Three horses and two mares

And when at last the fish bit the bait, the fisherman was irremediably snared

En tierra del café Filandia, Quindío, Colombia
In the coffee lands           Filandia, Quindío, Colombia

Ever since he was a child, Aureliano Marroqui manifested a strong passion for horses.  Taking advantage of his new financial situation and also thanks to the generosity of random chance, he was able to invest in three horses and two mares.

Fincas cafeteras Pereira, Risaralda, Colombia
Coffee landscape          Pereira, Risaralda, Colombia

Always clever at detecting business opportunities, he bought a cart to draw with his horses, and so, he dedicated himself to recollect milk at the nearby farms; transporting the milk he gathered in his horse-drawn wagon to the diary in Manizales.

Migración Xalapa, Veracruz, México
On the road           Xalapa, Veracruz, México

At four o clock in the morning, he was happy indeed, as he loaded the milk in the first of the farm of the route, while he merrily chatted with his neighbours about this and that.


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A farm in the Snow- Capped Park

It was by a sudden inspiration that he found a new beginning


Camino al portal Xico, Veracruz, México
Camino a la casa          Xico, Veracruz, México

Serene and very calmly, he headed back home, and there, he left a note beneath the pillow on his bed: My dear, don´t you worry, for I’m heading out to search for a new life for all of us. I hope it won’t too long, as soon as I find it, just like a want it, I shall come back. With ease, he passed unseen among the throng, and he directed his steps with absolute conviction towards the bus terminal. In his mind, still a little sore yet, he had conceived a plan, and he was more than satisfied with himself, as well as, his plan.

Paredes de Xico Xico, Veracruz, México
Paredes de Xico           Xico, Veracruz, México

Hopping on a bus, he went to Manizales City, precisely, the capital of the state of Caldas, where it all had once begun. He came back, after a short time, to organize the removal of all their belongings to their new farm. It was located in the foothills of the Nevados (or the Snowcapped) Park. Apparently, he took this issue about the hot weather quite seriously; because, he bought the farm right below the Perennial Glaciers of the Ruiz Volcano.

Los portales Xico, Veracruz, México
Los portales           Xico, Veracruz, México

The winds blew continually from the Nevados, directly towards the farm, so it was kept well refrigerated and very much to his liking. The Marroqui family moved into the farm, and mysteriously, the mother recovered her appetite, regaining her taste for abundant breakfasts and vast lunches.


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Change of plans

Walking and mediating, he found his life, as he was living it, did not fit him, so it was time to change it for new one

Las raíces Xalapa, Veracruz, México
Roots          Xalapa, Veracruz, México

Feeling a bit better and a Little more recovered, he hit the shower and only opened the cold water. Sitting in the stall, he fell asleep, and he dreamt of times long past, when he was still a young man, He awoke feeling cold for the first time, since the day when he had first arrived in Cali.

Al caminar las calles Xalapa, Veracruz, México

Walking the streets          Xalapa, Veracruz, México

 In the end, he got up, and if,  he didn’t really feel totally recovered; at least, it was a definite improvement.

Without saying more, he dressed in clean and fresh clothes, and he fixed himself up as well as possible. Though he was not physically in his best shape; by the time he arrived at his former, old job, he was morally healthier.

La lotería Xalapa, Veracruz, México

The lotto           Xalapa, Veracruz, México

Going into the premises, he ran into his boss, and without more explanations he quit his job, effective on the day his fortune changed, for as he put it: I have meditated and found that even though I have made all this money, if it doesn’t make me a better person; it is time to follow a different path in my life.



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Early morning reflections

Contemplating his life and where it was leading him; he decided it was time to change his course

Música y baile Xalapa, Veracruz, México
Music and dancing           Xalapa, Veracruz, México

It was on one of those endless days, which had followed another one of those eternal nights, precisely when the people had found how to take turns, so the party wouldn´t end for lack of adepts. It seemed that the crowd didn’t grow larger, but by no means did it become smaller.

Paredes del mercado Xalapa, Veracruz, México
The markets walls            Xalapa, Veracruz, México

And that was how things were going, when the Marroqui sister’s father woke on that morning. He felt his head had had swollen to such a point that he feared it wouldn’t fit through the door’s frame.

El fútbol Xalapa, Veracruz, México
Street football       Xalapa, Veracruz, México

The mother was completely gone, deep in her sleep, lying next to him; only occasional snores, showed she was still alive. He beheld her for a long time, and he observed that even though truckloads of food had been going around; she was still as skinny as always, if not a bit more.



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Rumba on the street

And when they woke… it had all been, but a dream.

Fiesta Ibarra. Imbabura, Ecuador

With flavour          Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador

The food appeared to be endless, for it was served abundantly and all day and all night. Inside the house, but mostly outside, where the grills were loaded with all types of meats, spicy sausages, and of course, pork rinds. Some of the spits included cuys, a kind of a field mouse, brought in from Pasto, in the south of Colombia, near Ecuador.

La salsa Juayua, Sonsonate, El Salvador
Salsa           Juayua, Sonsonate, El Salvador

The dancing, extended out to the street, to the rhythms of salsa; since there were so many people arriving, they just didn’t fit inside the house. Still today, those days are remembered by the people; and it is said that during the good luck party, not even the street dogs went hungry.

