Connecting With Our Native Roots

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Connecting With Our Native Roots

(Perspective from our Director of Impact - Simon Winograd)

Colombia is often overshadowed by its Andean neighbors, even the greater Americas with regards to its rich history of Indigenous peoples. History texts abundant with tales of Francisco Pizarro’s movements in Perú or Hernán Cortés’ overtaking of Mexico, there is a noticeable absence to even the novice historian of the Indigenous peoples of Colombia.

In the north within the territory’s borders, four distinct Indigenous peoples can be found, Arhuaco, Kogui, Wiwas and Wayúu. Further to the south and east, the plains serve as a corridor to the amazon and in just the right light can resemble the African savannah, we can find the Tucano peoples amongst others.

From the frontier of the amazon we make our way back to the east traversing two of the massive mountain spines that run north and south, to find ourselves in the department of Cauca. It is here where you will find the Nasa peoples and the Native Root farm. The topography and geography may seem similar from one mountainous region to the next but from the north of the country in the Sierra Nevada to the Coffee Axis to the southwest of the country in Cauca, the lighting is different, the hues of green engulfing the mountains is unique to each location. The skies as you traverse from the east to the west from the Coffee Axis to Cuaca become more saturated with thick, cumulus clouds, the landscape more noticeably filled with sugar cane.

And with some 115 Indigenous groups in Colombia each with their own way of viewing and interpreting their world reality, this is reflected in the crops they cultivate. The Nasa peoples are no exception. The Liz Andela family has been working in harmony with the natural landscape for generations. Sisters Jackie and Juliet have also been adopting the latest developments in agronomy science fusing these with ancestral growing practices, resulting in exquisite coffees and a continued deep respect for their indigenous heritage. We cordially invite you to, together, connect with our native roots as well as to your place and home, your, native roots.