Botanicas Blossom for Variety of Customers

Bayne Anderson, Washington Post, Jul 19

When Juan Carides had a run of bad luck three years ago, he paid $500 for a series of three spiritual rituals, including ones in which he was rubbed-down with red meat and a live white dove to draw out bad energy.

In doing so, he patronized a specialized store in Adams Morgan, Botanica Yemaya y Chango, one of a handful of such “botanicas” in the Washington area at the time. The religious supply and herb shops have long been staples in cities like Miami and New York with large Hispanic populations, specializing in items and services for African-based faiths, including Santeria and Yoruba.

“I had a car accident and trouble looking for work,” said Carides, who now works part time in a botanica. “After [the rituals] everything came in order: I found a job, got an apartment, I got a car and my partner came back into my life.”

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