept on with the times.
The tournament had the basics which were the team with the uniforms and a Mrs sports to participate in sorta of like a beauty contest.
The inaguaracion of the tournament wasn't as excited as I anticipated. It was probably because I was expecting too much. The event started an hour or so late ( Ecuadorian time ) with the teams lining up at the entrance and the host announcing their names as they walk / March in. After they are all lined up we sang the national anthem; I confess I forgot some parts of it, this part showed the respect and pride all Ecuadorian share. I saw the people walking by stop and be quite, a football game across the street put a pause to their game and stood there quite. It was impressive.
The final stage of the inauguration of the tournament was to choose the three most beautiful girls out of the 20 representatives of the teams, the best uniformed team and the opening game. Each part was more existing then the next. With a lot of laughter, suspends, defeat and victory the inauguration was over.