Legend of the potatoes – from the Quechua and Aymara people of Bolivia

Francisco Huanca Lima, 52yrs (also known as Don Pancho) explaining to CENDA staff member Zenovio Siles about natural indicators to help predict the weather, with nephews Moses Gusada Mamani, 13yrs, and Samuel Pampa, 9yrs. (Dado Galdieri)

When we were living as an enslaved people, we lost our hope and faith in God. But there was a boy who started believing in God again. God saw his faith and decided to help. But first He put him to a test so that he would have to prove his trust.

God said, “Instead of planting the seeds that your masters give you, plant these seeds that I give you. Now convince everyone else to do the same. When it comes to harvest-time, harvest as normal, giving the leaves to your masters as you usually do. But when it is night-time and your masters have gone, dig under the ground, and there you will find food for yourselves”.

Legend told by Zenobio Siles, founder of CAFOD’s partner organisation CENDA. Zenobio is pictured below left, with potato farmer and indigenous weather forecaster Don Pancho and his nephews, Moses and Samuel. Potatoes are the staple diet of the southern Andes and is where they originally come from.

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