Myths and Legends
Eleuterio Llasaca was 12 years old and was the oldest of five siblings, while attending the 4th grade of elementary school in the village of Cherjac. Eleuterio loved physical education and mathematics, where he received high marks, and he was the favorite student of Professor Don Constantino Telles who said that this boy would become a great professional and certainly a great authority in the province.
Eleuterio, always recited or acted in the school celebrations and anniversaries, he was brilliant in sports competitions (especially boxing). Although he was small, he was good fighter and had a good left hook, knocking out opponents with ease. Notwithstanding Eleuterio was still beloved and respected by his classmates and family. He was an outgoing and cheerful boy and the only one who learned to dance the twist and rock and roll, when his friends only danced huayno. His dream was always to move out of the small confines of the town, to receive a higher education, to become a professional and then, in turn, to help his parents and younger siblings. He also dreamed of a constructing his own house in the city far from his little hometown. Being the oldest son, his parents spoiled him rotten. He was the only one with soccer ball and bicycle. He was always found wearing cowboy clothes that his dad had bought him, especially a pointed brim hat that earned him the nickname of "coboy" (cowboy).
When he began to attend the fifth grade, Eleuterio's life took a sharp turn with the death of his father at the hands of robbers while bringing back cañazo (moonshine) from Majes. From that point began the days of suffering for the once cocky, but now fatherless boy. His mother did not know to discipline to boy and now she needed his help to support the family financially, thus Eleuterio´s grades in school began to drop. For example certain days Eleuterio was forced to miss school to go to the "Solay" (corn sowing) where he attempted to learn how to plow so as to become family´s "breadwinner". He also went to Ayon, an orchard located on the banks of the Colca canyon, where he harvested oranges, figs, guavas, cucumbers, citrons, pomegranates, as another form of income. His mother also imposed some daily chores. There were some days, while the mother working in the fields, that Eleuterio had to help at home attending to his younger siblings, or caring for the cows and mules. Eleuterio disliked all these tasks that separated him from his studies.
One day Eleuterio and his mother were seen heading into the elementary school. They spoke with Professor Don Constantino Telles. The mother complained of the lack of cooperation she received from her son on the household tasks and asked for permission to remove Eleuterio from school. Knowing of the bad times that had befallen on Eleuterio and, further, the good qualities of his best student, the teacher advised Eleuterio´s mother to make a last effort to allow her son to finish up his schooling. Telles even offered help, but alas the mother was seen leaving the school crying. After that conversation Llasaca regularly attended school, but the he was not the same playful, friendly boy. He was, instead, very serious, he rarely participated in school functions, and fought many of his close friends for no reason at all. Despite all the turmoil, at the end of the school year Eleuterio was the top of his class and he received a scholarship. He left school hoping to study aviation and become a pilot.
Shortly after Christmas, Llasaca disappeared from town. Only after was it made appearent that he had escaped to Arequipa, because his mother did not want help him with is high school schooling. In his escape to Arequipa he stole some silver coins that his mother had kept in memory of her parents.
In Arequipa at the recommendation of his teacher he went to work at the International Club, where he was commissioned to clean the library. Here he took the opportunity to read works from authors such as José Carlos Mariátegui, Cesar Vallejo, Gonzales Prada, but Eleuterio was most influenced by Victor Hugo, whose works talked of the importance of justice.
After a short time, he began to study at “independencia” high school and had to leave work. To enter the school had to take a proficiency and passed with flying colors. The original scholarship he had received freed him from many costly expenses, and left him free to focus on his studies.
Llasaca knew that his schoolmates would have looked on him with a certain prejudice be for being from the mountains. So, to avoid racial abuse, he never said he was from Cherjac, but instead maintained that he was from the coast of Ayon, located at the headwaters of Majes where he was said to have his estate, where he grew bananas, cherimoya and where he had many cows and horses. Thus it was that Llasaca fooled his classmates and, in turn, began to live a more posh lifestyle. Even in Arequipa he became known as a fighter and boxer and he demonstrated he was, even in the city, the best study of the class.
After several years, Eleuterio´s family heard little from their long lost family member and his mother began to worry about her son. She went about working hard, selling different items to be able to by a ticket to Arequipa to check on her son. It was thus that she prepared a package for her son of special roasted white corn with a cheese mold that she rapped in cloth of flour that she planned to give to him once in Arequipa.
After traveling on foot to Pampa de Arrieros, for three days and two nights on the way, Eleuterio´s mother he boarded the train for Arequipa. Once in Arequipa she stayed in Tambo Manrique and storing her possessions, she went to see here son and deliver to him his specially made package of corn and cheese. She headed to the “independencia” high school asking the doorman to let her in to deliver the package. But the doorman could not understand the message of the odd person who spoke only Quechua. After moments of begging the doorman pitied her and made her go to the reception to see if they could interpret the message. Finally, Eleurerio´s mother, with difficulty, made it clear that she wanted give her son the package of corn and cheese.
At the morning roll call Eleurerio´s mother´s presence was made known, and thus it was that one could here screams throughout the grounds “Liborio is serrano!, Eleuterio is serrano!, Your mom is an Indian!, your mom is an Indian!.”
The mother recognized her son in an instant, her heart was pounding, she wanted to hold him, her eyes filled with tears of joy, and she thought of a thousand memories and how her son, more and more, resembled his father. Eleuterio was more than surprised to see his mother at the roll call and knew not whether he should to approach her. He saw a thin woman, with some wrinkles on her face, with few teeth and red eyes, with graying hair in two braids hiding under a shabby hat, wearing traditional clothing of a red flannel skirt and sandals, and in her arm she was holding a small bundle containing field corn, cheese and jerky. At the moment time she went to offer the present, Eleuterio glared reproachfully, slyly told her in Quechua to leave and that he would get the package from her later, complained that she had come to the school, and finally told her to leave. The old woman understood that her recklessness had embarrassed her beloved son and she left in silence. While leaving, she was lost in her the pain in her heart for not being able to hug her son and for not being able deliver the precious parcel.
Llasaca´s schoolmates had a field day, especially his enemies those he had beaten in sports. They made fun of him in all the ways possible, accusing him of being serrano and Indian, of speaking Quechua, and for having a “dirty” mother. Eluetorio´s refused all the accusations and told everyone that the woman had been a servant who had been in charge of delivering the package.
He could not endure the insult of his classmates and he was forced to transfer to the “America” high school.
Later in life Eleutorio became a brilliant lawyer, but he never forgot the love of his elderly mother. It was that just before he was to become the president of the Supreme Court, he was told that his mother was dying in his hometown. He sent a letter rejecting the high office so he could visit his mother. When he arrived in his hometown when his mother was truly dying. He went directly to her
and she looked upon her son with a faint smile on her wrinkled face and promptly closed her eyes
A large tears welled within him, for as a child he was indebted to his elderly mother who never denied him, which was a fact her could never forgive.