Pachamama: Mother Nature
La Pachamama is a prominent divinity of the Andean worldview. La Pachamama is not only the planet (the terrestrial sphere), but she also encompasses much more.
She is nature that is in permanent contact with human beings. Human beings likewise interact with La Pachamama through various rituals.
It is generally understood that la Pachamama protects people and allows them to live, thanks to all that she provides: water, food, etc.
Humanity, therefore, must care for la Pachamama and pay tribute via offerings.
The cult of la Pachamama varies according to the ethnic group, and the practices of these cults have also changed with the passing of time.
In ancient times animals were sacrificed in her honor. Nowadays, however, it is more common for animals to be buried after their natural death.
Cigarettes, bottles of wine, coca leaves and other products are offered as offerings.
The intention is to please la Pachamama so that she returns the gesture with good harvests, favorable climate conditions, etc.
Today it is common for the Quechuas, Aymaras, and their descendants to combine the traditional cult of Pachamama with the Catholic religion. This religious syncretism is predominant in South American countries where the Quechuas and Aymaras have settled, such as Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.
Due to this syncretism, traditional Andean rituals and offerings to Mother Earth have developed parallel to other festivities and acts typical of Catholicism.