When am I going to die, momma?

When am I going to die, momma? Oh, my child… what would you say, if I told you that for you darling, it’s going to take a long time!

el tesoro

Walkabout          Route 9, Jujuy, Argentina

The years go by; like the mileposts on the highway, they turn into a succession, which ‒passing right in front of us‒ we eventually we cease to perceive.

Dusk Barranco, Lima, Perú
Dusk           Barranco, Lima, Perú

On arriving to a distant point on the road, it becomes totally valid to turn our sight back and ask ourselves, how we arrived so rapidly all the way up there.

Zarpando Capurgana, El Chocó, Colombia
And away            Capurganá, El Chocó, Colombia

I see our dreams and yearnings. I see our fears and our concerns. I see our doubts. In my mind I see all that and more: Oh, courageous seafarers who dared to sail the seas of Life.


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Can the bad ones become good ones, momma?

Can the bad ones become good ones, momma? Ay my darling, it’s easier to cook a sancocho without broth nor yuccas!

En la pradera de los celajes Andahuaylas, Apurimac, Perú
The celajes prairie           Andahuaylas, Apurimac, Perú

The girl felt the tears overflow ‒sliding softly‒ as if caressing her hot, flushed face‒,

Por la mañana Ayacucho, Huamanga, Perú
In the morning          Ayacucho, Huamanga, Perú



while in her mind a torrential cascade of images followed one after another, in a fluid and reeling sequence, threatening to drown her in the tow of its furious current.

entre amigos Zamora, Zamora-Chinchipe, Ecuador
Among friends           Zamora, Zamora-Chinchipe, Ecuador


The life-experiences shared with her endearing comrades; they had grown up life if they were sisters,


Navagating         Lago Titicaca, Cobacabana, Bolivia

the three together, sailing the seas of their infancy, to continue after, navigating the blue oceans of adolescence.

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One last dance b

The bad ones never die, momma?

The bad ones never die, momma? They die darling, only they they’re so busy with their wrongdoing, they take longer.


La calle 45 Bucaramanga, Santander, Colombia
45th Street          Bucaramanga, Santander, Colombia


Without any doubt, Bucaramanga’s traditional cemetery is the Central Cemetery. The main access to the cemetery is on 45th street. And it’s a portal with a lively canary-yellow façade, decorated with white ledges. To the center is the main access in an arc form. Overhead is a domed structure, where there´s a small chapel to say farewell to the recently deceased, rest in peace. You could actually say the entry is more amiable than gloomy.


Con vista a la quebrada Uquía, Jujuy, Argentina
With a view          Uquía, Jujuy, Argentina

The rain had intensified when they came out of the building to board the small bus parked on 41st Street. The school was in a nice neighborhood of the city, in which, many of the houses and the buildings held a singular beauty, loaded with history.

Una dedicatoria Sololá, Departamento de Sololá, Guatemala,
Dedicated to          Sololá, Departamento de Sololá, Guatemala,

 This was the scenery that watched them grow in their ages, and also, in their dreams.

One last dance b

One last dance         San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico


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Why do the good ones die, momma?

Why do the good ones die, momma? Because they get tired of so evil things that the bad ones do to them, darling

Saliendo de la escuela Plaza Iralia, ciudad de Mendoza, Mendoza, Atgentina
Out of school           Plaza Italia, Mendoza City, Mendoza, Argentina

Pensive, she hung up the phone. The three had been through many problems together. On different occasions they had visited the Office, where the hateful Disciplinary Coordinator, Miss Mercedes Cardona, unfortunately knew them too well.

Sin zapatpos Santa Fe de Antioquia, Antioquia, Colombia
No shoes          Santa Fe de Antioquia, Antioquia, Colombia

Miss Mercedes measured 1.54 meters, and she weighed the impressive amount of 108 kgs of abundant body fat. Almost 1 kg for every cm. She was capable of finishing a whole Bandeja paisa lunch and still accommodate some buñuelo bakery and her chocolate for dessert.

Durante el recreo ciudad de Sucre, Sucre, Bolivia
Recess         Sucre City, Sucre, Bolivia

One of the severest punishment she had ever imposed on them was from when she surprised them in the bathroom listing to some recordings Dora had made.
Forming a line, one after the other, she led to her office where she heard the recordings one by one, while she kept them standing in front of her huge metallic grey metal desk. The wall behind her desk had a Virgin of Fatima with twelve candles. The dancing flames of the tapers tended to hypnotize the girls, who were waiting to be sentenced.



