Santeria Will Get You Cash Money (Video)

Categories: Flotsam
carlosvaldes.jpg
photo by C. Stiles
Valdes performing a ceremony in his home.

Julio Cesar Garcia had a problem last week. He was sick of his job at Miami International Airport, and he was ready for a promotion. Sadly, his bosses weren't quite so interested in bumping him up the food chain.

So Garcia did what any good Santeria true believer would do -- he went to his santero, Carlos Valdes, to ask the orisha spirits for help. Valdes and Garcia let us film what happened next.

Though thousands of Miamians practice Santeria -- including Valdes, who we write about in this week's issue -- outsiders aren't usually invited to peek in at the secretive rituals.

To start, Valdes sat on a rug in his sunny house on the edge of the everglades in West Kendall, eleke beads on his neck and a fistful of shells in his hand.

Chanting like a Pentecostal preacher, he asked the orishas to get the job done by getting Garcia a better gig. He scattered the shells on the ground and then counted out how many were up and how many face down.

Valdes ended with a food offering: A ripe watermelon, gored out and filled with honey, spices and dark blue dye. Garcia kissed the fruit, touched it to his head and placed it back on the ground.

Did it work?

We called Valdes back this afternoon to check in. His wife gave us the update:

"Julio just came back yesterday and told us that he got the promotion," Marisela Valdes says. "He's a manager now for the company."

Pays to pay off your orishas!

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9 comments
Ms sgx
Ms sgx

Why u even writing an article about this? promoting magic shortcuts to achieve better jobs position with the results u have a bunch of incompetent sitting in higher places for santeria?is this what u promoting thru this article? smh to author of this post that is not even an article..so should we assume u got ur job thru  a ritual yourself?

Jrodriguez005
Jrodriguez005

Is Pat Robertson running the New Times now? It seems as if there are certain biases underscoring every single article associated with santeriiiiiia! What's the issue guys? I think reporters that have preconceived notions and prejudices should not be writing for a newspaper that claims to represent a community. When you call yourselves MIAMI times, you are indebted to the entire community of this city, which includes people from all walks of life and great cultural diversity, which includes religion. I have not seen any commentaries about the thief that went to a church before or after breaking into a home or mugging someone on the street or the people that confess to their priests or pastors the numerous sins they commit on a daily basis to then go out into society, cleansed by the power of "Jesus" or their own brand of religiosity! Give it up already. Either provide objective reporting or stop insulting the reader's intelligence by calling yourselves reporters!

Pardo Loco
Pardo Loco

asi se asen las cosa el que sabe sabe

A_REAL_SANTERA
A_REAL_SANTERA

OKAY FIRST OF ALL THIS GUY IS AN ABOMINATION TO THE SANTERIA RELIGION.  NO SANTERIA CEREMONY IS TO BE FILMED OR TOLD.   THESE RITUALS WERE CONSIDERED SECRETS BY MY ANCESTORS.  THIS DOUCHE IS NOT A REAL SANTERO, HE IS THE EQUIVALENT OF A PRIEST FOR RENT ON THE YELLOW PAGES THAT WILL DO AN EXORCISM FOR BUY ONE GET ONE FREE.  CARLOS VALDES ERES UN DESCARADO… QUE TIPO DE SANTERO SALE POR UN BLOG DE NOTICIERO ENSENANDO NUESTRO SECRETOS.  NO TE PREOCUPES QUE SE LO SANTOS SON GRANDES, ELLOS TE VAN A ENSENAR UNA LECCION.  SANTERO FALSO!!! BECAUSE OF YOU MY RELIGION IS TODAY WHAT IT IS,..FULL OF SCUMBAGS! ESPECIALLY IN MIAMI WERE PEOPLE SELL THEIR SOULS FOR MONEY.  YA NO HAY SANTEROS QUE CREEN DE VERDAD TODOS SON UNA MIERDA.  ANYBODY THAT IS CONSIDERING GOING TO A SANTERO PLEASE DO YOUR RESEARCH.  90 PERCENT OF THE SANTEROS IN MIAMI (AND EVERYWHERE ELSE TOO) ARE AFTER YOUR MONEY!!!  THE ONLY TRUE REASON WHY PEOPLE DID THESE RITUALS IN THE PAST WERE BECAUSE THEY HAD SOME TYPE OF ILLNESS/TERMINAL ILLNESS OR A STRONG HARDSHIP IN THEIR LIVES... NOT BECAUSE THEY NEEDED MONEY.  ASK YOURSELF THIS, IF YOUR WIFE LEFT YOU AND CHEATED ON YOU WOULD YOU ASK GOD/JESUS TO MAKE HER STAY WITH YOU??? WOULD YOU ASK GOD/ JESUS TO MAKE YOUR ENEMIES TURN INTO DUST??? OF COURSE NOT!!! SO WHY ASK A SANTERO TO DO THESE RITUALS?!?!?! HOWEVER, YOU WOULD ASK GOD TO HELP YOUR SICK CHILD, OR YOU FIND A WAY TO PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE.  GOD SAYS HELP YOURSELF AND I WILL AID YOU! SAME THING WITH THE SANTERIA ORISHAS!  THE SANTEROS DO THIS BECAUSE THEY KNOW THAT PPL ARE IGNORANT AND DO NOT KNOW WHAT OUR RELIGION IS ABOUT. SO THEY TELL YOU THEY’RE “DOING” SOMETHING AND PPL BELIEVE IT AND PAY LOTS OF MONEY FOR IT! WHAT A BUNCH OF MISINFORMED DORKS!     SMH TO THE MILLIONTH EXPONENT.

MSol
MSol

They've made fun of regular churches across Miami plenty of times. Get over yourself.

Soraya
Soraya

I agree with you Tom. I am about to crown my saint in Cuba.... So excited..... Look for me in a couple of years:) I will not give our religion a bad name... ever.... 

Real-real-priestess
Real-real-priestess

how can you call a santera and talk about God and jesus. Are you preaching? Then change your name. Real santeros respect our orishas that have nothing to do with Jesus.

Jrodriguez005
Jrodriguez005

So, I guess that makes it acceptable then? I guess we are living in a society where mockery is the order of the day.  Ask yourself this question whenever you find yourself at a similar junction! This is yellow journalism and it is a real shame! 

Tim Elfrink
Tim Elfrink

I'm not sure why you think we're mocking Santeria, Jrodrgiuez. If you read the longer story linked to from this blog you'll see we take very seriously Valdes's claims that his stalker should be charged with a hate crime. The video above gives a rare glimpse inside the faith that most Miamians never get to see.

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