Agenda: To discuss preparation of agbán and appointment of crews/task force

Date of Meeting: November 27, 2001
Time of Meeting: 7:30 p.m.

Minutes were recorded and transcribed by Ileana Zambrano.

The following are points, issues, and action items discussed at the meeting.

The meeting was called to order at approximately 7:35 p.m. Willie Ramos presided the meeting.

Attendees were:

Aberlardo Hernández
Jose Esquía
Hector Pelaez
Nelson Hernández
Jackie Ben
Flor Decker
Ileana Zambrano
Pedro Alfaro
Anna Alfaro
Antonio Pena
Carlos “Machito” Bresó
Juan Carlos Bresó
Carlos Bresó Jr.
Jorge A. Ferreira
Lazaro Ramos
Gilberto Lopez
Karla Lopez
Pedro Alonso

Willie asked all those present if any have informed or tried to recruit more volunteers for this event.

Antonio Pena advised that he and all his godchildren are ready and available to participate.

Pedro Alfaro communicated to all that he has already acquired via his godchildren and relatives 25 lbs. of various beans, and a bushel of approximately 30-40 lbs. of white yams (ñame) for the event

Willie detailed a list of the items he considers that are necessary for the event, and stressed the need for donations, not only material goods (i.e. fresh & non-perishable goods, paper goods, etc.), but also money as the expenses of this event are considerably more than those for Ogún’s wemilere.

Willie also suggested that the agbán be performed in four different stations or sections, to achieve an easy flow of the people entering and departing from the agban.

During this discussion, the list of animals needed for the agbán was also prepared:

10 Chickens
4 Roosters (red)
23 Guineas
2 Quails
2 Hens (black)

Nelson Hernández reiterated that it would probably be easier to collect money so that we can purchase what is needed instead of having the community bring donations and run the risk that there may be too much of one thing and not enough of another.

With that being said, Tony Pena, Carlos Bresó, Nelson Hernández, simultaneously suggested that we start the collection of money right there at the meeting. The following sums were collected among the attendees are:

Abelardo Hernández 20.00
Antonio Pena 20.00
Carlos “Machito” Bresó 20.00
Carlos Bresó 20.00
Gilberto & Carla Lopez 20.00
Hector Pelaez 20.00
Ileana Zambrano 20.00
Jackie Ben 20.00
Jorge Ferreira 10.00
Jose Esquía 20.00
Juan Carlos Bresó 20.00
Lazaro Ramos 30.00
Nelson Hernández 20.00
Otto Tianga 20.00
Pedro Alfaro 20.00
Pedro Alonso 20.00
Total 320.00

The location for the agbán was also brought up. Willie informed us that until that moment, he had been unable to confirm with Roberto Berenger if Rancho Oddu Ara would be available for the event. Pedro Alfaro said he had another place that he could have access to should we have difficulty getting the Oddu Ara. Mrs. Anna Alfaro and Willie Ramos stated that they would try to reach Mr. Berenger to confirm the possibility of using that site again.

Herbs for Osain: Willie read out a list of necessary herbs, among them cundeamor, an herb that in Winter often becomes scarce. Considering that cold weather might burden the posibility of obtaining it, we could substitute it with either “zarzaparrilla” or “coralillo”. It was also suggested that those that can bring “herbs” from the list that they may have available in their yards, thereby not having to incur in an unnecessary expense.

Willie Ramos went over the list of the tasks and crews needed to conduct the event.

After going over the list of tasks carefully, everyone agreed that the list covered all aspects of the tasks to be performed. Everyone was also in agreement that the lists that were provided by Willie were very thorough. Tasks and crews were distributed as follows:

Donation Centers Under the direction of Anna Alfaro

This group will be responsible for telephoning oloshas and members of the community and asking for donations of money, foodstuffs and/or other necessary items. Additionally, this group must keep an inventory of these donations and serve as a collection center. The group may be sub-divided so that another group places the telephone calls or sends e-mails to ensure that as many people as possible are notified of the event.

Please call in advance to arrange for donation drop off.

Last day for donations of foodstuffs will be December 17th, 2001.


