When you go to Cazucá, you will be surprised by the amazing and inspiring processes going on at a place with such a reputation. At the outskirts of Bogotá, Cazucá, a former hacienda, was colonized by displaced families from all over Colombia, 30 years ago, escaping from their violent homeland. The city dream they encountered was far different from what they where searching for, more like a nightmare, as Colombian armed conflict was represented, and experienced, at Cazucá. First colonized by the M19, a disappeared guerrilla group, these mountains where gradually inhabited by displaced farmers who found themselves in the middle of a cross fire between other illegal armed groups who where contesting the supremacy of the neighborhood, gangs, and the police.


For years the news you could hear from Cazucá where terrible, stories abundant with death and despair. But amazing untold things where happening. Brave people, regarding the reality they where experimenting, dreamt, and fought for their dreams, transforming hostile deserts into oasis of hope.

We had the opportunity to experience Cazucá through an amazing organization, Tiempo de Juego, which with the excuse of a football, works towards materializing the dreams of the children from this forgotten mountains. Founded 8 years ago, Tiempo de Juego began introducing the methodology of Soccer for Peace, starting with 15 children. Nowadays it serves more than 1,000 children, and its activities range from screening workshops, to a bakery making the snacks for the little soccer players, or a school hotel at Santa Marta. Watch one of the founders, Andrés Wiesner, TEDxBogotá talk here!

We met Milton, a former gunmen from Cazucá who transformed his life and now, through and NGO called Ahmsa, supports and inspires local entrepreneurs with the power of changing their lives, their families, their neighborhoods, and hence, the world! Soon, the idea to organize a TEDx in the box at Cazucá started. Ahmsa and Tiempo de Juego joined forces with the mission to tell a different story about Cazucá and empower local ideas.. Within this community amazing people where creating a different world, one of hope for the new generations!!

After more than 6 months of hard work, TEDxCazucá came into life. The coaching process was specially difficult, as many of the speakers have never given a talk, and had difficulties to arrange training time. Life is hard at Cazucá, people don’t have the luxury of free time to prepare for a talk, so many times, they couldn’t make it for the coaching sessions. It was, though, a great and rewarding experience.

Getting to know this great people, who opened their homes, hearts, and lives to us, convinced on the power of well told ideas to change the world, was a life changing experience! It gives meaning to all what we do when you realize the power of organizing a TEDx event like this one.


At the end, 9 amazing conferences where prepared, all of them telling different stories about Cazucá, showing a better world is possible, and is being built! The preparation of the stage and place was also done through community work, with the support of students from universities, and an organization, A.Bordo, which works creating spaces using recycled material. Julio Rincón Community Center was transformed into an amazing venue,

Being able to put to put the TEDx in the box at the service of communities like the one in Cazucá really sparks amazing processes. When you start to organize an event like this one, with such limited resources, it is wonderful to have the support of the tools contained on such powerful tool. At the end, for this event, we got collaboration from organizations which took care of aspects like sound and videos, but we were assured that logistics where covered, and could focus on working with the community!!

And TEDxCazuca begun!! Camilo Rodriguez, a clown working transforming communities through the power of laughing, was the host for the day!! The outer space of the venue was full of expectation! Impact Hub Bogotá was carrying on activities to spark connections between the attendees, while they entered the main venue!

Alejo Aponte gave the first talk. A recognized Colombian musician gave an inspiring talk about how mystic and perseverance can make a difference! Then Jhon Bucurú gave a heartbreaking talk, telling how he became an entrepreneur founding an editing workshop, after being a gang member destined to jail or death. Martha Vargas, a self made shoemaker, followed, calling for opportunities for young mothers, through establishing arts and crafts schools to empower and prove subsistence.

The break was carried out by two very young magicians, they had been performing tricks before the event at the entrance, and people where curious about where they came from.

Then an amazing talk given by William Jimenez, Juan Carlos Montañez, and Brayan Gatay Pérez made the auditorium roar, as they explained how empowering youngsters, through sports, creating wellbeing gangs, and moving aside for younger kids to assume leadership, has created meaningful change in Cazucá!

