It’s an ancient tradition. The “Dablitos” rhythms are really accelerated. If you try to write sheet music with it it will be very difficult. The real goal is to make noise so people will listen and give them money. That sound isn’t nice, what is really good is to see it all together: the dance, the rhythm, the noise. We are trying to make it easier for outsiders to understand and enjoy it. How can we make a successful fusion, like they did in Brazil?
The cable car will be a way of transport for the community, and for the whole city. It will attract tourism, foreigners like you too, they won’t need to walk all the way up here but come on the cable car. This will bring more investment in the community and in the territory, it will be a positive thing. Today’s Siloé will change and today’s Cali will change, when the cable car starts operation.
I work here even though life is safer in the indigenous reservation. But I love it here, and I do it for my children. I am very proud of my baton, it symbolizes my struggle for the
indigenous community. The government is looking to show the bad side of the indigenous communities, but we are not all bad.
The truth is that the situation has not been easy, the police claim to own these lands but they aren’t, the real owner died a long time ago. We have managed to say no and no, to make them know this is ours, this land belongs to the community. We have being fighting for this for the past 16 or 17 years.
At first I didn’t understand what it means to be an indigenous person. Now I understand it, and I have beeing teaching this meaning to my son. He gets it, he is just three years old but his memory is very developed.
Es que al principio, como yo le decía, yo no entendía nada de esto, yo no sabía que era un indígena. Hoy en día yo entiendo todo esto, y lo que yo entiendo es lo que le estoy enseñando a mi hijo. Y mi hijo ya lo entiende, lo capta muy bien a pesar que tiene 3 años, él tiene una memoria muy avanzada y entiende muy bien esto.
People must not ask for things for themselves, do you understand me? First, for everybody else. You are asking me, not directly but I can tell: “what do I live from?” When I can tell people have that question I say: “ask me the question!” So people offer me dollars or Colombian pesos, and I tell them:
“Thank you, but we are not going to make money in the name of Siloé.” We are not going to make money in the name of the misery, violence and other problems of Siloé.
This was a blessing for us. A really nice project by the SIDOC Foundation. Really nice beacause before this was like a forest, and there was a tragedy. Some houses fell and people died. A woman called Armitage came here to paint the houses white and she had the idea of doing a park. We told her that was impossible because the government had said this land was unstable, but she took us to Medellín to show us how there was a park in every corner even though it is more hilly and unstable than here.
We brought the electricity here. We payed to have the connections made, and we brought the posts and all. This is great work for youth to get organized. There have been problems but we were able to build and it is good. There are also some youth who do drugs, others cause trouble, but overall they all respect this space for the children, they help to build with the community, with the elders. Because Siloé only has 11 square cm per inhabitant of public space.
The indigenous movement is not just for indigenous people. It is for all kinds of persons: afro, peasants, mestizos… In the end, we are all indigenous, even of we have different skin or eye color we are equal. We were all mixed in the Spanish conquest, nobody is pure, we were all mixed between different indigenous groups, and with whites and afros. That is why we are all indigenous, and our home is everyone’s home.