Family and 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.
Where I was born, where I grew up, that is where my home is. It is sad and touching, it has been hard for me to be away. I had left in the past, when my daughter went to Chile, and one day they put her out on the street without her clothes or bags, nothing, her stuff stayed there.
When I see those people at the border (in the Fotohistorias exhibition, Life at the Border) I remember it is really painful, and it happened to my daughter too.
Here we have female and male resistance and that creates what Chinese people called the yin and the yang: while men reflect resistance in a strong relationship with the land, women reflect that resistance in a more concrete relationship with the territory, where there is more water and posibilities to produce, or at home with parenting, transmitting oral tradition, educating the kids.
I remembered that song:
“el mas bonito se me fue, oio pango, pangoé, el mas bonito se
me fue ”.
I remember when the sun rose I would make breakfast and he would go on his way, he would bring the best plantains, we had the girls... That is the true meaning of being rich, of having everything. And then, to have to leave it all, leave our territory because of the armed conflict.
Me acordé de este canto,
el más bonito se me fue, oio pango, pangoé,
el más bonito se me fue.
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 church is a shelter that represents a sanctuary for us immigrants. From here, they cannot kick you out. They can kick you out from many places but not from here. It does not matter whether you go or believe in God. However, you always have to bear in mind the commandments and not to sin, or at least sin as little as possible. I go to this church from time to time, but not always. On that day, I went and decided to take the picture.
Nature for me is the expression of something that you don’t see. You cannot see God but these things are an expression of God. God made them, but these are expressions of what you cannot see. You cannot see the seed and you do not see how this flower blooms but you see the result. For me that is the meaning of nature. Nature just fulfills a duty and it has to yield flowers and fruit even if it’s the last thing it’ll do. This is the time of year when it has to bloom and it blooms. And after that follows the fruit. This plant is almost dead but it has to fulfill its duty of yielding fruit.