Galeano’s Sea of Little Fires

I’ve always loved this tale, ever since I first heard it on a Brazilian series called Sangue Latino.


“Un hombre del pueblo de Neguá, en la costa de Colombia, pudo subir al alto cielo.
A la vuelta, contó. Dijo que había contemplado, desde allá arriba, la vida humana. Y dijo que somos un mar de fueguitos.

 – El mundo es eso — reveló —. Un montón de gente, un mar de fueguitos.
Cada persona brilla con luz propia entre todas las demás. No hay dos fuegos iguales. Hay fuegos grandes y fuegos chicos y fuegos de todos los colores. Hay gente de fuego sereno, que ni se entera del viento, y gente de fuego loco, que llena el aire de chispas. Algunos fuegos, fuegos bobos, no alumbran ni queman; pero arden la vida con tantas ganas que no se puede mirarlos sin parpadear, y quien se acerca, se enciende.”


“A man of the town of Neguá, on the coast of Colombia, was able to climb to the high heaven. On his return, he told a story. He said he had contemplated, from above, human life. And said that we are a sea of little fires.

The world is that—he revealed—A cluster of people, a sea of little fires. Each person shines with their own light among all others. No two fires are alike. There are large fires and small fires and fires of all kinds and colors. There are people of serene fire, unaware of the existence of wind, and people of crazy fire, who fill the air with sparks. Some fires, foolish fires, do not shine or burn; but others burn life so heartily you cannot observe them without stopping to blink, and whoever gets close, flares up.”


Radio Ambulante


If you’re not familiar with the podcast Radio Ambulante, I highly recommend it (that is, if you like This American Life and always wanted a Latin American version).

For the episodes on Colombia, go here and click on ‘Colombia’

Radio Ambulante is a Spanish-language podcast, distributed by NPR, that tells Latin American stories from anywhere Spanish is spoken, including the United States. We seek to bring the aesthetic of high-quality longform journalism to radio. We work with a talented community of storytellers and radio producers from different corners of the continent, while taking advantage of technology to produce, distribute and exchange stories.

In 2014, Radio Ambulante was awarded the Gabriel García Márquez Prize for Innovation in Journalism, the most prestigious journalism honor in Latin America.


Colombia Magia Salvaje


Colombia Magia Salvaje is a jaw-dropping experience. One of my favorite aspects of Colombia has always been the natural diversity, and this film reaffirms exactly why.

The inspiration for the film was the documentary Home, from 2009, which portrays the natural resources of 54 countries, but Colombia does not appear, even though it’s the second most biodiverse country in the world.

As of October 2015, Colombia Magia Salvaje is the highest grossing and most watched film in Colombian cinematic history. A sequel is set to be released in 2018.

I found a link to the video in Spanish here but still worth the watch if you don’t understand the language. Below is the trailer.

A visual tour of the Lost City


Occassional guides for Wiwa Tours, the only indigenous owned tour company operating in the Lost City.


“In the early 1970s, a group of looters searching for Pre-Columbian artifacts in the jungles of Colombia’s Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta stumbled upon a set of worn stone steps leading up a ridge from the shore of the Buritaca river. At the end of more than 1,200 stairs, they found the ruins of an ancient, silent, abandoned city.

Shortly afterwards, a slew of exquisite artifacts began to flood Colombia’s black market, leaving archaeologists of the era puzzled as to the origins of such intricate golden figurines, urns, beads and statues.

Investigators soon caught on to the trail left by grave robbers. The region, which had been dubbed “Green Hell” by the looters, seemed impossibly difficult. Between the impenetrable tropical forest, the steep, treacherous gradations slicked by constant downpours, and clouds of disease-bearing mosquitoes, progress was slow. But by 1975, excavations were underway, and the site was shortly thereafter revealed to the world as Ciudad Perdida, or the “Lost City”.

What the archaeologists had uncovered was incredible, one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the century—a massive city, once home to some 2,000-8,000 inhabitants.” – Read More

Musical roadtrip to Colombia’s coast

“Explore the vibrant culture of the contemporary Caribbean music scene in this Native Instruments original documentary. Producer Mauricio Alvarez takes us on a trip from Bogotá to the Colombian coast in an attempt to understand the spirit of Caribbean groove, highlighting the soundsystems, the artwork, and a generation of musicians and producers creating a new music all their own.”


00:00 Bota candela :: Sultana (unreleased Kobra edit)
00:26 Danza de los mirlos :: Los Mirlos (live Dengue Dengue Dengue Refix)
01:17 El Preferido :: El Remolón (ZZK)
02:00 Bye Bye :: Cero39 (Polen records)
03:17 Brisa :: Cero39 live (Kobra edit)
06:20 Saludos a Kamisama :: Cero39 (unreleased)
07:50  La guitarra que llora :: ?  (n/a)
10:19 Descarga tacones :: Pollo Burbano (Private press)
11:11 El Agua :: Dj Rata Piano (n/a)
14:01 Cero39 a lo Ratista :: Cero39 & Dj Rata Piano live (Kobra edit)
15:17 La Orejera Coleta :: ? (n/a)
17:16 Amanecer :: Dj Dever feat. Lil Silvio (Passa Passa)
19:13 El vacile de la nevera :: Cero39 & Dj Dever live (Kobra edit)
20:17 El Manimal :: Anne Zwing (Kuky)