Tuesday, March 29, 2016


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.
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