[translation] One more day

Xady brings us a story straight from La Loma's violent history. Where paramilitary groups are just as likely to stop what they are doing for a quick game of soccer, than to shoot over your head at their targets:

Son, wake up, it´s 5:20 a.m. if you don't you'll be late today….

-Mom, five more minutes…

No, get up now!

Ouch.. the water is really cold, but what gives, the cold will be gone in a bit now that I have to receive physical education classes.

Move it! God Bless you, take care and if things get rough you call me from school and keep me updated….. Yes Ma'am, love you, bye.

It was a cool and fresh morning, the sounds of nature could be heard everywhere, it was beautiful to hear the birds sing, the sound of the crickets, the air that was breathed in was so, so, so… strange.

Good morning, please take out your Natural Science notebooks and could someone please do me the favor and read the last topic we talked about the last class.

We have natural sciences the first 2 hours of the day, then a break so that later on we received Physical education and sports, that one was the one I liked the most, because I like to know about all sports.

When the teacher came into the room he called the roll and following he gave us the best possible news for us… You have free sport today! That meant that we could play any sport we liked.

We stood in line to walk to the sports field in which we played sports and played mini-soccer. In a few minutes we already had players for each team. After a bit of playing, one of the guys looked to the left of the field (where a little road connected the fields with the houses surrounding the school) and with him all of us turned our heads to see what he was looking at… we hadn't looked for 3 seconds when down that path 7 paramilitary members (paracos) armed to the teeth appeared. I remember that the one in front carried a shotgun, grenades and a gun on his back…

Hey kids! How you doing?

-fine thanks, and you- we all answered with out of breath voices.

-well for the meantime, thanks to God – they answered.

Can we play with you? At that moment we all looked at each other and didn't know what to say, when one of our classmates said yes.

Four of them dropped their weapons and started playing with us, we couldn't even concentrate on what we were doing, we didn't know what could happen if their enemies surrounded us, quite possibly we would die.

After approximately 15 minutes of game, one of those who weren't playing whistled, they looked and immediately picked up their weapons, put on their shirts and thanked us;

-You, yes you, tell the principal to send you guys home because in half an hour this will heat up… move it!

I arrived at the Principal's office with my heart in one hand and commented what had happened. He didn't wait and told everyone over the P.A to leave immediately, in a calm and orderly fashion.

I always hung out with my best friends, Shory and Kid, we had been studying together since pre-kinder in the same classroom, one next to the other for everything.

When more or less 3 or 4 blocks were left to get to our homes, we heard something that sounded like firecrackers (they did this to scare the enemy) we reassured ourselves and continued walking. Five steps later a burst of bullets were let loose and immediately we ran as fast as our legs would let us, the bullets wheezed over us, we felt the shrapnel hit our backpacks as we ran, leaves fell from the sky with round holes in their centers… Tired of running we stopped a block away, suddenly a neighbor looked out the window and yelled at us “Do you want to get yourselves killed or what! Run to your homes! It took longer for her to finish saying that before the shooting started once again, each one of us ran into our homes…

Mom, I love you- was the first thing I said – Lets hide because they are just in front of our house…

One more day alive! Thank you God for this day…

[translation] As long as we are on TV

Yesterday, HiperBarrio project appeared on a national Television show called “Camino al Barrio”, or road to the Barrio. That same morning, a landslide swept away homes and lives in a neighboring community.

Akenaton was incensed at the attitudes of the people in his community in the face of recent events. Community leaders included, when they had to choose between assisting victims of that morning's deadly landslides in the El Socorro neighborhood or appearing on Television, guess what was their choice. He writes:

I'm not taking to the task of telling you what happened yesterday May 31st in the area of San Pedro here in La Loma; that will be done by others, some more sensationalist, other more objective, alas.

The thing is that death and tragedy, in the form of mud, went on a little tour around La Loma, and in their travels they stumbled on the neighboring barrio of “El Socorro”.