An incontrovertible fact, witnessed by all present; is that as time went by, the dogs wouldn’t touch the corn arepas, even if they were well done, for they had definitely acquired the taste for the meats from the grills.

Rumbeando la calle Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador
Street rumba          Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador

Till today, when somebody talks about being lucky, the reference is: as lucky as a Marroqui, or also: like a dog, in a rumba from Cali.


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The party

As so it came to pass,  one morning upon waking, he understood that the time had arrived… to try something new

La rumba Ibarra, Imbabura, Evuador

The party           Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador

Meanwhile, the days and their corresponding long nights slowly went by, while the happy family, especially the very happy father of the family, partied non-stop, reveling in the magnificent and mostly spectacular good luck, whom without invitation had decided to splendidly visit the family.

Pasando la voz Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador
Spreading the word           Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador

Always generous, he shared the celebrations with his neighbors. In the beginning, the guests were only those that lived on their street. But as the word began to spread, soon people arrived from all parts of Cali:

Allegados e indiferentes
Those close and those indifferent          Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador

those that knew them and those that didn’t, those that were close to them and those that were indifferent; but in the end, it happened that the majority of them only knew that the drinks and the rum were really good, and they were also, on the house.

But, all of them did have one thing in common; they had arrived in time to share in the good luck and the immense new fortune, with the Marroqui family.

Fiesta en la calle
Party on the street          Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador


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A lucky birthday

There are those that never risk anything in life; they are called cautious: they are recognized becuase of thier wing that never grow


El ángel Catedral de la ciudad de Puebla, Puebla, México
The angel           Puebla City’s Cathedral, Puebla, México


When Carito was on her sixth birthday, he announced that his luck was about to change, for the Baloto and the Manizales Lottery were both scheduled on the child’s birthday.

Mural al paso calles de Cholula, Puebla, México
Mural on the passing           Cholula’s Streets, Puebla, México


Sure of winning, he bet all his savings, and he even borrowed more to insure the bets.


What a surprise it was for all, starting with her father, when he won the prizes for both. Swelling with happiness, the parents decided to by a farm, in a more moderate climate, where it just wasn’t as hot.


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Drinks and gambling

For him, every step in life was a gamble and a bet. To bet little, so as, to lose little, was very much like living a little, so as, not to die next morning.

Arte callejero ciudad de Puebla, Puebla, México
Street art           Puebla City, Puebla, México


Three years later, she was pregnant once more, still without adapting to the hot weather of the city.


Mural en las calles ciudad de Puebla, Puebla, México
Mural on the streets            Puebla City, Puebla, México


In the same manner, she hardly touched her food, and that woman survived basically only a liquid diet. For that reason, both sisters grew up quite slim, and they also have this incredible capacity for ingesting all kinds of liquids, particularly if they belong to some type of rum, as well as, sugar-cane spirits. They go through these liquids as if they were water.


Calle de los sapos ciudad de Pueble, Puebla, México
The Sapos Street           Puebla City, Puebla, México


The sister’s father was passionate about betting and all sorts of games of chance. Every week without fail, he participated in the Baloto and El Chance lotteries. On occasions he won, but mostly he lost.


El vendedor de suertes Marsella, Risaralda, Colombia
The dealer in luck          Marsella, Risaralda, Colombia


Since his bets were small, he equally won or lost small amounts. Even though he no longer lived in Manizales, he never lost faith in the Manizales Lottery, and he invariably played it on occasion.


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In the land of the hot weather

La sombra Centro hist´rico, ciudad de Puebla, Puebla, México
The shadow           Historical centre, Puebla City, Puebla, México


When the two Marroqui sister’s mother was scarcely in her first month of pregnancy, the family moved south, taking advantage of a job opportunity for her father.


El farol centro histórico, ciudad de Puebla, Puebla, México
The lamp post          Historical centre, Puebla City, Puebla, México

Their mother arrived pregnant, and as it turned out, she never adapted to Cali’s intense heat.


El Zócalo ciudad de Puebla, Puebla, México
Central Park          Puebla City, Puebla, México


. During her pregnancy, she barely touched food, for the high temperatures fatigued her, and she just didn’t feel like eating. The poor woman spent her days drinking liquids to hydrate herself; and instead of gaining weight, she was growing thinner by the day.


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The summit of the Andes

And she never realized there was a world aparta and outside of her imagination>

La neblina Chipre, Manizales, Caldas; Colombia
In the fog           Chipre, Manizales, Caldas; Colombia


The Marroqui sisters’ parents (for that is how they are known in the circus circuits) were originally from Manizales City, situated in the lovely central region of Colombia. The city was settled in the highest reaches of the Central Andes’s summits, and from its vantage point, it dominates the views to the coffee zone.

Vista hacia el centro Manizales, Caldas, Colombia
Downtown           Manizales, Caldas, Colombia


The Santander Street is the only horizontal stretch in the city, and it is also its main street. All the rest of the streets either ascend abruptly or descend in the same sharp manner, as if they were vertical ramps in that rugged topography.

El pianista, Manizales, Caldas, Coombia
In concert           Manizales, Caldas, Colombia

Manizales could easily be considered the City of the Landscapes, for as the pedestrian walks its streets, he enjoys an uninterrupted view to either side of the street, the view extending as far as his eyesight is capable of reaching out.


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