Spanish Version

Days ago we traveled to the fertile territory of Tolima, in the central mountains of Colombia, where the most sublime coffee grows, within a native fruity forest that infuse such special taste to the precious grain.

Visiting this territory, talking to its people, exchanging stories and local recipes, we got inspired to share all this magic with many others.

That si how, from now on,  Café EntreVolcanes, with its distinctive vibrant countryside flavor, wakens all our mornings and fills the finca with its aroma which carries so many stories. Café EntreVolcanes is sold at the café at La Juanita, we also offer it on beans or grounded for your house, or in sacks for your business.

But… if you are eager to discover the mystery of this territory.. we can organize an expedition to the heart of Tolima, to the land EntreVolcanes!!

 

Feb
26
0

From Africa to Guatavita

Versión en Español

What we thought was going to be a 10 months trip became a year and a half adventure which took us through mountains, savannas, cities, villages, neighborhoods, seas, rivers, lakes, islands and volcanoes.

Africa, a continent of surprises, rhythms and magic, so diverse and rich in nature, culture, music, flavors, smells, dances and laughs. A place which allowed us to learn by the hand of it´s people about their territory, which showed us amazing secrets, and made us vibrate to a different frequency, understanding about ourselves, about the capacity to weave individual dreams, adding the communal component of collectivity, where magic is alive in the instant, in the present moment.

A voyage full of personal, couple, family, community, and team challenges. Where we acquired tools to continue our path. We learned, shared, taught, and received life lessons. This path took us to New York, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia and Morocco. The more we walked, the deeper within ourselves we traveled. From Africa, where we come from, the origin, we come back to Guatavita, where this discovery and connection process started.

Initially we took off to be part of a social leadership program, the Acumen Global Fellowship. What we thought was going to be a personal process to gather technical tools to scale our work, was really a collective journey with twelve amazing people from diverse corners of the world: Bhutan, China, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Rwanda, France, Colombia, Lithuania, India and Sri Lanka. We deeply examined why we undertake the work we do, and the purpose of our personal and collective processes. We weaved connections with entrepreneurs from all over the world, people who believe a better world is possible, and who make it happen.

We could also explore fantastic places and realities. From planting at an urban farm in Williamsburg by the Hudson River, to dancing in rapture to the tunes of the five rhythms in order to reach our inner core. We could learn from herbs and medicinal plants at local apothecaries, and taught yoga classes at public libraries. We received so much inspiration, which prepared us for the next stage of this journey, crossing the Atlantic from New York, over Africa, to Kenya.

Kenya, a country who shares so much with Colombia, where the connection among cultures is evident, as we find ourselves smiling, heart to heart, dancing to the beat of drums which remind us that life is one, and is now and that each of us have the responsibility to create, live and walk it.

Nairobi was our home for a year, where a blank canvas, day by day, started to take form with the certainty that something big and powerful would unfold in front of us. Having the opportunity to support local projects we got to know this city, vibrant and fertile ground to dream and make those dreams come true.

We took part of a very special and lively team, which uses football as a strategy to promote resiliency and happiness in girls, boys and teenagers, which live in contexts of social vulnerability. Fútbol Más inscribes itself in the heart of the neighborhoods, working with the principal agents for change: children and their communities.

We learned by the hand of local community leaders from Mathare and Kibera (the two biggest human settlements in Kenya) lessons acquired by walking with them, dreaming, creating, and making things happen. They taught us about resourcefulness and resilience, about simplicity, community and happiness. We supported the initial design of the youth leadership program, joining trainings, tournaments and community meetings.

Africa Yoga Project, an amazing and impactful initiative within youth all over Kenya and other African countries, allowed us to be part of their incredible project. Through sharing their stories we where able to discover the most hidden corners of Nairobi, and the great gift of getting to know empowered community leaders who inspire whole communities.

We certified as Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga teachers. This type of yoga stands for leadership, community, service, possibility and transformation…on and off the mat. Baptiste Vinyasa Yoga has three main elements; asana, the physical practice of yoga postures; meditation, the practice of focusing the mind; and inquiry, the practice of self-transformation. These three elements encourage students to step into their full potential by discovering their passions, creativity, and developing the confidence to step into new and big possibilities in their lives

Through this personal journey of introspection and acceptance we met incredible people with different talents (drummers, professional dancers, artists), linked by the practice of yoga. We created together an offer of yoga ¨Drum n Yoga incorporating the strength of the African drums and traditional dance, promoting connection, empowerment and community.

We also had the opportunity of being part of a social enterprise, which, through technology and design provides solutions to tenths of thousands of families who live in energy poverty. Today more people die by inhaling within smoky kitchens, than deaths from tuberculosis, malaria and HIV together. BioLite develops technologies for cooking, solar lighting and energy storage that transform lives. We had the chance of starting the Kenyan office and develop an amazing team of people who believe in the power that business with purpose has to solve the world’s most pressing problems.

