The 2nd day of our travel was full of special moments, river travels, the meet that was most expected, and the one that was the reason for this travel: finding Genaro and enjoying his music, so, we can say that the things that we made this day were the reason to be in Guapi.

With all in mind,  it was problematic for me to decide what I would write in those lines, at first my intention was to put all that happened, but I lost interest on the 5th page and all the points came diffuse, I was losing the path. Then I remembered the reason why I started to write my blogs, give my point of view, and show these little stories that will not be part of the film that we were working on and that for others can be banal but, for me, it’s full of significance. I put my hands again on the keyboard and closed my eyes, I started to think about this particular day and made the decision to write about the first memory that will come to me. the memory that came, had the smell of oranges.

Don Genaro’s wife lighting the wood stove.

I’m looking at me there, sitting on the floor beside the wife of Master Genaro Torres, She is in her home, silent and apart from all the noise that the uninvited but welcomed guests, even in the middle of the living room where all the crew is walking around. This calls my attention, looks natural on her, being silent beside her husband, in a silent presence that made her look like a spirit more than a living being. She is there all the time with him.

I look her,  looks like she live in her own word but I take the risk and try start a chat with her, at first I don’t  know what to say, then I decided to made questions that I would make to an old auntie mine

 — Hello — I say — Are we noisy?— she laughs at my sentence. 

Her soft voice comes to my ears,  and even though she still keeps looking to a corner, talks to me and says that isn’t the case, that all is right,  she is legally blind, but I can notice that she already can notice the things that are really close.

I was trying to grow the conversation by asking if she likes the music.

  — Of course_ was her answer and then she looked more relaxed with the conversation.

when I ask about her favorite musical instrument, she laughs and says —the Marimba—  I laugh too and say: 

—  You loved the marimba’s sound and married the master of it!

I look at her, and  I don’t find any more to ask and we continue smiling. When I decide to let her, she takes my hand and with the innocence of a child that comes with this stage of life asks me:

—  and… my present?  Did you bring me a gift?

The house of Don Genaro

Don Genaro’s instruments in the middle of the room.

I blush up and don’t know what to say. The day before, in our meeting with Nany, we asked her ideas for two things; the first one, a good present for the Torres family, and the second one was how we can find some cheap and good food for us in Sansón, The “vereda” where they live.  She (Nany)  told us that the answer to our questions is just one, we had to go shopping for groceries, fish, chicken, green banana ( a big one that is special for cook) and the other ingredients for a good sancocho, we can find all at the street grocery market, with this we have to go to Sanson and there search for an any of women and ask if she could make us the sancocho, and of course pay for it, invite to the Torres to eat these with us and have a good meal like friends. May and I really appreciate the idea and go with it. The idea was good for the big family, except for Genaro and his wife,  the couple had eaten already when we were able to arrive. For Genaro, we had a modest money incentive, but for her, his wife, we don’t have a single thing. 

I started to search in my bag, I hoped that I would find some that I could give her. but the only things that I found inside were, my water bottle, the release documents, my iPad, a pencil, and one orange… the last one of the twelve that we got as a gifted in the street market.

This morning we were filming, trying to catch all that was dismissed the first day. Working in the streets of Guapi we made our way to the port too and the street market that was in the same place.

The team used every minute to shoot.

Streets of Guapi

Sale of fruits in the market – tourist port of Guapi.

This morning we were filming, trying to catch all that was dismissed the first day. Working in the streets of Guapi we made our way to the port too and the street market that was in the same place.


We were working focus on the target: make a good impression of all the things that were happening around this Thursday morning. Every store and little business, no matter if they sell clothes, ornaments, or anything is full of loud music. The hair salon where we sew these marvelous braids that are a history book and art at the same time, all was there and we were filming on our way to the street market, once there, can be seen how the fruits and vegetables come in boats and chalupas, and the fish salesperson work on clean the fish with expertise, we were filming all time the stands in all length of the streets and at the same time we are shopping our grocery list. That is the reason for conversations like the next one:

–The woman there has a beautiful stand – I say when I see a fruit sale.

– We can film her and the sale– answer Gustavo 

– And also we can buy her green bananas – complete May and all the group make his walk to the place.

May full of emotion says to us:

– look look, she is skillful at cleaning the fish, Mauricio, Make a shot and I will buy the fish that we need!–  and like that, we are going to get all that we need to get with us to go to SANSÓN.

When we been able to arrive at the tourist port where is the fruit boats and vegetables, we face two things, was true that these ingredients are expensive, and second, we were now faced to face with  Silverio Mina, a person that we know the last night and we don’t know if can be a trouble for our intentions. Now the last night and we don’t know if can be trouble for our intentions.

