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Padre Eterno Cofradía carries on El Salvador's pre-Columbian rituals

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Listen to an interview with Alonso Garcia, majordomo of Padre Eterno Cofradia, and Don Garcia.

The Padre Eterno Cofradía is the oldest confraternity in Izalco, dedicated to God the Eternal Father. Majordomo Alonso Garcia is eager to point out the statues of his confraternity as the first in the city, and the degree to which the confraternities carry on pre-Columbian rituals in a Christian context. He suggests that historically, the main leaders of the indigenous community were chosen to lead the brotherhood. They also played a leading role in the indigenous uprisings of 1932, after which thousands of indigenous people were killed by the army.

The festivities, held on Trinity Sunday, take place in a thatched booth and an open yard. All participants who come to the festivities are given bread, chocolate, coffee and tamales. The offerings are made at a fixed altar that includes candles and incense from a censor that is decidedly pre-Columbian in design. In the past, this confraternity brought its procession into town, but Don Garcia indicated that the cofradía does not currently include a procession in its festivities because it lacks the funds to purchase a worthy platform.

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