Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Son of the Plains Solves Your Problems

 El Hijo del Llano, the Son of the Plains, is one of many seers, palm readers and psychic healers who do a flourishing business in Bogotá. In a short walk through downtown you're likely to be handed several sheets of flimsy paper advertising the services of colorfully-named men and women who will harness the supernatural to solve your problems in love, money or health.

I saw this particular guy at work at the intersection of Jimenez Ave. and Seventh Ave., right in the center of downtown Bogotá. Inside the circle of people, the seer had laid out several tools of his magical trade, alongside a black cross. Throughout Latin America, folks beliefs have mixed with and been adopted by Catholicism, a phenomenon called syncretism.

El Hijo del Llano promises help in finding treasure and eliminating enemies and evil spirits, and guarantees the  return of the loved one, 'tied up, humiliated and subservient to your will.'

He had quite a crowd gathered amidst the downtown buildings. 

Flatter your audience, appeared to be one of his principles. He kept addressing the considerable crowd gathered around him as 'Serious men and serious women.' 

The first step was to ask for money 'loans,' which he stuck into a glass filled with water. I could not understand the spiritual significance of the step, nor did the loans appear likely to be repaid. 

Bills dropped into his glass. 

Next came the offer of guidance for problems of health, love and money, and the bills emerged from pockets and purses, although some most likely belonged to confederates. Nevertheless, more kept appearing, and the Hijo del Llano collected them all (notice the wad in his right hand) - as donations, of course, since he doesn't charge for his services. In exchange, he provided lottery numbers, predictions and hope. 

Call the Hijo del Llano at: 283-6937

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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