Day 4, 5 and 6 of Festival Patrona. The truth behind the scenes – what really happened! by Trina Lerner Brammah

Continuing on from:

Day 1,2 and 3 of Festival Patrona. The truth behind the scenes – what really happened! by Trina Lerner Brammah


Day 4 – School parade 

Right!, get the kids washed under the outside kitchen tap. With all the women cooking, the cow from the night before. Jacob screaming because he doesn’t want anyone to see him naked. “It’s just your Auntie’s Jacob, no one looking.” My house is a good 15 minute walk away so we had to sleep in a back room.  I have to get Leia my youngest daughter ready her teacher is waiting.  We have hired a butterfly costume for the parade.   Jacob is an introvert like his mum so he refuses to dress like an indigenous boy, from the mountains.

Leia Mariposa
Jacob’s class

Leia was the first on the parade, walking past all the people.  The first and moving fast, loving all the attention.  Amazing how they both came from the same parents.

Walking at the front

Feeding the village: communities and the entire party.

When I lived in Edinburgh and London I used to work for churches feeding homeless people.  There is something very spiritual about giving people – free food.

Working in the kitchen trying to get the food on plates as fast as we can.
Daniel there with Leia and Sergio (mural artist) pulling a face at the back
The Queue

The indigenous communities are always lovely to have around.  I danced with one half drunk Wawky (brother in Quechan).  He taught me to dance, my hands were vibrating. I collapsed on the floor in front of a few men drinking, I couldn’t move for all the energy in my body. I wasn’t drunk, it was three in the afternoon.  I connected to the music, connected to the Wawky, and followed his moves.  Getting so low to the floor, good work out.  He had very special energy.

Now the Indigenous people from the far villages of San Roque are dancing in the house.  The pride, strength, connection – respect.


I had no idea how strong I have become. How walking home, collecting water and an ecological lifestyle has made me.  I now know I can keep up with the local people.  Can dance all day, all night, chase after my three year old, walk up hills, move bouncy castles, go to the shop buy food, paint a mural and then dance again, on a few hours sleep.

The Cumbia Band The party starts.

Then a quite intimidating guy walks into the kitchen, who looks a bit like Elvis.  The Cumbia band is here. ‘Mueve El Toto’


Leia and Lui dancing at midnight

Now my 3 year old daughter can’t resist.  She was still up dancing at 1am.  Watching the lady on the dance floor hardly dressed wiggling her bum.  I’m sorry but my little girl is a Latin American. What can I do?

I couldn’t stay up for this night, but I do know at 3am the Pandilla started and sounded out of this world.  People in the village are still talking about the party.  It was amazing!

Day 5 – traditional indigenous dance

Dancers from Moyabamba.  A group of 15 students show up on a bus.  Part of Daniel’s passion is for traditional dance.  He sees the importance of protecting and sharing the wonderful traditions, through dance.

During the dance show there was a rainbow shining on us all and the Sachaqa artists were invited to have a go.



Day 5 – really ‘day one’ but this was the first time I hear the story.

The protector of San Roque village – Saint Roch.

A really special gift of running festival Patrona is how old friends come out of the woodwork to help you.  I met Daniel’s close friend from Lima for the first time.  Helgo quickly became part of our festival family.  He was like an angel here to save us.  I had many special chats with Helgo and in one of those chats he was telling me about a religious experience he had with Daniel on the first morning of the event.  When they journeyed to the indigenous village of Chiricyacu to collect ‘Saint Roch’ saint of San Roque De Cumbaza.

Helgo and Daniel


Daniel sees the importance of indigenous or ancient ritual in community.  He decided to carry the statue of ‘Saint Roch,’  from the indigenous community of Chiricyacu to San Roque.  Which hasn’t been done in many years.

When the Spanish conquerors came to Peru the catholic priests named all the villages after saints.  The statue of ‘Saint Roch’ was carried all the way from the coast.   Which at the time would have been a very difficult and dangerous journey.  The ‘Saint Roch’ statue is just ignored now during the festival patrona event, as people are not as interested in ritual and importance of the past.


Helgo was telling me how this moment was very special for Daniel.  It was the first time he felt the spiritual importance of what he was doing.  The spirit of the indigenous ritual overwhelmed Daniel.  Both he and Helgo were drawn to tears.  The exhaustion, stress and worries, were coming to an end.  He now felt blessed!

Daniel Lerner and Helgo