Botanicas, Santeros and Santeria

Let me preface this with, I’m far from any kind of expert on Santeria. My exposure to it is because as a Cuban, santeria was something that everyone knew about. Even my parents and grandparents, devout Catholics that they were, would do things that I later recognized as being tied to Santeria beliefs.

How the Virgencita Caridad appeared in Cobre BayWhat kinds of things? Well, the first thing you saw in my house was the statue of the Virgencita de la Caridad.

Who’s that? you might ask. Caridad del Cobre was an apparition of the Virgin Mary in Cobre bay. Our Lady of Caridad (or Charity) is also the Patron Saint of Cuba and my patron saint.

Anyway, on special days, the parents and grandparents would leave sweets or bring flowers to the Virgencita, much like you see Ricardo doing in DEVOTION CALLS as a way to honor the beliefs of those people who think he is a santero. I think those actions were a natural blending of their Christian beliefs with those of the Afro-Cuban santeria religion that was practiced in Cuba.

What’s a santero? It’s someone who is a priest in the Santeria religion. Santeros learn their practices orally from another santero.

What’s Santeria?
As I said, I’m no expert. I researched the subject for the book and included what I could from my personal experiences in visiting an occasional botanica in NY, NJ or Miami. We sometimes went to get a statue or medal of La Virgencita Caridad for a new baby or home as the Virgencita was always with us.

What’s a botanica? It’s a place where you can acquire religious objects and other things, including what you may need to practice Santeria.

For a little more on this, including some links to other sites that explain Santeria, you can visit the Ricardo’s Botanica page at the new site we are developing.

10 thoughts on “Botanicas, Santeros and Santeria”

  1. hola!…..Alguien me puede decir porq’ un tabaco rezado todo el tiempo se manteine rojo mejor dicho quema al fumarlo y sin soplarlo practicamente esta en candela??

  2. hello, yes i am cuban even though my last name is dreher.i came to the us in 1980 at age 18. i am a santero. i now live near phila but have lived in miami many times and will return there in 2010. if you need advice and a santero please e-mail me. yes, i speak spanish and yoruba too. your friend, johnny

    1. Nesecito desenbrujarme estoy al borde de la locura nececito ayuda urgente si alguien puede quitarme esta brujeria 8327484978

      1. Oye Aleyda, Me encantaria ayudarte pero donde estas mamitica? Estoy mirando a tu numero de fono. Vivo en PA pero mudo pa miami en Julio. Escribe pa’tras pronto! Tu socio preocupado, Johnny Blanco

    2. Hello, I’m from ct and plan on moving to Philadelphia. I belong to a temple or church type thing here where we have like a mass once a week. In looking for the same in Philadelphia. Since the religion means a lot to me in looking for something similar and real. Thank you so much in advance for your help.

  3. I’ve know about santeria and it’s been a world that i step in and out of. But now I need a santero. I am in an abusive relationship with a cuban, that i think has done santeria on me. I need a santero so I could someway somehow get out of this miserable relationship.

  4. Hi,I need to know how I could bring my girlfriend back.We broke up two week ago but we love each other.Is it possible?
    thank you,Zoran Stevic

  5. I want to find a santero, legitimate, in Miami. I have been exiled by circumstance to Tennesse – I need to find someone to discuss my future, now that my fore-knowledged mother is dead – and refuses to speak to me – I need a santero

  6. Caridad, I’ve always heard Santeria was black magic. Now, voodoo I know is a religion and I know a lot about it but I didn’t know a lot about Santeria. It appears to be a religion as well. People get confused because of all the Hollywood hype. Thanks for setting me straight.

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