The event coincided with the coming to our hamlet of the show “Road to the Barrios” of Telemedellín, which was precisely coming up here to talk about disasters in this winter season. [Ed. note: winter in the tropics means rainy season]

That event seemed to eclipse all the attention of the La Loma community.

“What gives if several people in San Pedro drowned in yellow mudslides. Telemedellín is coming, lets head over there and see if we appear in TV.”

The community leaders, who should've been at the catastrophe's site, planning on what will be done with the homeless, the dead, and with the terrified community; preferred to go to the church area to spread the fetid smells from their lying mouths over the black foam covered microphones of the “Camino al Barrio” program, talking about projects, dreams, past and future. What about the present!

Who cares about the Paniagua band in comparison with this colossal tragedy?

Who cares about the “sainete”, the music and the theatre… WHO ON EARTH!

I am an artist, but I would never put talking about art in front of taking care of lives and lamenting deaths.

In the program, they only made a glancing mention to the tragedy. Only Beatriz Paniagua (great woman) tried in her interventions to make the event recurrent, but the incompetent program presenters (since my dog would be a better presenter than them) immediately veered off the subject.

There were some, who with all enthusiasm, saw in the tragedy an opportunity to become populars, and they went immediately with their photographic cameras to register the tragedy, to later show it like some animal in a circus.

Damn those pictures!

Although some of those who went off to take pictures are esteemed friends, I will not cease to reproach them their coldness. A tragedy is not an opportunity to be recognized.

Who cares who publishes the tragedy! Tragedy is tragedy, instead of showing and exposing it we should start thinking how to help!

Although this post will not provide options to help, neither will the pictures. Next time you want to invite me to something, let it be to help, not photograph death to later show it to inspire false pity.

If our neighboring brothers die, if they stay without a home, if La Loma falls to pieces, if we worry more about a stupid show hardly anyone watches or to take pictures of the dead in the most miserable way, we don't deserve the title of civic people, of well meaning citizens, of human beings.

And if this post turns out to be insulting or aggressive, So be it! That's the intention. To see if people wake up from this sharp lethargy that has them thinking only of the possibility of being famous or popular, exposing tragedies or appearing on television.

I can't help but feel invaded by deep indignation faced with these people and what they do. Faced with inefficient leaders and useless commiseration.

[Translation] Reality at the University

Catalina Restrepo was in class when the University of Antioquia was shaken by small explosions when disturbances and riots started last May 9th. Following, she tells her tale.

Well, I was going to post a while back but I hadn't found anything relevant that deserved to be written…

Today I'm back here again, trying to make words portray the fear that I felt yesterday while I was in the middle of a riot between the police and some university students.

I was in the Theory of Social Sciences class. The teacher had arrived at about 9:00 am and was somewhat angry because no-one was answering his questions, making it evident that very few of us had read the document we had as homework from the previous class.

It was close to 11:20 when several explosions were heard. The class continued and the teacher insisted that we should concentrate.

From one momento to the next, the explosions were closer together and people were leaving their class rooms looking for safer places, since the building where I am usually found is one of the most affected when events of this magnitude take place suddenly.

I had already come down from the third floor, but I remembered I had to deliver an assignment and I had to go back and get to the last floor to find the teacher's office… Quite scared, obviously.

After handing in the paper, the classmates I was with decided we should seek the University entrance that is closer to the Metro Station; but there were so many people that were coming out like opened flood gates from every single imaginable place, that we decided instead to sit down somewhere we could feel safe.

We hadn't been sitting even five minutes, when we saw up close some hooded and masked men and we even thought that they might be coming towards us. They moved on and some meters beyond they exploded something that made a very big noise.

Facing the prescence of these people, the people who minutes earlier had been conglomerated around an ATM machine looking at who knows what, left terrified; just like my classmates and myself at that moment, who seeing that those who were facing off with the police were so close, we quickly found a way to get out of the University.

Once I was outside, fear started invading me, the heat was terrible and a pounding headache wouldn't let me be. The bit of [tear] gas that I had to stand managed to affect me greatly…

Facing events like these I don't dare to take sides; but I will say that weapons used to make people feel stronger and braver are not the way to solve the problems for which they decide to fight.

