La Mar y la Montaña (The Sea and the Mountain)

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As I looked up at the dark green and partially mist-shrouded Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains in Colombia’s Tayrona National Park from our small boat on the Caribbean Sea, I thought of the famed Spanish poet Federico García Lorca’s iconic opening lines from “Romance Somnambulo”:

Verde que te quiero verde.

Verde viento. Verdes ramas.

El barco sobre la mar

Y el caballo en la montaña.

 

Green, how I want you green.

Green wind. Green branches.

The ship out on the sea

And the horse on the mountain.

Although the original context of Lorca’s poem was much different from the Colombian one in which we found ourselves that day, his lines were perfectly suited for the moment. The overwhelming greenness of the mountains contrasted with the blue sea, and the trees moved with the breeze that alleviated the intense sun. It was an ideal site for reflecting on two weeks of immersion in Colombia’s environment—both natural and cultural.

Colombia prides itself on its biodiversity as well as its human diversity, and throughout our trip we saw ample evidence proving that this pride is well placed. Now that we have returned home, however, we begin a new journey to understand the histories, cultures, and environments of Colombia in deeper, richer, and more complex ways.

 

~ Will Walker

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