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sugamuxi

February 2, 2020. colombia

Sugamuxi:  the indigenous word for "Dwelling of the Sun", in the pre-Hispanic Muisca culture. Here, at about 3030 meters above sea level, the sun indeed feels closer.  Today, Sugamuxi is a province of Boyacá, in the northern Andes mountains of Colombia.  Onion fields dominate the landscape, covering over 1300 hectares, and supporting a great part of the region's economy. Over 70% of the country's long-green-onion comes out from here.

Tenant farmers, living a very modest life in the villages of Sugamuxi, with not many other alternatives for jobs but to harvest onion, among other crops. A worker in an onion field will earn about 18 dollars a day. Nobody will make much economic progress with that, that's why after decades of waking up at 4 am to milk cows and plow the earth their families will still live in the same conditions; that's why even the children have to work here. Yet,  they are proud of their idiosyncrasy, their rustic hands, and connection to the land; their red cheeks and sweetest voice. They don't ask for much, but for so long, the government and people from the large cities have forgotten them.  

"El sol me pertenece, el aire es mío,
no me tasan el agua porque abunda
en claras fuentes y en el ancho río;
¿y no es mía la tierra que fecunda
mi labor incesante y fatigosa?


¡Me arrebatan las mieses que he segado,
y se las lleva gente perezosa
que vive sin dolor y sin cuidado!
¡Tras de quitarme el pan que se me debe,
arrancarme los hijos que me ayudan!

¡Y nos llaman soez, inmunda plebe,
y si estamos vestidos, nos desnudan!


Para vivir nos falta un elemento
detentado por leyes inhumanas:
con la tierra nos roban el sustento...
¡y respondemos con protestas vanas!


Pero la plebe ha de cansarse un día
de prorrumpir en quejas inocentes
¡Para acabar con tanta villanía
no basta con las uñas y los dientes!"

 

                                           -Nicolás Estévanez

David

 Piñeros

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