The state of Guerrero, Mexico, is one of the states with the largest indigenous population in the country. The Nahuatl population occupying the largest geographic area of it. In the central mountain region of Guerrero live the indigenous populations of Atliaca and La Esperanza, from subsistence agriculture. Like every year, during the first days of May, these communities carry out an ancestral tradition called the "petición de la lluvia". In this men, women and children fight in duels to demand for rain and initiate the agricultural cycle.  The fighters drink mezcal (a traditional alcoholic beverage of the region made from Maguey, a symbol of purification), and fights serve to fertilize the land. They take place in a cultivation area that marks the border between the communities that traditionally fight. 

The hands must rub the earth and the blood from the wounds must wet it: "a drop of blood for a drop of rain".  These bare-knuckle duels reflect the past, when the ancestors of these same antagonistic communities fought over the resources and sites of the region. Men fight with other men in the same conditions of size, stature and drunkenness, as do women and children who fight according to the same community rules. These fights also allow to extirpate the evil so that it does not contaminate the cultures. A purifying rite, so after the fights, men and women greet each other even if they have lost, without showing any apparent rancor. The symbolism of this tradition is linked to these sites, where water, ecology and the natural resources used in the ceremonies play an important role both in strengthening cultural identity and in preserving the environment.

La Esperanza, Guerrero. March 2021 

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