Guarijío - Kinship

The Guarijío have a system of compadrazgo, which is considered to be as close a relationship as actual kinship. There are various kinds of compadrazgo: "water compadrazgo" (sponsoring a child's baptism), "political compadrazgo" (sponsoring the first cutting of a child's hair), (3) "blanket compadrazgo" (helping to cure a child's illness).

To create "water" compadres , the parents of a child seek godparents for its baptism. The godparents become the compadres of the parents and take upon themselves both moral and material obligations toward the godchild. They try to fulfill these obligations as well as their means permit. The godparents of the firstborn are usually their grandparents.

Others chosen to become compadres are highly esteemed relatives and friends or people who are financially well off. Godparents may be White, mestizo, or indigenous. Compadres treat each other with a great deal of courtesy and respect, and children think of their godparents as relatives who deserve their esteem.

When this type of relationship of trust is established, the polite form of Spanish address, usted, is used. Compadres visit frequently and call each other by kinship terms.

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