Félix Mauricio fell to his knees on the dry and brittle ground of the former bottom of Lake Poopó and began to say a few prayers in his language so that the mother of the lake (Quchamama) and God could restore water and life. .
Another member of the Uru community also got on their knees and together they lifted two boxes in which offerings were prepared as payment for the deities who in the past filled the now rugged plain with water.
After the ritual of repentance for the misuse of the water resource, both villagers in white ponchos parted from the other villagers and went barefoot to find water near the Desaguadero River known as Ujpata willi willi.
However, the search ended in a puddle no more than two inches of cloudy water. Both went on their knees again to beg the spirits to flood the plain, once filled with fish, ducks, and dozens of species. They raised the offering boxes to the sky, then poured them into the scarce water and sprinkled sweet wine on the Quchamama to ease their pain.
“The lake left us 15 years ago because of the drought, so we remember the great and mighty God so that He could give us this blessing, with all the faith that we have followed,” affirmed Pablo Flores, Mayor of Puñaca Tinta Maria .
The Mallku des Urus of Lake Poopó, Luis Valero, recalls that the parents of this indigenous people from the Oruro department arrived via the Desaguadero River, which is connected to Lake Titicaca, and reached the islands and shores of the second largest lake in the World settled Bolivia.
“The Urus survive, we are in the Desaguadero River that comes from the Uru Uru Lake, only in this place there is water and beyond, in the same lake there is no water at that time, so we survive the drought that The lake was our source of life, which our parents have inherited from us and now we ask our creator God to let rain fall in this place “, the leader tells the journalists who came to the place on Thursday to review the dramatic situation, 08/19 .
Valero sued the municipal, departmental and national authorities so they could be concerned about the Urus’ situation. “We have no territory, we have no land, this (the lake) was our land, our lake, our source of life, we are hunters and fishermen like our parents who came from the reeds, but now with the drought the reeds are disappearing too “, the Mint.
Urus communities are doomed to disappear like lake water and like the reeds warn their authorities because they have no other economic alternative. Many members of the indigenous population left the communities to pursue masonry or other trades in the city because they have no land to grow or graze cattle.
The ritual beyond seeking the favor of God and the Mother of the Lake was an appeal to the authorities so that they can contribute to the survival of the Uru communities.
Félix Mauricio, who led the ritual, relates that the Lake of Urus was up to 12 meters deep, but now the water has disappeared and in its place there is a desolate salt desert that torments the children of the water who are now in three communities are settled like Puñaca Ink Maria.
In 2015, news of the disappearance of Bolivia’s second largest lake went around the world, hundreds of reports were made and many promises made, and even multi-million dollar plans for environmental clean-up and in support of the Urus were launched, the main victims of the disaster.
However, the situation has not changed and residents do not lose hope and belief that the waters will return home in the next year, 2022, and with them parihuanas, fish and other species.
“The lake has been our source of work for years, but now it has made us orphans, but we believe we will go fishing again,” says Pablo Flores.