I’ve learned a lot of things in my time here in Mexico. I learned how to wash clothes by hand, was reminded of the sacredness of water (clean water), and many other things.
But by far the oddest thing I’ve learned (that I never saw coming) was how to give shots. Here in this part of Mexico you buy your meds and your needle…and actually getting the shot is another process and cost. So ahuevo tuve que aprender – I learned. And apparently my shot-giving skills are recommended now. LOL
But the funny thing about this is that giving shots in Mexico actually reconnected me to the west side of San Antonio, where I’m from, where my people are from. After giving a shot last night and being asked how I learned “to do it so well” (YouTube) I was questioned about the line of wombyn in my family.
And in thinking about this, I remembered that my abuela over on Inez Street in the mero west side of San Anto did the same for her barrio. Folks from the neighborhood would go to her for shots…for limpias…for birthing their babies at home…for all sort of remedios. Then it suddenly hit me: my abuela was the local bruja.
No one ever mentioned that title and what she did for people was never framed in that context because the title of BRUJA had became a bad word. They were staunch Catholics…but after church and in the middle of the night when people would come to her door for help with their kids or some issue, she would respond and the prayers and remedios would begin. She helped bring things to life and she also helped bury them.
When the realization hit me that I come from a line of brujas parteras (because my mom has powers too) I couldn’t help but smile.
Ay Mexico…leave it to you to connect me to myself and to my barrio, to remind me to reconnect with the bruja in me.
The term “bruja” needs to be decolonized and given back its power. It is a term of respect, empowerment and fierce feminism. We cannot forget what a radical thing it was for our abuelitas to serve their communities at the same time that their communities and their brown, feminine bodies were under attack.
Que en paz descanse, Abuela Cuca. Thank you for resisting. Thank you for your prayers, for all the work you did for the family and for the barrio. Thank you for walking the path. I will not forget.