A seed in fertile soil

And when he discovered… that from the tiny little seed, in a most mysterious and possibly, even magical way, a robust plant had grown; then, the miracle amazed him, and he sighed, feeling both satisfied, as well as, fulfilled in his life 


Caminando por el barranco Barranco, Lima. Perú
Walking Barranco           Barranco, Lima. Perú

The younger sister, Mariana, was exceptionally receptive. They took advantage of a big tree on the farm. and when they finally built a trapeze, Magnífico himself, was totally amazed by her capacity to learn.

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The seed was sown in fertile land, for together with the technical aspects of the scenic arts, Magnifico would talk to them about that mysterious and alluring world of the circus.

El periódico Puebla, Puebla, México
El periódico Puebla, Puebla, México

As time went by, from what had once been but a little seed, a plant began to grow. Following Magnifico’s initiative, the sisters collaborated with him to help set up The Magnificent Circus of the Marroqui Sisters, an open-air circus without a tent, but overflowing with character and a lively spirts. So began, their presentations at the family farm to which the neighbours would flock enthusiastically, from all over the surrounding region.


 

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The farmer of abilities

In this world. though we can’t take anything with us, we can leave part of ourselves behind


 

El balcón Puebla, Puebla, México
Balcony          Puebla, Puebla, México

He never imagined that on his return he would come back as a farmer, to plant his surprising abilities in the fertile lands of the Snow-capped Park.

La vía de las bicis Puebla, Puebla, México
The bike’s lane          Puebla, Puebla, México

And more concretely, in the two girls that lived next door to his house.

Las torres de la iglesia Puebla, Puebla, México
Church towers          Puebla, Puebla, México

In the girl’s spare time, he enjoyed transmitting all those techniques that he massed during his long life with the circus.


 

 

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Walking the tightrope of life

Though he lived in the heights, he never could reach, his soaring personal ambitions 


Bajo el sol calles de Puebla, Puebla, México
The Angels Store          in Puebla, Puebla, México

He became a part of the circus family. A few years later, he manifested himself as a prodigy in the arts of the jugglers. Gradually, he extended his abilities to the tightrope, and eventually, he became the star of the flying trapeze.

Luces y sombras calles de Puebla, Puebla, México
Lights and shadows           Puebla’s Streets, Puebla, México

After a long life in the show business, and as a consequence of a fall from which he never completely recovered, a day he went back to Colombia, with plans of being laid to rest under the sun on his native land.

Las calles del centro Puebla, Puebla, México
Downtown Streets          Puebla, Puebla, México

Casually, or because of fate, he arrived at the village where the Marroqui sisters lived, and he became their neighbour.


 

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Magnifico and fate

And who can proclaim that upon waking; he knows what lies ahead and what the new day will bring


 

Puntos de vista Xalapa. Veracruz, México
Points of view           Xalapa. Veracruz, México

The walkways of Fate are complex and it is difficult to realize the direction they hold.

Órale güero calles del centro de Xalapa, Veracruz, México
Órale güero           Xalapa’s downtown streets, Veracruz, México

So it was for the Marroqui sisters, who never imagined the profound impact of the new arrival to the village where they lived. He was a seventy-year old man, and his name was Magnifico.

Los ángeles Catedral de Puebla, Puebla, México
The angels            Puebla’s Cathedral, Puebla, México

When he was only just ten years of age, Magnifico was orphaned. Encountering a travelling circus, he found himself a job and also, the possibility of a new family.


 

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Talking with the herd

Surprising, how when she was born, she talked through her eyes


El callejón Calles de Xalapa, Veracruz, México
Alleyways           Xalapa’s streets, Veracruz, México

It could be that he passed on that passion of his for the horses to Carito, or that she, had the gift since her childbirth.

Palmas para el domingo catedral de Xalapa, Veracruz, México
Sunday palms            Xalapa’s Cathedral, Veracruz, México

Meanwhile, at school, she was taught the correct grammatical rules for proper conversation with her peers, but at the farm, she learned how to talk to the horses on her own. Later on, these abilities would introduce new possibilities in the walkways of her life.

Escaleras de la calle Centro de Xalapa, Veracruz, México
The street’s stairs          Downtown Xalapa, Veracruz, México

Definitely, Carito’s natural gift was surprising. Before she was eight years old, she could maintain a complete conversation with any of the horses at the ranch. But she didn’t stop there. Insomuch as her interaction with them, she learned to handle herself, within their complex social roles, finally integrating herself as one more in the herd.


 

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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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