About Fear and Courage

Don Joaquin hardly moves across the village,
leaning on a walking stick,
step by step,
as though every movement required him an effort,

his face and hair are gray like someone who has seen many things go by,
both beautiful and ugly,
how life can be.

When he speaks he stares at you,
weighing his words,
observing if you are really listening to him.

"Me entiendes?"
"Do you understand me?"

"In this country we have been suffering and dying for seventy years,
but we also know how to fight,
the fight gives you life". 

He has seen days of violence and massacres,
many of his friends and relatives were killed by armed groups,
because they were farmers,
farmers who wished to live on their land,
without seeing it exploited.

"Alone we are lost, as long as you are alone, you have no hope,
here being part of a Community instead means everything to me,
it means walking, it means sharing,
it means protection".

“Es un Compartir”.

I ask him if he is afraid,
he replies without hesitation,
almost harshly.

"No, no tengo miedo".

His aged eyes fill up with energy.

"People can be frozen with fear,
fear can make people do very terrible things,
the important thing is to keep on walking by fighting for life,
without shedding blood,
always fighting for life".