The half time, one of the most important moments at an event like this one, was beautiful. Inspired people connecting with social actors, others with the knowledge to take ideas into action, and yet others with the means to make them happen, is a great recipe for transformation!! Impact Hub Bogotá had handed out formats so people could interview other people, and then connect. At the end of the event prizes to the people with more connections where given to two young women from Cazucá who received entrepreneur workshops at the Impact Hub, and two kids received a day experience at La Juanita Finca Verde!! Traditional food made by the women of the community, a shoe workshop, and an exhibition of recycled crafts filled the space with excitement.

The second session started! The host was one of the big stars of the day! He managed to keep everyone entertained and laughing, while at the same time recapitulated precisely the core points of the talks! Carlos Lopez, another magician, revealed the mystery of so much magic going on during the event. He spoke about how magic can break paradigms, a very important issue at communities which are unable to foresee a better future. He trains young kids to be magicians at their communities, providing magic and transformation!

Then Nohora Guerrero, with such sweetness and strength started talking about aleopathy, the science which studies how plants take care of each other.. and then related it to the way mothers from the community take care of the children of their peers. The power of watching local people talking to their communities is amazing, it empowers in such a way, it gives so much power to their ideas, and to the neighborhood all together. People believing change is possible at a place where the circumstances denied it from their imaginaries, and hence, their dreams and actions.

Julián Lopez de Mesa narrated an amazing story about Cazucá, in which urban farmers created an abundance paradigm uniting chefs from the wealthy sector of the city, with a vibrant Cazucá. The story has not yet happened, but it is starting to happen..

This time the break was amazingly breakdanced by youngsters from Cazucá, which transform violence into virtuosity, with such contagious moves. And then Mono, Boca and Jeje, from 12 Pasos Flow, a hip hop music group from the commune, explained how dreams can be achieved when you keep trying. They started their record studio at a closet they transformed into a mini studio, and now, have the opportunity to run a state of the art recording studio, opening the path to many other artists from the neighborhood!!

To close, Daniel Bejarano, narrated how, when his family was killed in front of him, he decided not to follow the vengeance circle which perpetuates violence, but moved towards creativity! He started making movies without any knowledge, and when his films where rejected by the traditional film festivals, decided to create its own community film festival, Ojo al Sancocho, which now is a recognized international festival.

And TEDxCazuca came to an end, which is just the beginning. The event itself is just the tip of the iceberg of all the relationships weaved during the process. It is just the start of projects, dreams and actions. The ideas spread are seeds for change, sowed at fields well prepared by the TEDx community now active at Cazucá!!

Colombia is going through very difficult moments regarding rural populations. Ten days ago a national agrarian strike started, farmers from around the country stopped working and massive protests started! Some have been very violent, and many dead, injured, and imprisoned farmers resulted from this uprising. Another symptom of how forgotten the countryside has been for ages; added to the armed conflict that for more than 60 years has been devastating the country. This time, protests are centered on the inviability of rural economy within the commerce treaties signed with other countries. Farmers are not allowed anymore to save their seeds for further planting, they have to buy  from big companies. Supplies are twice the cost in Colombia than on neighboring countries, and imported food is far cheaper than the one produced here. Big intermediary mafias control the local market, so the farmer, at the end of the line, harvests more debts.

Paro agrario (1)

La Calera, a town not too far from Bogota, Colombian capital, joined the strikes. One day before the event all roads had blockages including fires, rocks, and manifestations. The day of the event the roads opened, and we could travel to La Calera! During this troubled times,  events like a TEDx in-a-box are extremely important. New ideas, inspiration, networks and actions are hugely in need for a new rural order to be stablished. Normally this spaces are only available to a few people, in the cities, so generating them at the periphery can greatly spark change and wellbeing. New possibilities and innovation have to be built at the countryside. Open spaces to plant ideas, in order to harvest transformation.


