- The breaking
It is not new to know that after almost two years we are still under pandemic life, in many countries still with a lot of restrictions and in my case from Peru where I live.
I can’t deny that when the pandemic arrived it actually motivated me a lot in order to tell stories and interview people that I would never meet if not for the pandemic. During 2020 a great quantity of projects came and all highlighted the best of people and communities, I couldn’t be more proud of. And while 2020 was a boom for me, in 2021 I started to feel a bit different. Even though I was excited about the projects I was working on, the pandemic situation started to bore me. I felt I wanted to do more but I didn’t know how and I felt like I was energetically blocked.
2021 was about to finish and with it the new regulations about the vaccines and their obligation to have it in order to live in freedom in my country. Something that made me sick physically and psychologically for some days. I had lived for all this time without vaccines filming inside a Covid test room and with communities where Covid was. I got sick 3 times and I accepted that if I die it is something that will happen anyways but people were so freaked out by death that they wanted to do everything to avoid it and I just wanted to leave in peace. I was sick of all regulations, I was sick of the fear of people, I was sick of everybody judging everybody for their way of thinking. So with all this tension over my shoulders I felt like escaping to the mountains could help me to clarify my mind.
A few days before Christmas, I went to the Andes of Peru in Cusco. Almost at 4000 masl, there is a place I always have a special connection with. I asked a few friends I have there that I strongly needed to thank Pachamama. To my surprise the Andean wise person who made this beautiful ceremony was a woman, a survivor of lightning and therefore her wisdom in knowledge and energy. The ceremony was private and short but very powerful. We finished blowing coca leaves and that was everything for me. I felt relieved afterwards, relieved of whatever the future brings and I started to feel back on track.
A week after, New year eve arrived and magically it was full of rituals! I met a friend who surprisingly loved rituals as well, so all our rituals were focused on our intentions. We burnt letters with things that we didn’t want to repeat, one of her friends gave us amulets with seeds, some were running with a bag around the swimming pool for more travels next year and therefore, it was a magical night full with all this mystery vibe of desires and thankfulness. Something that I loved to the infinite and made me feel more open to receive anything that 2022 would bring for me.
The year started nicely warm and sunny in Lima and I was getting ready to meet a team of filmmakers from the Netherlands who were coming to film indiginious communities in the jungle and the Andes of Peru. I did all the research for them and I found great characters suited for the project who would show and explain the best of their culture for us but I didn’t expect anything of what would happen in the next few days.
2. The opening
When I met Waldemar, Thomas and Arjan, the team from the Netherlands, they told me that they were driving in Lima by themselves and I thought, gosh! These guys are wild! But at the same time I saw a genuine interest from their side to know about the cultures in Peru in a local way. So from the beginning, something that I really liked a lot.
The main topics of documentaries I work on are related to history, environment and culture so whenever a project on indiginious communities and their cosmovisions comes, it touches a special fibre of my heart. Happily the team came with the intention to flow with the project along the days and therefore life took us to its most mysterious sides. And in this case, reality surpassed fiction at many levels!
As a Peruvian and a person who always has lived in the city, It is strange that as part of my normal life I carry energetic ancestral traditions and beliefs that are endemic from different locations of Peru. I never was deeply aware of this until this project arrived and I realised that there must be something bigger that makes us strongly believe on this for generations and generations. And I am talking of beliefs like that an egg can take the bad energy of you, or Huayruros seeds to use to avoid the bad energies around, or the ruda shower that works to take the bad luck from you. Do you see it? Without noticing everything I live with runs on energy. I normally run my life with energy as well but I didn’t notice all these so closely as I do now.
The next day our trip started to the jungle of Peru. From the first time of the journey we got caught by the cosmovision of the people that we were running out of time from the beginning. Hours were passing and more and more was coming. All of sudden we were immersed in intense and sacred ceremonies that involved herbs, plants and spirituality from a different level of understanding. Of course this was possible after contacting this community from previous weeks and having a constant connection with them until we go physically to meet them. It was a magical connection to others and to the natural world but with a lot of responsibility in between.
By the time that we were going to the Andes, some issues happened one the way, like one of our characters got Covid and therefore we needed to find a replacement, then other similar situations happened as well but life changed everything so we can go on the right direction! Soon after, we were living a magical musical ceremony with a wise person that works with vibrations and energy. So amazing! And we had an incompressible event in the middle of the session related to the lightning that only something supernatural could explain and the same things were happening inside us. To all of us who were there.