1. Tony Pena
Tel: (305) 888-6952


2. Pedro & Anna Alfaro
Tel: (305) 551-0956


3. Isabel Ulpiz
16941 NW 47 Avenue
Carol City
Tel: (305) 625-5737


4. Mario & Maria Antonia Gutierrez
11853 S.W. 203 Terrace
Tel: (305) 233-6975


5. Nelson Hernandez
8015 S.W. 10 Terrace
Tel: (305) 265-7735


6. Abelardo Hernandez
6025 SW 35th Street
Tel: 305-667-9713

(Please note that Sesame seeds, whether candies or any derivatives and/or peanuts or its derivatives cannot be used for the agbán. These items will not be accepted).

Agbán & Kitchen Preparation Crew Under the direction of Ileana Zambrano


Kitchen Workers
Prepare the plates, chop up the tubers & other foods, and clean up afterward
Buy necessary items

(Please note that people in this crew must bring their own cutlery for the cutting of food & this crew must report to the place at 10:00 a.m.)

Hector Pelaez
Jose Esquía
Ileana Zambrano
Jackie Ben (& Godchildren)
Flor Decker

Parking Crew & People Control Under the direction of Carlos Bresó Jr.

Front door donations
Parking guides

Crowd control for the agbán and guiding people to cleaning stations
Carlos Bresó
Juan Carlos Bresó
Alajé Thomas
Pablo Alvarez
Karla Lopez
Christina Hernández
Fabian Hernández
Iyawó Alimayú Harris

Clean up Crew Under the direction of Michelle Abreu

Tables and chairs-organize, clean, and related
Sweep and mop
Pick up and dispose of litter
General supervision
Miguel Gomez (Alfaro’s Godson)
Lazaro Ramos- to bring his godchildren & others
Popi Cioffi- to bring his godchildren & others
Roberto Abreu- to bring his godchildren & others


Purchasing the animals

Preparing for sacrifice on the day of the agbán

Jorge Ferreira
Gilberto Lopez

Other subjects that were discussed

Consideration was given to the amount of people that will be attending the agbán.

It was determined and agreed by all attendees that basins may also be used along with, or in place of, plates to accommodate the foodstuffs for the agbán.

It was suggested by Jackie Ben that everyone on this task force bring their baskets to be used for the agbán and thus avoid the purchase of this item. All agreed.

Willie stated that each Obá attending the agbán should bring their já for the cleaning.

Willie also reminded everyone about the ebó with the pig’s head that Yemojá prescribed that will be done earlier that same day.

As per Willie’s recommendation, it was determined that during all of this and future ceremonies the community should be requested to dress in white. In this particular case, the use of burlap clothing for those that like to dress like this in homage to Babaluaiyé may be an acceptable option.

Willie also mentioned that since it was previously determined in the last Oriaté Council meeting on November 14, 2001, obi was given to Asojano and he requested that 16 guineas be sacrificed to him for the agbán. This part of the ceremony will be performed by the Oriatés and the oloshas who may wish to attend, around 4:00 p.m. Abelardo asked if we were going to make itá. He believed we should. Willie suggested that this decision should be left to Babaluaiyé and that he would ask Popi Cioffi, whose Babaluaiyé was consulted for the event, to ask him directly and report back to us.

Nelson Hernandez again stressed that he felt that collecting money would be better than asking for donations of goods. This also prompted Jackie Ben to suggest that we ask the animal merchants and/or other olorishas to donate animals for the event. Anna Alfaro & Jackie Ben said that they would contact animal merchants that they knew to ask if they would collaborate with this.

Machito suggested that we should not ask the animal merchants for anything and instead we should buy the animals ourselves or via the donation money, and in this way avoid putting anyone in a compromising position. It was determined that as donations develop prior to the event, a decision would be made at the following meeting.

In the first meeting, Ernesto Pichardo said we could perform the agbán with the Church’s Babaluaiyé. Willie stated that he had not heard from Pichardo for a while, and that though he doubted Pichardo would go back on his word, he suggested that we have a back-up plan just in case there should be a problem. Two candidates were chosen: Caridad “Cacha” , whose Oshún prescribed the agbán, or Popi Cioffi’s Asojano, whom we consulted for the agbán.

A date was set for the next meeting which will take place on December 18th, 2001, at 7:30 p.m. at Abelardo Hernández’s house.

These minutes will be posted on Willie Ramos’ website.

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