Tuesday, January 17

The Other Colombia

January 2016, Putumayo. In this part of the Amazonian jungle, people use the river to travel. The local economy is based on cattle breeding and coca production, which is illegal. In the area, the FARC promotes training in cattle breeding. But the peasants don’t give up coca production, which is seen as the more lucrative opportunity in this isolated place.
"There is a Colombia left out, ignored. To meet her, you often need to take muddy tracks deformed by mule hooves or travel for hours on a tiny little rowboat. This Colombia doesn’t know the effects of the growth. It’s still waiting for the next visit of a health brigade or schoolteacher. But this Colombia isn’t only poverty and misery. It is also the liveliness, ingenuity, and passion of those who learned to survive and construct a world far from anywhere. You can meet it in the course of a vallenato refrain, on the rhythms of cumbia, or when you let yourself drive to the incredible stories of a local ranchera song. This is the other Colombia: out of the cities, removed from the centers of decision-making, living in the countryside at the pace of the harvest, the rainy period, and the moon’s cycle. She is built on community ties, looking at consumer society and its middle class with alternating desire and disgust. ..."