What characterizes La Plata Bahía Málaga as an ancestral territory of our black community is that the population has been here since 1624. This community is the expression of the expansion and territorial appropriation of that black community, initially on the islands and then on the mainland, and its path to improve the living conditions of its people.
Motivations and aspirations
There has been a historical process, we understand that outside our territory there is unfair competition, we attack each other, the capitalist model absorbs us and we end up slaves of the model in the city. So, what I analyzed was that, to see how with the Community Council we can help improve the quality of life and thew well-being of the community.
We are focused on building a future that allows us to support ourselves and to sustain the future generations that will maintain our territory. Territory is the place where the thoughts live, the thoughts of our elders, and those of our children. That is the most important thing. Other important prinicples and rights in our community are autonomy, participation, our own view of development, and self-determination. This is how we will improve collective welfare and how we can remain in our territory.
I came here when I was 9 years old, when Jorge Eliécer Gaitán was killed. There was a special police force called “Chulavitas”, a kind of community police. The major of Restrepo took my dad out of there. Then Don Pedro Antonio Ospina, someone who had a farm in front of ours and worked as a miner here in Siloé, asked my father to let me come here and make food for him
while he mined for coal, so that is when I first came here.
I went to the Cauca region to prepare myself in things I didn’t know really well. Then I came to Cali with a main objective: make the indigenous guard stronger. But at the same time I tried to better understand the needs of Cali’s indigenous community.
Creo que si me fui para el Cauca, fue para prepararme un poquito más sobre lo que no sabía. Llegué a Cali con una sola meta y un solo objetivo que era fortalecer la guardia indígena, pero al mismo tiempo traté de visualizar las necesidades de las comunidades indígenas acá en la ciudad de Cali.
In our case, we became experts in sociology, social work, museums, history. If we work with some anthropologist or sociologist, we can work better than them here in Siloé because we know our people and our community but it doesn’t mean that we have the professional skills that the university gives you. There is communitarian knowledge but the academic part is really important.