Silverio had a chalupa full of oranges and was with other chalupas even more attractive. The last night he as told us that he don’t want to be filmed, he was asking us about our intentions, I understand there isn’t an easy count on the goodwill of the strangers that are filming around, we show our respect filming far away from him and his friends but he kept an eye over us till we go. Gustavo wanted to film the chalupas fruit sales and the ones of Silverio too, so I went to him and as for his consent, I  told him that we can keep the promise that we will not film him, and we can show him the material if he wants to be sure. He accepted and we were able to film.

In the middle of filming near the fruit and vegetable boats

Don Silverio who gave us the bag of oranges as a gift.

Moments after receiving the precious load of oranges, I notice the bag in my left hand.

All the time that we were there I was dripping drooling for the oranges. It looked juicy and the weather was hot. We had water for a drink but I wanted something more, I wanted an orange and these look really good. At this moment I just haven 4000 COP in cash and there the cash is king,  (like 1 USD today)  when we were ending to film and we were finishing to fill all the documents, he decide that we can take pictures of him ( like the ones in this blog) and I decide by my side to ask for the price of 3 oranges,  he told me 3000 COP, for this same amount I would being able to buy in other towns a dozen of more little oranges and Maine this one for some like 6000 but in these places was the price, all have a high price like I told before, so i decide buy it. In the rush to go out with the group that was away from the place of Silverio, I ask for 3 oranges, He looks to me and the group and ask me how many we are, I say that we are 5 and he surprise me, he gives me a big dozen and more,  oranges the good ones, these that you will pay like gold even in other cities.

He says that it was a present and didn’t want my money.  and more, he says that if we need help we can count on him, I feel ashamed but being from a farm family and walking with people of different communities, I learned that generosity and more when having relation with the meals can’t be rejected, when someone what to share the food with you, and you want have good relations with, this comes in the stamp that means that you are welcome.  I was happy with it fact, and accepted it, then I ran to call the others and told them about this gift and everyone came to say thanks to him.

This day, the oranges were our snacks, and the answer when someone asked if in production we can have something different to water to refresh ourself,  the answer was, me going with an orange in a hand and giving it to the one that asked for.

at the time when we would to embark to Sanzon, was impossible to contact the person that agree to drive us there, then I remembered the offer from my now friend Silverio, “the orange’s man” and call him to ask for making the task, he agrees and helps us to arrive there, the travel for the river Guapi take less of 10 minutes and we were there on time to make the lunch and film thanks to the power of the oranges.

On the spear ride approaching the Torres’ home

the “selfi pal face” so it’s not said I wasn’t there

The marvelous power of the oranges started to expand and give us a new ally in the territory, closed any type of suspicion about us, and save me from starving in a long working day. 

When we arrived at Genaro’s home, I just had 3 oranges left in my backpack. Waiting for the crew was ready to start, I ate one, and after a couple of minutes, comes to me  Gustavo, he wanted to see the hand of Genaro in the shot but wanted to see him making some different, no play instruments or make these ones, another thing, we don’t have anything, well, we just one of my last oranges

Don Genaro Torres eating orange

I think that you can deduce how to end this, one of my last oranges was transformed atrezzo and the last one has found its purpose, like the gift to Genaro’s Wife. I give it to her, and she takes it as if I was given to her a magnificent gem or a  beautiful doll. She puts the orange in front of her and starts to pet it like it was a valuable object.  I remember then, that I read in some place that there was a time when mandarins were precious gifts that only the royal of Asia can have or gift and I drew in my mind this scene, maybe she show the same happiness with this orange as someone that would receive one mandarine in this ancient times.

Genaro in the middle of the rain saying goodbye to us

After a couple of hours of it we gone. Don Genaro was saying goodbye like always that someone comes to him, with kindness. She was still sitting on her old wooden home floor, looking at and petting her orange.

The power of the orange was to share how much or how little, to see how good it is to marvel at the little things as she did, and the liberation that one feels when receiving the presents with love, without prejudice or stereotypes of the one who gives or the one who receives. accepting these details and enjoying them, seeing the great gift that surrounds something small. That is what I keep as a memory of our visit to Samson and it is one of the moments that marked me the most from this trip to Guapi.

To know the details of our visit to Guapi, the emotion experienced by everyone and the stories we found during this trip from the voice of the protagonists, do not forget to visit this special chapter of the podcast La Mochila Desgualanga´

Going back to the roots!

Special Chapter: 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 Fact
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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