Añañuca is a typical flower of northern Chile, which grows specifically between Copiapó and the Quilimarí valley, in the Coquimbo region. Few people know that its name derives from a sad love story…
A variant of this legend tells that the young man was a soldier of Spanish origin, who fell in love with the indigenous princess despite the barriers that separated them, fascinated by her beauty.
One night, the soldiers who disapproved of the young man’s behavior followed him until they found the place where they had been secretly seen and took him away from the girl’s side, rendering her unconscious.
Añañuca had decided to follow her lover, knowing that they would take him across the desert to Peru. For days she endured the bitter cold of the night and the unbearable heat of the day, walking until the stones in the street cut her feet, leaving behind a trail of blood.
She never gave up. Her suffering was too much, but she continued, until her strength left her and she fell lifeless in the middle of the desert, in a place between Copiapó and Vallenar.
They say that the sand and the wind had enveloped her body, and that same year her miracle happened. By September, the path of blood had been covered with red flowers, which were baptized with the name of Añañucas.
Thus the Añañuca, besides being a unique, beautiful and delicate flower, represents a sad legend but at the same time a great love story.