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photography - ISSUE #10

Healing Through Remembering

Words and photography by Eli Farinango

Born in Ecuador and raised as a teenager in Ottawa, Canada, Eli Farinango longed to return to her home and its ancestral connection.

I asked my friend: “How did you learn about ceremonies and healing?” She replied: “I didn’t learn. I’m simply remembering. All of this is already inside us, they just made us forget.”

I was born on the outskirts of Quito, to a Kichwa family from a small community in Imbabura, Ecuador. With few resources available to my parents, they were forced to leave our community to look for opportunities. Like many Otavaleño children, I was left behind and spent my childhood with my maternal grandmother, Mamita Virginia. She taught us to love the plants. She took us to the house where she had grown up. She taught us about the spirits by always lighting candles for everyone that was far away, and she taught me to remember.

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