The road which heads up to the Vereda Jerusalen (vereda means rural district) is beautiful. As the dirt road winds up, we are surrounded by clouds, vegetation changed to an upper andean cloud forest. We encountered a few farmers going up the mountain in horses, heading towards rural spots where the Fiesta del Campesino (farmer’s festival) was being celebrated.


We reached the Rural School of Jerusalen, a small primary school which hosted TEDxLaCalera. The main classroom or the school was turned into the venue, the sign was made by Proyecto San Antonio,a local initiative for rural cultural development. The TEDx sign had been weaved by farmer children at Guatavita, when we did TEDxGuatavita last year. The TEDx in-a- box is amazing, everything has its place, a pandora box full of possibilities, with the power of spreading ideas!! We set up the screen, sign, equipment, and ready to go!!


The event started with an outdoor small theater presentation from a local group, Con-Ciencia Activa, working mainly with children with special learning needs. They portrayed two drunk farmers, a tragic comedy the audience could relate to.. the relation between the drunk father who reprimands his son for being drunk.


Then the classroom opened for the TEDx itself to begin. We screened the intro video, explained the connection between the TEDx experience, TED, and similar initiatives all over the world! And the first talk began.


Juan Pablo Calderon spoke about making instead of buying, collaborating instead of individual work. He introduced concepts like open hardware, wikipedia, and collective building. He spoke about the Open Source Ecology project, through which people can build their own machines for rural work. Instead of buying a very expensive tractor, and depending on a supplier for special spear parts, they could, collectively, build their own. Collaboration itself brings much more than the objects, it builds social fabric, and makes people happier!!


We then screened Decalogo de Una Granjera, a talk by Marta Alvarez at TEDxGalicia in Spain. Her funny inspiring story about a city girl who moves to the countryside is full of entrepreneurship lessons. A story about being constant, recovering from disasters, working hard, enjoying your work, and seeing success where everyone else sees failure makes her tale fascinating.


Camilo Gomez, who runs a farm very near to the school, spoke about the need to introduce added value to traditional production, as a way of overcoming the actual economic dynamics which are extinguishing small farmers. His talk generated spontaneous responses from the audience, they wanted to discuss their traditional way of doing things, with the new perspective Camilo was providing. He advocates for a sustainable agriculture which can generate a differential agrarian market,  and respond effectively to the actual system, cause to the national strike we are going through.


Cesar Florian, founder of El Nahual, a permaculture project at another region, shared his personal story and told us how he became a farmer after being a musician from the city, when his father died. He had an insight about a different life, one more purposeful and healthy, one the city couldn’t provide. He explained how farming can be seen as a system to be designed, and guided us through his process implementing a sustainable system at his farm.


Alejandro Feged‘s talk, The Man Against Himself , explained how tradition can sometimes generate unhealthy practices. At other instances, it can be the clue for reproducing cultural adaptive practices which can solve actual health problems. Hilarious pictures showed people doing all sorts of strange actions that risked their lives. A reflection followed urging us to think about how our daily actions contribute to our health.


It was an amazing afternoon with many lessons. The first TEDx in-a-box event in Colombia opens many possibilities for sharing constructive spaces at rural locations, one very much in need this days. Spreading ideas with the potential of opening new perspectives can enormously contribute to the establishment of a flourishing countryside, in contrast to the reality made visible by the upheavals of the last few days.  The ripples caused by this events are huge, still today, one year after we did the first event in Guatavita, we meet people who tell us how their lives and careers have been affected by the ideas and networks created during and after the TEDx. We plan to do two other TEDx events at rural locations in the next couple of months, one in Silvania, Cundinamarca, and another in Candelaria, Valle del Cauca.  We think the TEDx-in-a-box format can be a very powerful platform for local sourced development. The seed for change is being planted through ideas.


TEDx Events

Desde La Juanita organizamos varios eventos TEDx en comunidades periféricas. Creemos en el poder transformador de las ideas, y colaboramos con comunidades y organizaciones para llevar a cabo eventos tipo TED, organizados independientemente, en lugares donde normalmente no hay acceso a este tipo de plataformas.

