Before flying back to the frozen tundra, as I sometimes refer to my new home in Boston, I spent 4 days in the northern most part of South America called la Guajira. This part of Colombia is indigenous territory and in the Colombian constitution does not fall under its jurisdiction.
This area is extremely poor as nothing can grow because it is desert, and the only industry is about a dozen wind towers supplying energy to Medellin (900 km away) and some salt processing.
The territory is very large, so we spent a lot of time in the car driving through the middle of the desert to get to different beaches, desert areas, bays and view points. On the way, the indigenous people would hold up ropes in the middle of the road to get us to stop and give out waters, cookies and coffee packets. The number of young children in the region shocked me and brought back memories of similarly, large families in rural regions of Kenya, from when my family spent a summer in 2006 on a medical mission trip.
There were not too many tourists in this part of Colombia, so Santiago and I could spend some nice time together in these beautiful landscapes. We seemed very alone in nature. Nature largely untouched by humanity. Quite pristine but the depth of poverty was hard to swallow…