Just visualize this: A woman with black swamp boots and a magenta windbreaker jacket is walking (almost running) at the Dorado Airport in Bogota Colombia. She is trying to pack a couple of sneakers, a rain cape, and a couple of socks in her handpiece. The woman takes out of her backpack’s frontal pocket the papers that need to go aboard to her flight. She stops to stand in line, the people around her are looking at her shoes,  this is not the most common outfit to travel through. Even I have this piece of knowledge… me… yes, the same woman that you are trying to imagine.

Back at this time, this was me, ready to start my trip arriving in Cali and just 3 days later, with the backpack over my shoulders again,  ready on a new flight, this time to Guapi (a Small town in Cauca, Colombia) where we been filming the documentary short film Genaro Torres: The legacy of the great Marimbero, the central piece of this expedition.

Was happy to prepare my backpack, in Spanish “mi Mochila” which was, at this time, so worn out like the one that can describe the name of this blog. I’m always been excited when I go to travel, meet and learn from other people, so, at the time that I saw the opportunity, I say yes to the jaunt and start to calm down my inner voice, saying to myself that I would able make time out of the office to go to the pacific. 

There was any time, and I saw myself, rolling clothes to get into my bag, and not only for the warm weather of the pacific, but I also had to make a short cityscape to  Chia, Cundinamarca for a Week, that will end with me, running across the main square of the town the same day that I had to fly to Cali, and asking in all the stores that I find for where I can buy swamp boots and the pair of long socks that I will need to use it and then with the with this on, was transfigured me to the woman that is walking (more like running) in the airport, trying to put all that need into the bag that had to fit in the place under the seat front of me in the traject.

At the time to be on the airplane to Cali, I had time to think about how important this trip was for our project. After all these years working in the Pacific with the big help of the communities and the production company’s own funds, a product that made part of Appellation of Origin was selected in an announcement and got the pot. The budget wasn’t a big one, even more, when the money had to be spent in the Pacific where everything is expensive. Sometimes I think that you need to have a lot of money to be poor in the coastal towns of Colombia, but it is something that I will tell about in a different log.

Panoramic view of downtown Cali

My first photo on this expedition. In the Cali office

The period after being notified of the announcement award was a marathon.  Calls were made to try to coordinate all when  May and I were in different cities,  I was in Bogota and she was in Cali, both of us were looking for to everything be ready, searching for contacts in the zone, and even more than that we need to find the persons that would be the eyes and ears of this expedition, I mean,  that was a time we can’t count with Mauricio and Cesar like part of the production group, the chronogram that was assigned for the Cali announcement for spending the award money and finish the audiovisual product was to short that they can join to the trip, this was only one of all the things that have to be done fast and wasn’t to be easy, but we know it had to be done if we wanted to tell this history and we did.  

Arriving at Cali, the time for everything is even tighter. We are moving like bees preparing the supplies, equipment, and crew, the pressure is high because we are near to getting out and half of everything isn’t ready, Gustavo’s emotions are rising, so proud and happy for made this short film that is an important piece of this project that was he dreamed till the first first time that he was in the pacific with May and we all can feeling and enjoying to them.

The last night before we departed to Guapi, the crew was complete and we made a meeting, this time Mauricio Vidal and Cesar Salazar would be with us in harth and help to guide the word in video and sound for post-production, and this made of Genaro a product with a different color and taste from the visual and sound department. The camera was under the hand of Mauricio Aristizabal, best known in Colombia for being the owner of Hangar Films, a rental equipment home, and who has been part of this for a long time, the direct sound was in hands of Jhon Alexander Melo, he comes to us thanks to Cesar that trust on him and his talent.

On the flight to Guapi, May and Gustavo were chatting, this was memorable for them.  Last time, they didn’t know the place well enough, this time the uncertainty was in the fact of being able to find everything that was planned after the first time in the town.  Would we be able to film everything they expected?  Would Genaro’s family and himself agree to participate?  With our budget, would we find good accommodation and cover everything we needed?  The questions were more than the answers, although that is now a constant for us every time we travel to the area with the hope of getting involved in their way of life and capturing it on video instead of faking it.

The plane lands at the small Guapi airport, the team waits for its turn to get off the plane as required by regulations due to the pandemic that was still strong at the time.  I see May and Gustavo take a photo of her, and with it, they will share this moment on social networks, the arrival 6 years later to this land where this whole journey began.

At the Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport in Cali leaving for Guapi. Packing up our backpacks!

From the window. We have landed at Juan Casiano Solís de Guapi Airport!

Facade of Juan Casiano Solís Airport in Guapi, Cauca

Do you want to know more about the experiences lived on the second day of the Buenaventura Expedition? Here you will be able to hear in the protagonists voices how we got to Juanchaco.

¡Volviendo a las Raices!

Capítulo especial: Guapi

Written by: May Mc’Causland
Narrated by: May Mc’Causland and Gustavo Angarita Jr.
Recorded and Postproduced by: Simón Jaramillo of Vinilo Estudio.

Hello humans! As promised, I have compiled some photos, videos, interactive routes and links from the visit to Guapi, Cauca. What was the reason for the return of May’s Barranquillera and Gustavo’s “cachaco” to where it all began this adventure. And why it was so exciting to return to the Normal School, to the Vereda Sansón and to cross the Guapi River. There began this infatuation with the territories, exploring the culture, art and  lifetime of the people, which motivated us to embark on this beautiful journey through the Colombian Pacific.

Thank you all for listening and reading us, we are happy to hear from you and we will be attentive to your messages. See you to continue exploring La Mochila Desgualanga’.

Why Guapi?
Know the reason for returning to Guapi (Cauca) after more than 6 years touring the Colombian Pacific territories.
The Torres Brothers
The trajectory of the Torres dynasty and the search of the new generations to maintain the legacy of the Marimba de chonta in the territories.
Guapi Expedition
Again 4 days to the Pacific, for the second time in Guapi, in search of the roots of the most ambitious project of our lives.
Sound Journey
Listen in the fascinating voice of Gustavo how it was for him to return to where his love for the Pacific territories began.
Fun Facts

Listen to May’s voice, what is the wonderful tourist recommendation that you can enjoy near Guapi, Cauca. A dream of a place!

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