After it all ended, the only thing left was anxiety. As far as I saw, nothing changed. The country didn't stop having internal refugees and the people who are unemployed, hungry and homeless are still the same ones.

I would like for someone to tell me what change took place yesterday among pipe bombs, firecrackers, stones and paint; because to tell you the truth, I didn´t see any.

[translation] An excuse to get together

Gabriel Jaime Venegas, Argos, has been the glue to hold HiperBarrio in La Loma together. He is mentor, teacher, support and promoter of the project and each and every one of the individuals that calls themselves ConVerGentes in the community. This past week they got together, and I´m translating his tale:

Since the middle of last year, when we started on the road to this thing called Blogs along with Álvaro Ramírez and since the story of Suso made us start working as construction workers building his house, we hadn't had a break.


HiperBarrio La Loma together

Since “every saint has his day” and thanks to the Asociation of Community Mothers Loma Hermosa, we managed to make saturday night the night to get together, watch a movie and share a barbecue.

At fibe people arrived to help prep everything and install equipment, then we saw the movie Freedom Writers and finally we ate, we saw the pictures we've been taking and we listened to a bit of music.

We missed all of those who couldn't be with us because of their obligations or because they are outside the country: Yesenia Corrales, Milton Araque, Isabel Guarin, Alejandra Medina, Alfedo Marulanda, David Sasaki, Álvaro Ramírez, among others who slip my mind.

Thanks to everyone for being there!

[Translation] Air or Cancer?

Xady, a HiperBarrio participant with the ConVerGentes group in La Loma, wrote and posted his family's experience with medical service in Colombia: a far too common situation where doctors give you check-ups without touching you and then recommend over-the-counter analgesics for what are later discovered to be very serious maladies. The following is an English translation. You can read the original in Spanish.

On any normal given day, Margarita wakes up early (4:45 a.m.) to send out her husband to work and soon after her soon to school. On Thursday, she was doing her regular housework in the same way she does it every single day: the difference is that on that day she wasn't feeling well enough to do all her tasks.

Margarita (my mother) is a housewife like many other mothers in Medellín. She works very hard every day so that we can live in a clean and welcoming place, besides, she makes the family relationships run smoothly and never break down or have problems. She could just be simply a housewife – I do my basic chores and then sit and watch soaps the rest of the day- nevertheless, my mother is convinced that her role should be of a moderator, a process facilitator. Learning isn´t acquired just by going to a class in any educational facility, but out of self love, attitude and the hope to have a better future.

While I was doing my regular routine of waking up, my mother was telling my father that her arm hurt, and I was attentively listening. She told us that her arm had a light tingling and she felt pain when she moved it suddently and besides, she had a sharp pain in her back. Later, she would try to make an appointment with a doctor our family knows.

My mother is well-known practically everywhere because she has become a teacher for children and teens who regularly go to the school, since many of them lack some skills and my mother tries to help them improve on them and develop their strengths for better personal and group development in the institution.

Whenever I come home from school I always find between 4 and 6 kids in my house, doing homework with her: she stands up, asks me how my day was and invites me to sit down for lunch.

This normal protocol is repeated daily.

Two days after she told us about her arm and back, she commented that her arm was back to normal, but that her back ached a lot, as if she had wind in her back.

She had been trying to ask for an appointment but first she needed a document that my father´s company gives him so that she can go to the appointment.

We spend several days pressing the company to send the document, so that we could then ask for the checkup for my mother. It was practically useless, since about 15 days later the paper still hadn't appeared and my mother felt even more intense pain in her back. 23 days later the paper was sent to my house, and the check-up appointment was inmediately scheduled, and we requested for some medication to be sent to the house to at least control her pain. We were unable to get the appointment with the doctor who regularly sees her.

