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Despacho

Despacho (des-pat-scho) or Haywarisqa (hai-wa-risk-ua) is Qechua and refers to a ritual in the form of a mandala. A despacho is a personal ceremony in which one thanks the Apus and Ñustas or wishes for something. It is a gift, a way of giving something back in return for everything we receive every day and it reminds both those carrying out the ritual and those participating in it of their connections with all beings, elements, and sacred places.

Despachos follow a clear order, with the external structure helping to provide an internal structure. This allows people to align with their innermost goals and to harmonize them with their own powers. Despachos leave a lot of room for creativity despite their structure so that the personality of a Paquo and his spiritual power can also shine through.  

There are about 300 different despachos in the Andes and some of them consist of up to 150 elements. There is no relationship between the number of individual elements required for a despacho or the size of a despacho and the effect achieved.

The simplest despacho, the so-called Karpay Despacho, consists of only 4 k'intus, a cross and a shell. This despacho is used for initiation into the Inka tradition. Once again the simplest despacho is used for one of the most important ceremonies of the tradition!