A Despacho is a sacred offering, created in the form of a nature mandala and prayer bundle. The tradition originated with the indigenous communities of the high Andes mountains, and has been used by the Q’ero people for centuries to honor and bless significant events in people’s lives. The Andean people create Despachos to honor births and weddings, to ask for healing, and bless any new project or endeavor. Objects placed within the mandala are symbolic offerings, carrying the prayers of those gathered for the ceremony, calling for the release of heavy energies, welcoming blessings and benevolent forces, and honoring the balance of ayni, reciprocity, the sacred exchange of giving and receiving. There are many kinds of Despacho, and a wide variety of offerings that can be placed in the mandala, including sweets, grains, flowers, incense, feathers, and leaves, but the most essential offering is an open, grateful heart. Once the mandala is complete, the Despacho is closed and bundled, and gifted to Spirit through ritual burning, burial, or offering to the water.