A continuación un listado de los eventos que hemos organizado o estamos en proceso de llevar a cabo:


700 x 200 ted Blog

TEDxGuatavita está compuesto por una serie de eventos locales, que dentro de la filosofía de TED, buscan compartir ideas inspiradoras, que generen intercambio y transformación.

En TEDxGuatavita se exponen historias, ideas y ejemplos de procesos fascinantes en el campo; cuentos que enciendan la chispa en Guatavita, que inspiren a crear en el campo sistemas, ideas, negocios sostenibles que generen bienestar en la comunidad!!!



Primer evento TEDx in-a-box en Colombia, llevado a cabo en la vereda Jerusalén, en La Calera, Cundinamarca, Colombia.


Puedes encontrar una reseña de este evento en el siguiente link:



Evento que como tema tiene, Aprendiendo Distinto, llevado a cabo en la comuidad de AguaLinda, en Sesquilé, Cundinamarca, que se dedica a generar experiencias de abundancia para jóvenes y niños con necesidades especiales. Su tema, Aprendiendo Distinto, exploró diversas formas de relacionarnos con el conocimiento, y nuestro mundo. Puedes ver una reseña del evento acá.


Foto1Header TED-01

Sueños de Campo, es el tema de este evento TEDx in-a-box en la Comuna San Jorge, Candelaria, Valle del Cauca. El evento explora, a través de expositores locales, como los sueños generan realidades transformadoras.


English Version click here

Hay Campo en el Campo, fue el tema de TEDxGuatavita.  El primer TEDx en Colombia enfocado principalmente en temas rurales se llevó a cabo en el pintoresco pueblo de Guatavita, el 25 de Agosto de 2012.

Nos tomó 7 meses preparar TEDxGuatavita. Increible tiempo entre la gente de Guatavita, donde la mayoría nunca había oído hablar de TED. Fue un gran reto el expresar la naturaleza de un evento de este tipo, y las inmensas oportunidades que derivan de el. Algunos de los expositores locales son miembros de comunidades, y debimos reunirnos varias veces con estas colectividades para escoger los expositores y  preparar las charlas. Al final, once expositores fueron escogidos, once ideas que pueden inspirar a la gente de las áreas rurales, y de la ciudad, a crear modelos sostenibles en el campo!

Speakers being trained at La Juanita hours before the event

Preparándonos con los expositores en La Juanita horas antes del evento

Un increíble grupo de voluntarios logró que TEDxGuatavita fuera una realidad. Personas que creen en el poder de las ideas, que trabajaron muy duro, de corazón, para construir los mágicos espacios y acciones que plantaron una semilla de cambio en Guatavita y en otras áreas rurales colombianas. La migración masiva a las ciudades es una tendencia en Colombia, jóvenes no ven oportunidades para desarrollarse económica, cultural y profesionalmente en el campo; por ello ideas inspiradoras, acompañadas de una plataforma que pueda capturarlas, e implementarlas, es crucial para la transformación rural en Colombia. 

Waiting for TEDxGuatavita to start

Esperando a que TEDxGuatavita comience

Ser capaces de expresar lo que sucedería, e invitar a la gente de las veredas, fue uno de los retos más grandes a los cuales se enfrentó el equipo organizador. Este tipo de eventos normalmente se divulgan a través de las redes sociales. Para TEDxGuatavita utilizamos alternativas locales distintas. Utilizamos la emisora parroquial del pueblo, nos reunimos en las escuelas rurales con profesores y estudiantes, y convocamos por medio de Cinetico, un cine rural itinerante, por medio del cual invitamos a campesinos a asistir al evento. 

