For many indigenous people, time is muyu: a Quechua word meaning circular and cyclical and also “seed.” For them, time is the pillar of life, whose cycles are measured by sowing new seeds in September (Kuya Raymi) and harvesting them in June (Inti Raymi). But unlike Western agricul- tural traditions, the celebrations do not stop there: between planting and harvesting there are the festivals of flowering (Capac Raymi and Pawkar Raymi), which are moments to give thanks for youth and life.
Among the fruits that best represent this festivity is the capulí, an Andean cherry-like berry that is compared to a woman’s ovaries and represents fertility. When the tree bears its fruits, it has become a metaphor for agricul- tural fertility and represents the time of year the earth yields its very first tender sprouts. They say that if a cluster holds less than seven fruits, the crop year will be bad. But when berries abound it is a good omen for all crops; prosperity is in sight.
Jucho juice is a traditional Chimborazo drink made from capulí, an endemic Andean berry
The Pawcar Raymi celebration coincides with Carnival — the pan Latin American pre- Eastertide revelry. In addition to the special, central figures of the festivity, the Huiracocha and Warmi Tucushka (a man dressed in drag), in Chimborazo there is the Jucho, a sacred beverage made in appreciation of agricultural fertility. A thick fruit punch made out of capulí, peach, apple, corn, cinnamon, brown sugar and máchica (Andean barley), Jucho is a delicious treat!
The jucho is a traditional Chimborazo drink made from capulí, a unique Andean Berry.