After all these ceremonies carried by different people, they gave us almost the same conclusion. And this was nothing more than to make us more connected to the real world around us, to nature, to energy, to love, to others and to find our own balance inside!
For many years I was trying to understand all this by myself but I was always kind of scared to try new experiences, especially those from a different level of understanding. This trip showed me that there was not much to be afraid of. We didn’t plan to have all these ceremonies for the project and all of a sudden we were involved in all this. Understanding the different cosmovisions of the people can’t be achieved if you really don’t feel it and overall the intentions that are behind this magic vibe.
For me, it was like life was finally telling what she wanted from me. She brought me back to the same place I did my ceremony a few weeks ago, something that was not planned at all. I started to understand many things along the trip, each day was full of knowledge, feelings, emotions and adrenaline as well.
By the end of our trip and with all the wise people we met, we were convinced that life wanted us to bring the right message to the world.
3. The answers
After a week travelling and having magical experiences, the team from the Netherlands left Peru and in my head a main question remained, what about the coastal cultures? We learnt a lot from the jungle and Andean cosmovisions but what about the coastal ones?
To give you a short summary of my roots, my surname ‘Yarleque’ comes from the pre-columbian culture ‘Los Tallanes’’. ”A culture from the north coast of Peru governed by noble women called ‘Capullanas’, who exercised matriarchy and polyandry, because they had several husbands” * Oh Yes! You read it well! Something that can be scandalous these days was actually part of my culture. And from a subversive spirit like me trying to find answers all the time, I felt really proud knowing that I come from a culture of women leaders. * Text taken from the book ‘Gold and tragedy of the incas by Manuel Portal Cabellos’
So I was wondering what kind of rituals they did on the coast. Did they also have a unique way to do ceremonies? or a specific god that they prayed to in the whole coast? Because Spanish mainly settled down on the coast of Peru, we lost a lot of this information. So during my hours of thinking about it and after visiting the archaeological Pachacamac site in Lima, life was about to answer a few of my questions.
A good archaeologist and friend of mine all of a sudden was inviting me on a new expedition he would do in a kind of ancestral cemetery of coastal cultures. Yes! How was that possible? When I was just having all these questions in my head? I can’t tell by words how much emotion I felt in that moment that I agreed right away.
I can’t tell you details on the location of this place because for now it is a reserved information but sadly a place that will disappear in the next few years or maybe months. The lack of interest from our government to preserve these amazing places full of history is never part of their important agenda and this is why we went there ourselves.
I was shocked by all the textiles I was able to see just right away over the land, these were part of the things the looters didn’t take. They left everything that was not valuable for them anymore but for me that was insane! The most shocking things I found were human hairs and bones from people who knows how old they were! And I was there, just in front, asking these people: Who were you?!! Do you want me to tell the world about you? Why am I here? I was impressed by all these things and the energy around me as well! I felt like I finally met part of my ancestors, not from the north but from the coast, finally from the coast! People who had a close relationship with the ocean as usual as I do these days.
It was after some time walking emotionally immersed in this immense place that digging into the sand I saw something that caught my attention. As a lover of stones, I always bring stones to home so I am constantly looking for them. To my surprise, this was not just a simple stone and I was there with a lovely filed quartz stone made specifically to be part of a necklace or maybe a bracelet, or something like that, already perfectly leaky ready to be held! I was in shock! At that moment I felt that these people were talking to me! Were they inviting me to be part of them with a gift? I was speechless! I am writing all this and I still have no words to express my feelings these days.
After that, I didn’t have questions anymore. I felt that it didn’t matter if they had a specific ritual, or religion, it was all about the same energy of the world! I felt that everybody was the same at the end, the same human beings, with the same body and the same availability to connect, we just needed to find our personal way. The sensation of being opening to the world, to feel connected and why not also to be sensitive and vulnerable, make a whole different experience in this world as a human being.
4. My conclusions
When I started filming documentaries, my main motivation was to try to understand humans and how we can always be better, not just to others, but most important to ourselves. This is why I called my brand: Humana films, because I love the idea that I can feel as a human to its maximum percentage. And I can not be more thankful to life that always puts the right people in my way and situations to achieve this and also an actual exchange of lessons to each other. Everyone has a personal and unique journey for it. So let’s enjoy the trip!!!