Cine rural al aire libre

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/47777032 w=500&h=281]

La comunidad también se involucró construyendo la escenografía. ConectArte, un programa de desarrollo personal dirigido a niños campesinos llevó a cabo talleres con los niños de la vereda Chaleche, de Guatavita. Fue una experiencia increíble el sentir el poder de la colaboración, y experimentar su resultado materializado en el escenario. Compartimos este proceso con la audiencia de TEDxGuatavita, presentando fotos y videos de los talleres por medio de los cuales se construyó el espacio que los asistentes experimentaban.

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/47376297 w=500&h=275]

El evento inició con la charla de  Gustavo Cataño, el primer empresario colombiano que creyó en el potencial de las lechugas orgánicas. Introdujo en su charla un sistema hidropónico que puede generar dinámicas de mercado local en la región, sin la necesidad de tierras o labor extensivas.

Gustavo Cataño explicando como hasta sin campo, hay campo en el campo

La primera sesión de charlas siguió con la de Camilo Gomez, compartiendo su modelo de cría sostenible de ganado; Luis Fernando Samper continuó describiendo la orquesta detrás del café que nos tomamos; Elvira Villalobos contó la emotiva historia detrás de la más antigua cooperativa de mujeres en Colombia, y la forma cómo han podido tejer sociedad; y  Natalia Poveda nos narró su proceso de transformación, pasando de una ejecutiva de tacón, a una activista de la permacultura.

Natalia Poveda de ejecutiva de tacón a activista de la permacultura.

Magda Parodi nos ofreció una emotiva presentación de danza en la mitad de la primera sesión. Todos nuestros sentidos estaban afectados por el programa del día, magia se conjuraba para generar transformación rural en Colombia.!!

El receso entre las sesiones de charlas fue un espacio dedicado a conectar personas e ideas. Negro Robot y La Arenera organizaron espacios interactivos en los que la gente podía registrar sus pensamientos durante el evento. Las ideas inspiran más ideas, y queríamos poderlas registrar de una forma visualmente poderosa. Una instalación de arte se construyó tejiendo las ideas de los asistentes. La información aquí registrada es la semilla para  Campo Abierto, una plataforma que apunta a reducir la brecha entre las ideas y las acciones en el campo colombiano. Campo Abierto conectará a personas con ideas, con quienes cuentan con el conocimiento para llevarlas a cabo, y con los recursos necesarios para hacerlo.

Nació Campo Abierto en TEDxGuatavita.

La segunda sesión fue fasciante!! Inició con la historia que Sandra Camacho nos contó sobre la Sociedad Con Su Mistica, un colectivo de mujeres, que entre otras cosas increíbles, han convertido un desierto en un valle en el que abunda la comida orgánica, utilizando los desperdicios del mercado del pueblo. También organizan maravillosos talleres creativos con los niños de Villa de Leyva, plantando semillas de cambio en esta región colombiana!!

Sandra Camacho con Poca Lucha (un personaje de jean reciclado), terapeuta para niños y grandes.

Pedro Medina continuó con una charla tremenda, haciendo un llamado a  cambiar de mentalidad, a la necesidad de hacerse preguntas distintas, para obtener respuestas diferentes que generen transformación efectiva y sostenible. Nos guió a través de la historia de  La Minga Casa Gestante, un centro rural donde abunda la magia, donde regularmente más de mil personas, de la ciudad y el campo, se encuentran para intercambiar bienes, conocimiento y tiempo.

Pedro Medina inspirando un cambio de mentalidad

Después de la charla de Pedro, un personaje con un poncho y una guitarra nos preguntó si podía cantarle una canción a la audiencia. Nunca lo habíamos visto antes, pero sentimos que sería fabuloso. Así, Felipe el cantante se subió al escenario, y nos maravilló con su canción. Fue la perfecta transición a las charlas que seguirían, un gran recordatorio sobre la necesidad de sintonizarnos con nuestra tierra y ancestros.

Felipe el cantante con Jennifer, la carismática anfitriona de TEDxGuatavita

Ernesto Mamanche, lider de la Comunidad Mhuysqa de Sesquilé, continuó narrando el proceso de redescubrimiento de nuestras raíces. Fue muy importante tenerlo en  TEDxGuatavita, ya que muchos de los asistentes locales nunca habían oído sobre esta comunidad, que ha generado mucha transformación en Sesquilé. Nos incitó a preguntarnos sobre nuestros orígenes, y a conectar las respuestas con el camino que debemos seguir.