On the days prior to the appointment, the pain increased in her affected area (the arm and back) and household chores became a nightmare when she had to do them. The pain made the most basic tasks become impossible to perform, and it made her lose concentration during the activities with the kids and teens that came to see her for help in their homework.

On the day of the appointment, she woke up early, she sent us off and she got herself together to arrive at the 8am appointment. The doctor arrived at 8:40 am and only mentioned there had been bad traffic and his cellphone had been left at home and he had been unable to warn them he'd be late.

He sent my mother into the examination room and proceeded to examine. After 30 minutes inside the office, both left and said farewell, my mother thanked him and went to purchase the medications the doctor had prescribed (acetaminophen, tylenol. He said it was just a crick in the back, something normal). After my mother left, three more patients were left, – “I'll be right back, I'll go grab breakfast, I'll return in a moment” – the doctor returned an hour later.

My mother still had the same pain, what he had prescribed was useless. Every day the pain increased and we had no ways to even calm it. A new appointment was requested at the “Leon XIII” clinic for her to be examined once again and to receive medications of some use. Five days later she went to the doctor's appointment, and the doctor this time was even worse than the previous one. After less than 10 minutes examining her, he told her it was a normal pain, didn't prescribe her anything and told her to make teas with tangerine and apple peels, that it would make her better, and if she didn´t notice any improvement she should take some Tylenol and ask for another appointment.

My mother immediately scheduled another appointment with a different doctor, and she wrote two notes before leaving, one she handed to the doctor's secretary and the other she left in the suggestion box. She wrote about incompetence and the lack of the doctor's humane skills.

The pain followed the same direction and got even more intense. My mother couldn't sleep and neither could we, impotent and unable to do anything about this pain that had us worried due to the situation that we were living at the time. Each day it got stronger until she lost movility, stability, couldn´t feel her legs and we were incredibly worried. My father and an aunt were doing complex paperwork and stood in endless lines to ask for an urgent doctor's appointment. (Years back, they had established a court order for a back operation, she's already had two.) AS far as paperwork was concerned, things went a lot smoother since she had won that previous court order.

After lots of hard work, waking up very early, endless lines, fights and hunger, we managed to get our objective: to have my mother seen by a specialist.

-It isn´t air in your back, or any type of injury-
-So what is this pain then, doctor?
-You have a tumor in your spinal cord-

Faced with this answer, our whole world collapsed and it was very hard to get over the terrible news, at that moment my mother was hospitalized for the following 51 days in various clinics and hospitals in the city, and by her side, my father who sat with her throughouth the whole process. The thought that our mother would be absent from our lives, not for one day or two, but a lifetime. It made my grades in school drop and my morale was in shambles. We all thought that it was just a tumor in her spinal cord. After a rigorous check, they found the real problem behind my mother's leg paralysis and the pain in her back: bone marrow cancer. This information was kept between the doctor and my mother, even though the doctors told her she wouldn't walk again, there was a 70% chance that the risky surgery wouldn´t be successful. She was always hopeful she would walk again and would lead a normal and independent life like any other person.

The doctor who checked her said the same thing every eight days, he would also say that her condition was incurable.

-we will operate in 8 days-

Due to this problem, my father complained in administration and the following days he was substituted. The new doctor checked her out and immediately said that he would program the surgery for the next day.

Date: September 26, 2005

Time: 2:00 pm

At that time the surgery began, and it ended at 7:00 pm.

“Recovery would take more or less two years, two months after the surgery she would barely be moving her toes,” said the doctor. That was completely false, because one month and fifteen days later, on my birthday, she gave her first steps and from that moment on she hasn´t given in against this harsh trial.

At this moment, April 5th 2008 she is in rigorous control which began every two months and is now every six months due to her great and satisfactory recovery.

“Miracles exist” and “Stepping back not even to make a running start” are common quotes said by my mother, Margarita.

(Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma)

We have started at Caldas

Last week we had our first meeting with the youth group Diverseres, will be the next group which will become part of our network. Diverseres is a groups of young people from the Caldas municipality, located south of Medellin, about a 30 minute bus ride from the last metro station.
Calles de Caldas
Calle del Comercio – Municipio de Caldas

In this first encounter we mainly had a conversation about expectations and possibilities regarding the citizen media training process. We also left with them a video camera and a stills camera so they could register their impressions of the Easter Week, the reinterpretation of it, the new practices and their implications. For the next meeting, we will begin the training part of the workshop, working upon the audiovisual material they will have prepared for us.

Diverseres has been working for the past two years in topics geared to other young people like them in their community. Their work has been around raising awareness among the youth in their community regarding sexuality, drug addiction and ecology. Now, with the use of online tools they are expectant of being able to publish  online accounts of their activities, promote their efforts through the internet and extend the results to other youth groups in  their town.

During our first meeting we were immersed in friendly and enriching conversation which made us think of the great stories that might come from such a vital group. In the meantime, we are satisfied by the enthusiasm which we felt during the first meeting and excited to become a part of the lives of Juan David, Dalia, Carolina, Catalina, Miguel, Dilan, Jhonny, Germán and all the other kids who will be working along with HiperBarrio.

Hiperbarrio bloggers followed the Peace Concert

The much talked about concert thought up by Medellín native Juan Esteban Aristizábal, better known as the pop-rock artist Juanes had famous guest artists and a massive assistance. On TV and online, HiperBarrio bloggers followed the event.

Chocolate moon from Qué piensas De.. wrote:


Ayer en el puente internacional Simón Bolívar se llevó a cabo un multitudinario concierto organizado por Juanes a favor de la paz entre los países vecinos luego de la crisis diplomática ocurrida por causa de los bombardeos de Colombia en territorio Ecuatoriano con el fin de acabar con uno de los campamentos mas grandes de las FARC.

Varios artistas amigos del “mensajero de la paz” (como algunos medios llamaron a Juanes), lo estuvieron acompañando en el concierto para de cierta manera apoyar a Colombia, Venezuela y Ecuador; estos artistas cantaron hasta el cansancio por la Paz, muchos de ellos tuvieron que tomar hasta 4 aviones para poder llegar a tiempo a la frontera, no importaba lo que se tuviera que hacer, lo importante era estar y demostrarle a el mundo entero que… LOS BUENOS SOMOS MÁS.

El concierto duró aproximadamente 5 horas, la multitudinaria asistencia que tuvo éste evento fue lo que mas animó a los artistas y al mismo Juanes que al finalizar la jornada agradeció enormemente a todos los asistentes tanto espectadores como cantantes el hecho de haberlo acompañado en ésta iniciativa por la Paz de su tierrita que tanto quiere.

El mundo entero fue testigo del gran evento que para muchos fue INOLVIDABLE…

Yesterday at the international Simon Bolivar bridge, a massive concert took place. Organized by Juanes on behalf of peace among neighboring countries after the diplomatic crisis which took place after Colombia bombed a FARC encampment inside the Ecuatorian borders.

Several of the “peace messenger's” friends (as the media decided to call Juanes), accompanied him at a concert which in a way was meant to support Colombia, Venezuela and ecuador; these artists sang until they dropped for Peace´s sake, some of them had to take as many as 4 planes to be able to reach the border on time, it didn´t matter what it took, the important thing was to be there and show the whole world that … the good ones outnumber the bad.

The concert lasted aproximately 5 hours, the massive assistance was one of the things that cheered the artists and Juanes himself, who at the end of the event greatly thanked everyone present: both spectators as well as singers for accompanying him in this Peace innitiative for the homeland he loves so.

The whole world bore witness to thiss great event which for many was unforgettable.

Carolina decided to experiment with microblogging formats, and twitted the concert, informing everyone of what was going on in real time. You can read it on her twitter page.

More information on the Peace Concert can be found here.

Medelink Contacts

One of the great things about going to Medelink was the networking possibilities. Today I went to a meeting with a Rotaract group, interested in having us give workshops at a school they've been working with on a rural area outside of Caldas, to the south of Medellín. It´s great to meet other young people interested in making changes in society, who do community service and who see it as a natural extension of a well rounded human being.  They were very attentive as I told them about HiperBarrio and the changes it has wrought not only on the participants but also on the communities.