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And why are they so sad, momma?

And why are they so sad, momma? Because the good ones die and the bad ones keep on running around.


Claro obscuro San Antonio de Ibarra, Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador
Light and dark           San Antonio de Ibarra, Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador

Miss Rosario had a lifetime serving as a teacher; she had performed as the Social Science Professor, for more than thirty of the seventy-eight years of her long life.

La beata San Antonio de Ibarra, Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador
The pious woman          San Antonio de Ibarra, Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador

Pious (and maybe a bit sanctimonious) with a deep and intense devotion.

Súplica San Antonio de Ibarra, Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador
A hand toward the skies          San Antonio de Ibarra, Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador

Celibate, though once when she was young, a frustrated romance almost led her astray. Half-asleep, she asked herself at nights, what would have happened if…?

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And why do the angels cry, momma?

Viendo hacia el lago Cementerio de Sololá, Departamento de Sololá. Guatemala
Looking at the lake            Sololá’s cemetery, Departamento de Sololá. Guatemala


Speechless, she heard her friend narrating the death of Miss Rosario.

Los osarios cementerio de Bucaramanga, Santander, Colombia

The ossuaries          Bucaramanga City Cemetery, Santander. Colombia

She was no more, no less, her favorite teacher. She was more than a teacher: on occasions she was their councilor, always tenderly trying to guide them by the right path. The one that indulged them, that was always ready to listen to them, and the one who always offered a helping hand to rescue them when they got into trouble.

La capilla ciudad de Bucaramanga, Santander. Colombia
The chapel          Bucaramanga City, Santander. Colombia


Miss Rosario taught the Social Science course in the eighth grade at the Our Lady of Fatima School, where Juanita and her two friends ‒inseparable always the way from infancy‒ studied together, in the same grade and in the same home-room.



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Why does it rain so much, momma?


A rainy day          Popayán El Cauca, Colombia


Why does it rain so much, momma? It’s the angels, Darling. They’re crying. 


In the fog         Chipre, Manizales, Caldas, Colombia

At ten o’clock in the morning the temperature was twenty-four degrees, and it rained. For the beginning of February, the temperature was in the usual range, but the rains weren’t. A drizzle could be, but the streets woke up to find themselves flooded. They said that El Niño had brought the early rains, that normally they belonged to the months of March and May.


Viewpoint        Manizales, Caldas, Colombia

Those things, and more were mentioned to explain what they didn’t understand, for though they had many opinions; nobody knew why it rained so much.

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In this game we all participate


Contemplation          Panama city, Panama.


This is not decided by us, nor by God or his Angels.


The last ride         Granada City, Granada Province, Nicaragua

It is Life’s retaliation, the third protagonist in the Theatre of Existence. For he has never seen eye to eye along with Time, and furthermore, he is perfectly attuned to Death, the other side of his face.


The streets         Cochabamba City, Cochabamba Province,  Bolivia


Since the beginning of the world it has been thus, and I do not foresee any point in which it may change. We all participate in this game: some of us knowingly, others perhaps not.



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Engraved into our skin


Shared moment            Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador


But, to some of us, it may come to pass that in our life, we run into an event, not even Time can erase.


Sunset in the highland          Carretera a Potosí, Potosí, Bolivia


Almost like a tattoo, it’s so deeply engraved into our skin, it just barely fades with the passage of the afore mentioned time;


Heaven’s light          Coroico, Las Yungas, Bolivia

 because, against all odds and in spite of them, the awareness of these kind of episodes that have so irreversibly marked us, remains indelible and enduring, as they land in some hidden part of our soul, where finally they are to be kept forever.

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The vision of a woman


A rustic landscape   Renacer Hostel, Villa de Leyva, Boyacá. Colombia

Amelia appeared. So silently that I never noticed her arrival.

Atardecer del altiplano Hostal Renacer, Villa de Leyva, Boyacá, Colombia
Sunset in the highlands   Renacer Hostel, Villa de Leyva, Boyacá, Colombia

I saw her before me, a vision of the most beautiful woman; with a beer in each hand and a smile on her lips. She offered me one of the beers, and immediately after from her hands a cigarette materialized, which she also shared with me.


Dusk         Renacer Hostel, Villa de Leyva, Boyacá, Colombia

I felt transported back to Bogotá, to that night in which we met: when in the midst of that frosty cold we placidly smoked in the street. A night in which I felt as if I were enjoying a summer beach.


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