Ernesto Mamanché conectándonos con nuestras raíces.

Carolina Duque, quién trabaja entre las mujeres indígenas del río Pirá Paraná, en la amazonía colombiana, nos pidió repensar nuestro territorio, y expuso acciones comunitarias que podemos llevar a cabo en el. Nos insitó con ejemplos fascinantes, a relacionamos de una manera distinta y más activa, con nuestra tierra y nuestros vecinos.

Carolina Duque compartiendo procesos comunitarios y una relación distinta con nuestro territorio.

En este punto de la noche había mucha energía en el aire. Muchos momentos emotivos e inspiradores llenaban el teatro. Era el tiempo propicio para reir a carcajadas, y con sentido! Y la cómica presentación de  Camilo Rodriguez nos transmitió el poder del clown para generar procesos de transformación. Luego nos llevó por un viaje a través del campo colombiano, ilustrando como, riendo, podemos obtener la paz.

Payaso de la transformación

Llegó la hora de la charla final!! Y fué increíble. Ana Marñia Gutierrez nos introdujo al universo de la permacultura y la construcción sostenible. Nos contó la historia de Organizmo, el centro de hábitat sostenible y bioconstrucción que ella dirije; y narró su relación con proyectos comunitarios en áreas rurales colombianas.

Emotiva charla final de Ana María Gutierrez

Al final, todo giró entorno a la comunidad. Todas las charlas abordaban manifestaciones rurales de oportunidades, y compartieron la necesidad de actuar y construir colectivamente. El evento mismo fue una increible experiencia colectiva, una colaboración abierta. Gente trabajando muy duro en conjunto, disfrutándolo, con pasión, por la creencia pura en el inmenso poder de las ideas para cambiar nuestro mundo.

Parte del equipo organizador de TEDxGuatavita, pura dicha!!

Mucho trabajo queda por hacerse. TEDxGuatavita fue el poderoso arranque de proyectos y procesos. Mucha gente quedó conectada e inspirada para iniciar nuevos emprendimientos. Otros encontraron formas para mejorar su trabajo actual. Proyectos locales fueron identificados, y colaboración para ellos germinó. Campo Abierto, una plataforma para llevar las ideas que vale la pena contar, a ideas que vale la pena hacer, inició ese día. En los siguientes meses se irá construyendo y sistematizando. Nuestra meta es tener expositores locales, fruto de esta plataforma, en el próximo TEDxGuatavita!!! Si quieres ser parte de este proceso escríbenos a tedxguatavita@gmail.com

Puedes ver más fotos del  proceso de preparación para TEDxGuatavita aquí, and otras fotos más sobre el evento!

*Fotografías de Camilo De La Cruz


TEDxGuatavita se acerca!!!

Estamos muy cerca de TEDxGuatavita, evento que como tema principal tiene Hay Campo en el Campo, y que reunirá pensadores, empresarios, académicos y estudiantes a quienes les apasiona lo rural, y con quienes se busca construír oportunidades en el campo colombiano!!

Este fin de semana, en La Juanita Finca Verde, se realizó un taller y minga de ConectArte, en el que se tejió, junto a los niños de la vereda Chaleche, de Guatavita, el letrero para TEDxGuatavita. Una tremenda tarde, compartimos un asado, y tejimos, como nuestros ancestros, con las manos conectadas al pensamiento. Colectividad pensando bonito, y así se va tejiendo TEDxGuatavita, pensamientos, ideas, que vale la pena difundir, y realizar!!

En esta recta final necesitamos mucha ayuda. Si quieres colaborar, patrocinando, ofreciendo tiempo, o asistiendo a TEDxGuatavita, escríbe un correo a felipespath@gmail.com

Los dejamos con algunas fotos de esta tarde tan elegante!!