The tentative date to start blog workshops at this school depends on when they´ll have their computer room completely established at the school. When this part of the program kicks off, it will signify the second stage of Hiperbarrio: ex beneficiaries will go to other communities and train other young people in citizen media, and they´ll even get paid a symbolic amount for their work.

We believe new participants will get a lot more motivated if they see that there is a tangible economic benefit in learning these new citizen media tools. It will perhaps provide the extra push to get them to buy into collaboration and writing to share, and forego the drop out rates we´ve seen happen in other projects. If they see youth like them, with similar backgrounds and who started off at the same level of computer knowledge  giving them the course material and getting paid… they´ll be able to model themselves after them, and get excited about their stories. It will also benefit the past participants who will be able to share their knowledge and experiences. It's a win-win situation.

We will be meeting with the school's principal after Easter break. The idea is that he'll sit in one of the new Caldas workshops we'll be starting this week to see what it is exactly that we plan to do at his school. From what I've been told, he sounds very much like our Hiperbarrio La Loma Librarian… someone giving, dedicated, hardworking and who cares about the community where he works. The principal has mentioned that he is interested in having the new computer lab at school open on weekends and after school so students and community members can use them and internet services: I can picture the future Salinas-Caldas participants working on weekends at the computer lab, blogging and writing and teaching others.  If it works out, then it will spread to other rotaract clubs in other areas of the Medellin Metro area. It's great to see this project start walking on its own two feet into sustainability.

HiperBarrio in Medelink 2008

Translation of post by Jorge Montoya on hiperbarrio.org [ES]

CatiRestrepo Hablando del proyectoOnMarch 7th and 8th the Digital Culture  Festival in Medellín took place, Medelink 2008 [ES] . We were there representing our project. The main objective we drew for our presence there was to bring more people into our project of sharing knowledge with as many people as possible.

Two whole days standing behind a table, where some participants from previous workshops talked about their experiences and motivated others to join our network. AS a result, we know have a database where we have collected  a good number of people willing to be either facilitators or give workshops, and others who are interested in taking the workshops themselves and help the hiperbarrio family grow.

We also met with people belonging to local innitiatives who expressed the desire to join this project which bit by bit has stopped belonging to us and know belongs to everyone. We already have scheduled appointments with these organizations to see how we can work with their needs and what will be the steps to follow.

After this event, we are left with a positive balance regarding expectations and achievements. We need to look towards the future which will surely also bring great satisfaction to those of us who believe that we are doing useful, worthy and worthwhile work.

To each and everyone who has expressed their support, to those who volunteered, to those who are waiting to be a part of this process, to the Medelink organizers and the HiperBarrio team who were those two days telling their stories in person: Thanks!


More about the event:

Hiperbarrio: Community comes together for a local personality

At la Loma, the hiperbarrio team has taken it to help out their community member, Manuel Salvador Pizarro Sierra  better known as Suso.

 First, for a bit of background, we have the feature story written on the Rising Voices blog by David Sasaki:

In San Javier La Loma, a hillside working class community on the outskirts of Medellín, one of the most well-known local celebrities, “Filthy Suso”, had, until recently, also been one of the most enigmatic. Thanks to the work of HiperBarrio, a citizen journalism outreach project of Rising Voices, the story of “Filthy Suso” is now known both locally and internationally. Led by Yuliana Isabel Paniagua Cano, Catalina Restrepo Martínez, and Gabriel Jaime Venegas, the collective of new citizen journalists created both a video and article about “Filthy Suso’, La Loma’s local collector of recyclables. Below are both the video and text, translated from the original Spanish versions. It is worth noting that HiperBarrio’s article on Suso was also published on the front page of the weekly local newspaper, Conexion.