In the same way Africa, colorful, joyful and real, transformed our lives and gave wings to our dreams. Today, from the distance, we remember this lively territory as the place where we where not two anymore. We bring from Africa a beautiful seed, Mara, who gives new energy to all we do.

Today, from La Juanita, we slowly digest and are thankful for this beautiful journey we traveled. We came back to plant again in this magic territory. We reopen the doors of this space, a transformation and wellbeing ecosystem, to share lessons and ideas, weave realities, dream, and build the world we want for our sons and daughters

From March on, we again open the hotel at La Juanita, and offer this live laboratory to create in community. We will be sharing workshops and experiences, hosting hands, minds and hearts that want to plant with us.

Stay tuned, as very beautiful things are coming soon.

Apr
7
0

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Por una ganadería sostenible @ TEDxGuatavita

 

Versión en Español aquí

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hay Campo en el Campo, which in English means: there is space, opportunities, at rural areas, was the theme of TEDxGuatavita.  The first TEDx in Colombia addressing mainly rural ideas, was held at the little and picturesque town of Guatavita.

It took us 7 months to prepare TEDxGuatavita. Amazing time among the people of Guatavita, most of whom had never heard of TED before. It was a great challenge to express the nature of an event of this kind, and the immense opportunities deriving from it. Some of the local speakers are members of communities. We had to meet several times with those collectivities to explain what TEDx was all about, choose the speakers, and prepare the expositions. At the end, eleven speakers where chosen, eleven ideas which can inspire people from rural areas, and the city, to create sustainable models at the countryside.

Speakers being trained at La Juanita hours before the event

Speakers being trained at La Juanita hours before the event

An incredible group of volunteers made TEDxGuatavita possible. People who believe in the power of ideas. People who worked so hard, by heart, to build the magic performances and spaces which planted a seed for change in Guatavita and other Colombian rural areas. Massive migration to the cities is the ongoing tendency in Colombia; young people don’t see opportunities to develop economically, culturally or professionally in the countryside; so inspiring ideas, accompanied by a platform which can capture new thoughts, and implement them, is crucial for rural transformation!

Waiting for TEDxGuatavita to start

Waiting for TEDxGuatavita to start

Being able to express what was going to happen, and invite people from the countryside was one of the biggest challenges faced by the organizing team. This kind of events are normally spread through social digital networks. Here we had to use different, local, alternatives. We used the church radio station, went to rural schools and meet with teachers and students. We also spread the idea of TEDxGuatavita with Cinetico, a rural itinerary cinema project through which we invited farmers to attend the event.

Outdoor rural cinema

The community was also involved building the scenography. ConectArte, a personal development program for rural children, held  workshops with the children of Chaleche, an area in Guatavita. It was an amazing experiece to sense the power of collaboration, and to experience its outcome materialized on the stage. We shared the process with the audience at TEDxGuatavita, displaying slideshows and a video of the workshops through which the stage was built. People could connect with the local community through the space they where experiencing.

The event started with Gustavo Cataño, the first businessman in Colombia who believed in the potential of organic lettuces. He introduced a hydroponic system which can generate local market dynamics in the region, without the need of extensive land or labor.

Gustavo Cataño explaining why, even without space, there is space at rural areas

The first session of speakers followed with Camilo Gomez, sharing his sustainable cattle breeding model; Luis Fernando Samper describing the orchestra behind the coffee you drink; Elvira Villalobos emotive story about the oldest woman cooperative in Colombia, and the way social fabric has been weaved; and Natalia Poveda’s  personal transformation tale from a high heel executive to a permaculture activist.

Natalia Poveda’s journey from the office to the sustainable caravan

Magda Parodi offered us a touching dance performance in the middle of the first session. All our senses where being affected through the day’s program, magic was being conjured to generate transformation at rural Colombia!!

The break in between the sessions was an amazing time for networking. Negro Robot and La Arenera organized interactive spaces in which people could register their thoughts during the event. Ideas inspire more ideas, and we wanted to register them in a visual and powerful way. An art installation was built with all those ideas. The information here gathered is the seed for Campo Abierto, a platform which aims at reducing the gap between ideas and actions at rural Colombia. Campo Abierto will connect people with ideas, with knowledge, and with resources to generate  actions in the Colombian countryside!

At TEDxGuatavita, Campo Abierto was born

The second session was fascinating! It started with Sandra Camacho‘s tale about the Sociedad Con Su Mistica, a women collective which among other amazing actions have turned a dessert into a fertile and productive organic food valley, using the waste from the town’s market. They also host wonderful creative workshops with the children of Villa de Leyva, planting and nurturing seeds for change at this Colombian region!

Sandra Camacho with Poca Lucha (a jean made character), the therapist for children and adults.

Pedro Medina continued with a great entretaining talk urging for a mindset change, for the need to ask different questions in order to generate effective and sustainable transformation. He took us through the story behind La Minga Casa Gestante, a rural center where magic happens, where regularly more than a thousand people, from the city and the countryside, meet to exchange goods, knowledge, and time.

