From Communism to Art: Che-P in Bogota // De comunista a artisano: Che-P en Bogota

"Che-P", presumably a nickname inspired by Che Guevara, sells artisan jewelry on a street corner a block from the Plaza de Bolivar in Bogota. Here in the shadow of the federal government buildings, he tells me about his childhood on the streets. "I never read a book until I was 13 years old," he says, "and … Continue reading From Communism to Art: Che-P in Bogota // De comunista a artisano: Che-P en Bogota

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“Faces of Colombia” “I wear a different color ensemble every day” // “llevo un color distinta cada dia”

" I started driving a taxi after I retired, and I make enough money to pay for shirts and shoes. I wear a different color every day." "Have you ever seen "Yo Me Llamo?" I competed and we sang a salsa song. See here in this photo? That's my face. Same face!" "I don't sing … Continue reading “Faces of Colombia” “I wear a different color ensemble every day” // “llevo un color distinta cada dia”

Being Colombian is waking up with a smile // Ser colombiano es despertar con una sonrisa

“Being Colombian has many definitions but I say it's waking up with a smile on your face every day with the hope that my country will have a better future soon. I am a 19-year-old with big aspirations. I believe that people can change and I constantly try not to get involved in problems, but … Continue reading Being Colombian is waking up with a smile // Ser colombiano es despertar con una sonrisa

“I’m an observer of the peace process” // “soy observador del proceso de paz”

"There's so much to be done here. The people have this capacity to invent ways to survive; I love the informality of this culture." Trained as a journalist and brimming with stories from Vietnam to Alexandria, Ricardo is a native barranquillero who says his work now is to report as an "observer of the peace process." … Continue reading “I’m an observer of the peace process” // “soy observador del proceso de paz”

“Faces of Colombia” “I was mother and father to my kids” // “Yo fui padre y madre para mis hijos”

Author's note: Elisa is a very special person in my house here in Colombia. She and my host mom have known each other for 20 years, sharing a friendship in addition to an employer-housekeeper relationship. She is a positive and patient presence in our house, teaching me her delicious cooking techniques and telling stories about … Continue reading “Faces of Colombia” “I was mother and father to my kids” // “Yo fui padre y madre para mis hijos”

“Faces of Colombia” “We are Wayuu, we are the sons of the earth and the rain” // “somos Wayuu, somos hijos de la tierra y la lluvia”

Author's note: I met David Caceres through a mutual friend at a poetry event. He cut a striking figure, his traditional indigenous ensemble contrasting with the Coca-cola in his hand and Ray Bans covering his eyes. David turns out to be the official representative of the Wayuu community, a young leader with a strong passion for his people. … Continue reading “Faces of Colombia” “We are Wayuu, we are the sons of the earth and the rain” // “somos Wayuu, somos hijos de la tierra y la lluvia”