Shamans in Peru have welcomed 2016 with their annual gathering and predictions for the new year. Here’s to hoping they’re mostly right.
“We have Donald Trump who is not so favorable with his racists comments, his warmongering, his strong negativity,” one of the shamans said. “The U.S. will band strongly together so that he does not become the official candidate.” Fingers-crossed all that spitting and plant-waving works!
He continued with good news by saying “the United States will benefit from the new business relationship in Cuba,” but — and here’s where we hope they’re wrong — Europe will unfortunately be hit by terrorist attacks again.
Check out what other predictions the shamans have for the new year in the video from AJ+ above.
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With news headlines like “How Covid-19 could destroy indigenous communities”, it’s hard to understate the affect that the Coronavirus has had on Indigenous communities across the world.
Even before the pandemic hit, native populations were already at increased risk of health complications, poor access to medical care, lack of proper education, and even premature death. The pandemic has only exacerbated these issues as government programs and NGOs who delivered aid to far flung communities have grind to a halt.
However, many communities have started taking the matter into their own hands by creating their own impromptu healthcare systems based on ancestral techniques and others have barricaded off their villages from the outside world in an effort to stem the flow of the virus.
In Peru, many Indigenous communities are turning to centuries-old medicines to fight back against the Coronavirus.
The Coronavirus has had a devastating impact on Peru – the country with the world’s highest per capita Covid-19 mortality rate. At particular risk is the nation’s large Indigenous community, who often lack proper access to education efforts and medical care. This has forced many Indigenous groups to find their own remedies.
In the Ucayali region, government rapid response teams deployed to a handful of Indigenous communities have found infection rates as high as 80% through antibody testing. Food and medicine donations have reached only a fraction of the population. Many say the only state presence they have seen is from a group responsible for collecting bodies of the dead.
At least one community, the Indigenous Shipibo from Peru’s Amazon region, have decided to rely on the wisdom of their ancestors. With hospitals far away, doctors stretch too thin and a lack of beds, many have accepted the alternative medicine.
In a report by the Associated Press, one villager, Mery Fasabi, speaks about gathering herbs, steeping them in boiling water and instructing her loved ones to breathe in the vapors. She also makes syrups of onion and ginger to help clear congested airways.
“We had knowledge about these plants, but we didn’t know if they’d really help treat COVID,” the teacher told the AP. “With the pandemic we are discovering new things.”
One of the plants the Shipibo are using is known locally as ‘matico.’ The plant has green leaves and brightly colored flowers. And although Fasabi admits that these ancestral remedies are by no means a cure, the holistic approach is proving successful. She says that “We are giving tranquility to our patients,” through words of encouragement and physical touch.
Even before the Coronavirus, Indigenous communities were at a greater risk for infectious diseases.
Indigenous peoples around the globe tend to be at higher risk from emerging infectious diseases compared to other populations. During the H1N1 pandemic in Canada in 2009, for example, aboriginal Canadians made up 16% of admissions to hospital, despite making up 3.4% of the population.
Indigenous groups are particularly vulnerable to dying from Covid-19 because they often live days away from professional medical help. As of July 28, the disease had killed 1,108 indigenous people and there had been 27,517 recorded cases, with the majority in Brazil, according to data published by Red Eclesial Panamazonia (Repam).
Some communities are turning inward to survive COVID-19, barricading villages and growing their own food.
Despite the immense threat they face, Indigenous communities are fighting back.
“I am amazed to see the ways that indigenous peoples are stepping up to provide support where governments have not,” Tauli-Corpuz, a teacher at Mexico’s UNAM, told The Conversation. “They are providing PPE and sanitation, making their own masks, and ensuring that information on Covid-19 is available in local languages, and are distributing food and other necessities.”
They are also choosing to isolate. In Ecuador’s Siekopai nation, about 45 Indigenous elders, adults and children traveled deep into the forest to their ancestral heartland of Lagartococha to escape exposure to the Coronavirus, says the nation’s president Justino Piaguaje.
Despite their best efforts, many experts are extremely concerned for the survival of many Indigenous communities.
They are already facing the ‘tipping point’ of ecological collapse due to increased threats of deforestation, fires, industrial extraction, agribusiness expansion and climate change,” Amazon Watch executive director Leila Salazar-Lopez told UNESCO of Amazonian Indigenous groups.
“Now, the pandemic has created one more crisis, and as each day passes, the risk of ethnocide becomes more real.”
Latinos for Trump has long been a confusing organization in the Latino community. President Donald Trump has built his administration and brand to be squarely against people of color. Now, the Latinos for Trump group caused a stir when they posted a collage of flags that are not quite right.
Latinos for Trump really thought they had something when they posted their Hispanic Heritage Month collage.
The first, and most obvious mistake, is that the Mexican flag is backwards. The flag is supposed to be green, white, and red in that order. As we can all see, the collage has a Mexican flag that is red, white, and green. The eagle is even facing the wrong way so someone literally flipped the flag the wrong way.
Of course, some people tried to make sense of the bizarre Mexican flag snafu.
Last year, the Trump administration announced that it was cutting aid to three countries in Central America. The countries were El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. Fox & Friends picked up the story but told their audience that Trump was cutting aid to “3 Mexican countries.” Perhaps this Twitter user is right and the Latinos for Trump are trying to suggest the existence of other Mexicos.
Someone else pointed out the issues with the Guatemalan flag in the top right corner.
People are very defensive about their cultural heritage and national origin. Messing up someone’s flag is a very serious issue for people. Just ask a Cuban or Puerto Rican about people confusing their flags. It is never a good thing.
Some people fixed the image for them so the organization can see what it should have looked like.
Good, clean lines with all of the flags facing the right way. The creator even changed the message in the middle for the Latino community. It is clear that social media is still willing to show up and teach a couple of lessons here and there.
Others had a more direct message for Latinos for Trump.
We all know that social media is where things go to be manipulated and made fun of. It is very important that if you make something for social media that you take good care to make sure that you check all of the right boxes and execute your work right the first time.