Let’s take a look at Libertad, a small town in the north of the San Onofre Municipality and about 5 kilometers from the sea on the Caribbean coast. With about 6000 inhabitants, who in large part work in agriculture and artisanal fishing.
I want to present to you all what I have enjoyed from my community. Principally, it is an afro-descendent community and hardworking. I have been making friends and learning from the richness and values that each person has in general.
Groups like Afro Music: youth that by means of their talents and abilities express their culture, songs and dances, of neighbors like Mr. Eli that day by day wake up before dawn to work the fields and crops, of observing nature and the beauty of its beaches.
Libertad’s Central Plaza
This statue of liberty represents ten years of resistance to the armed conflict. It was donated by Mr. Camilo Conde from Bogota, DC on September 24th, 2014.
Additionally, the Catholic Church plays an important role in the community. It’s a place where people feel safe, where they breathe peace, tranquility, unity and spirituality in communion with others. They feel a more direct connection with God when they are in it.
People enjoy these beautiful beaches with their family and friends. What’s more, they’re a source of daily sustenance for many fishers that live off of this work.
Afro Music Group
Afro Music: They work to restore the social fabric that was being lost as a consequence of the armed violence, and by means of music and dance, they are rescuing the ancestral culture and traditions of the community.
Mr. Eli Alberto Berrio Zúñiga, 50 years old, is my neighbor. He has spent a large part of his life working in the fields, fishing, and composing songs; he has lived for a long time in Libertad. He says that he likes to cultivate rice, yuca, yams, beans, and watermelon; Mr. Eli says that the good part of planting is that you can sell or exchange food with other people.
For me it’s important to analyze the context where they live, their struggles, triumphs, and challenges. Even though they were hit by violence in the years 1997-2004, they can be called resilient because they were not displaced, but rather they stayed in their community enduring all types of paramilitary cruelty and violence, and still they continue smiling.
Being a person from Valle de Cauca (Cali), I find myself with many cultural differences in this region; for me it’s interesting to learn from how you express yourself, cook, dress, music, dance, etc, because many of these cultural expressions are not the same where I come from.
I feel happy to continue advancing in this process of learning and building new relationships.
Translated by: Carrie Vereide