You can read the fully translated article on the Rising Voices blog. The following video was made by the Hiperbarrio participants to document Suso´s history and was subtitled through dot.sub:

Gabriel Jaime writes about a fund raiser which took place last week in their community, trying to gather enough cash to build Suso a deserving home:

Se ha logrado cambiar la imagen empobrecida y miope que se tenia de Manuel Salvador Pizarro por una de reconocimiento, respeto, dignidad y gratitud que merece; al tiempo que se encuentran nuevas significaciones del papel de su familia y el suyo propio en la historia local.

Esta vereda unida por una causa, nos ayuda entender el valor que ha tenido el trabajo comunitario en la construcción del destino de nuestros pueblos.

El día que Suso nos falte, no se ira al olvido, quedara grabado en el imaginario de miles de personas que lo conocen, no solo en su comunidad sino en el mundo entero gracias al Internet, la prensa escrita y al voz a voz que ya convirtió esta historia en el mito de “El Suso”.

Lo más importante de este proceso es que comienza a regenerar el tejido social roto por la violencia que tantos estragos provoca, aun hoy, en la existencia de las personas que habitan esta vereda y que solo sueñan con vivir en paz al lado de su familia y las personas que aman.

We have managed to change the poor and miopic image that people had of Manuel Salvador Pizarro for one of recognition, respect, dignity and well deserved gratitude; at the same time that new meanings are being found of the role his family and himself have played on the local history.

This bourrough which came together for a cause, helped us understand the value that community work has had on the construction of our people's destiny.

The day Suso is no longer with us, he won't be forgotten. He'll be branded on the minds of thousands of people who know of him, not only in his community but throughout the world thanks to Internet, written press and word of mouth which made this story the “Suso” myth.

The most important aspect of this process is that the broken social makeup of our people, damanged by violence which causes so much pain, is being mended. People who'se only desire is to live in peace with their families and the people they love.

Carmen Elena Paniagua, better known for her online nickname of Camela, wrote a beautiful poem in her blog Baúl de Letras in honor of Suso, recording the day his old home was demolished to make room for the new one;


Por última vez el viento silbará entre lal tapias;

los muros centenarios y leales morirán con sus secretos.

La historia, reducida a meras partículas de polvo, solo quedará grabada en la memoria cansada de un viejo.

Con cada golpe de la almádena, su corazón se estremecerá y evocará un recuerdo; una añoranza de pantalones cortos, de pies descalzos, de bigotes de leche y cocechas de café.

Su mirada parcial, se detendrá dulcemente en un éxode de cucarachas; y de las ruinas rescatará las antiguas llaves de la casa y las guardará en su bolsillo, tal vez para abrir la puerta del pasado en una noche de reminiscencias.

Ya no las paredes desatarán su coloquio en las noches, fidedignos relatos que en el espesor del barro se escondían de la luz del día;

ya no los bacanales de extrovertidos fantasmas;

ya no los abrazos íntimos con la soledad;

ya no las anotaciones que a falta de papel, se esculpían en los muros terrosos.

Ahora solo hay escombros; una vida regada por los suelos; los pedazos de una existencia, que se rompe al final de una honda caída.


For the last time, the wind will blow between the walls,

those centenary and loyal walls will die with their secrets.

History, reduced to mere dust particles, will only remain recorded in the tired memory of an old man.

With each strike of the sledgehammer, his heart will shiver and a memory will come up; yearnings for short pants, bare feet, milk moustaches and coffee picking.

His partial sight will sweetly stop on the cockroach exodus; from the ruins he'll rescue the old keys to his house and will put them in his pocket, perhaps to open a door into the past on a night full of memories.

No more shall the walls untie their evening conversations, faithful stories that hide within the thick mud walls during the daytime;

No more shall the extrovert ghostly parties take place;

No more the intimate hugs with solitude;

no more the note taking that due to a lack of paper were sculpted on the dirt walls.

Now there is only rubble; a life scattered on the ground; pieces of someone's existence bronken at the end of a long fall.

A video taken by David Sasaki when he met Suso can be found on his blog as well.