1. In 1991, Teodocio and Julia Quispe, a transmigrant couple living in Maryland, U.S., returned to their homeland, Cabanaconde, an indigenous peasant community in the southern Andes of Peru, to sponsor a major religious celebration. It was the first time that the traditional patron saint fiesta was sponsored by Cabaneños living outside of Peru.

  2. Transnational Fiesta: 1992 documented this landmark celebration as well as other aspects of the Quispes’ lives in Maryland and Cabanaconde.

The film had a strong impact because it revealed how, five hundred years after Columbus’s landfall (hence the “1992” of the title), Andean migrants are literally conquering a new world in the U.S. This was a social process that was not well known and our film defied the stereotypical perception of indigenous peoples as backwards, isolated, and static in time. On the contrary, the Quispes are at the forefront of a global phenomena, expanding their archipelago of migrant enclaves.

The new film

While our first production was mainly focused on the crossing and transposition of geographic and cultural boundaries, the focus of the new film has a strong historic dimension, looking at changes in the families, community, and fiesta since 1992.

The colony of Cabaneños has grown from 200 people in 1992 to close to 2,000 today. Many migrant families include interethnic marriages and now up to three generations of Cabaneño-Americans. At the same time, the movement of people, goods, ideas, and identities between Cabanaconde and the U.S. has grown exponentially. The economic importance of remittances and the political and social influence of the migrants in the development and the future of Cabanaconde continue to increase greatly.

In spite of these and other large changes, the celebration of the patron saint fiesta remains strong and alive as a source of cultural reproduction. Much of the fiesta’s strength today comes from the influence of the migrants, who have become its primary sponsors.

  1. The story

Cabanaconde’s Patron Saint Fiesta, 2011

  1. click below To see and download the fiesta’s full program

  1. The Virgin of Carmen celebration is a central focus of the new film. The five-day event takes place every year during the month of July and is traditionally sponsored by two "devotos" and their respective families. In 2011, one of the devotos was Nilo Abril, his wife Lucy Quispe de Abril, and their children, David, Sandra, and Emily.

  2. Nilo and his family are part of the Cabaneño migrant community located in Maryland, and they were featured in our original film. Nilo is co-founder of Cabanaconde City Colca USA, the Cabaneño migrant association. Lucy is a daughter of Teodocio and Julia Quispe, who sponsored the fiesta in 1991.

The town of Cabanaconde and the Colca Valley have become one of the most important tourist destinations in Peru. Where in 1992 there were no telephones and just a few hours of electricity each day, today there is 24-hour electricity, luxurious hotels, cell phones, Internet cafes, and a constant flow of tourists and related services. Many Cabaneños today use cell phones in their fields to call relatives living in the United States, Spain, Japan, and other countries.