Pedro Medina inspiring for a mindset change

After Pedro’s talk a guy with a poncho and a guitar asked us if he could sing a song for the audience. We had never seen him before, but we sensed it was going to be great. So Felipe the singer hoped into the stage, and marveled us all with his song. It was the perfect transition for the talks to come, a great remainder to be tunned with this land, and our ancestors.

Felipe the singer with Jennifer, the amazing host at TEDxGuatavita

Ernesto Mamanche, leader of the Mhuysqa Community of Sesquilé, continued with the story of the local amazing process of rediscovering our roots. It was great to have him at TEDxGuatavita, as many of the local spectators didn’t know about this great community. He incited us to ask ourselves questions about our roots, and to connect those answers with the path we have to follow.

Ernesto Mamanché talking roots

Carolina Duque, who works among the indigenous women of the Pirá Paraná river at the Colombian Amazon followed. Her talk asked us to think about our territory, about the communal actions that can be undertaken to build a better future if we relate, through different and more active ways, with our land and neighbors.

Carolina Duque sharing community processes and a different relationship with our territory

At this point of the night there was energy in the air. Many emotive and inspiring moments had filled the theater. It was time for a big laugh! A laugh with sense. And Camilo Rodriguez hilarious performance made us all feel the power of clown to generate transformation processes. He then took us through a trip throughout rural Colombia showing how, laughing, peace can be attained.

Transformation clown

It was time for the closing talk!! And it was mind blowing. Ana Marñia Gutierrez  introduced us to the sustainable universe of permaculture and sustainable building. She told the story of Organizmo, the sustainable habitat and bio construction center she manages,  and their involvement with community driven projects at rural Colombian areas.

Ana María Gutierrez emotive closing talk

At the end,it was all about community. All the talks had as theme rural manifestation of opportunities, and they shared the need to act and build collectively. The event itself was an amazing collective experience, an open collaborative performance; people working very hard together, enjoying it, with passion, for the pure belief of the immense power ideas have to change our world.

Part of TEDxGuatavita team. Pure joy!

A lot of work still has to be done. TEDxGuatavita was the powerful beginning of many projects and processes. Many people got connected and inspired to start new ventures. Others found ways to improve their ongoing work. Local projects where identified, and collaboration for them sprouted. Campo Abierto, a platform for taking ideas worth spreading, to ideas worth doing, started that day, and in the following months will be built and systematized. Our goal is to have local speakers, product of this platform, at the next TEDxGuatavita!! If you want to be part of it, please write to tedxguatavita@gmail.com

You can see more pictures of TEDxGuatavita preparation process here, and during the event here!

*Pictures by Camilo De La Cruz

Han sido tiempos muy bonitos, de mucho trabajo, intercambio, sueños y conexión, y queremos compartirlos contigo.

La finca cada vez más bonita. Seguimos trabajándola para que el sueño que tenemos, y que tu nos has ayudado a construír se manifieste!! Durante los meses de Junio, Julio y Agosto tendremos voluntarios, con los que estamos desde ya trabajando el invernadero, arreglándo más la casita, y arrancamos la adecuación de los talleres en la parte de arriba!!

Tenemos un equipo maravilloso viviendo con nosotros durante todo Junio. We Hostels, una nueva empresa y plataforma que está revolucionando el mundo del viaje, está creando desde La Juanita, en una inmersión de trabajo y programación muy bárbara! Puedes ver fotos de esta experiencia de creación aqui!!.

TEDxGuatavita ya se acerca! La Juanita Finca Verde, con la colaboración de gente comprometida con la transformación en el campo están organizando este evento para el 25 de Agosto, su tema: Hay Campo en el Campo!! Puedes ver más información aquí! Si quieres asistir, o colaborar con este evento de inspiración y acción escríbenos!!

Cinético sigue proyectandose en el campo! El més pasado anduvimos en el Guaviare, proyectando películas en las comunidades indígenas Nukak Maku, y Jiwe. Una experiencia tremenda de intercambio de saberes! Próximamente estaremos subiendo el video de esta experiencia aquí!

Y seguimos con los talleres de Conectárte, para los niños de la vereda de Chaleche! Puedes ver fotos de Arquitectura para Niños, Construyendo mi Vereda, y Tejiendo el Reciclaje!! Estos talleres ya se llevaron a cabo en la cede del School of Doing, que de apocos, se va haciendo realidad!!

En Mayo, con la colaboración de la banda Bendito Parche, celebramos el día de las madres con las mujeres del Grupo Artesanal Chaleche!! Fue un tremendo concierto, mucha buena música, gozadera y amor!! Puedes ver algunas fotos acá!

Y Samba, la nueva integrante felina de esta familia, llegó a La Juanita Finca Verde!!

Esperamos verte de nuevo pronto por estas tierras!!

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