WHERE THE SUN HIDES; A PATH WITH HEALING POWER
"Now we are taking advantage to think of new experiences that can help people with the problems that the confinement has brought. We want that once all this happens, people want to be at peace with nature"
Freddy Segura was born in Neiva and at 29 he arrived in Putumayo. There he met the woman of his dreams, belonging to the indigenous people of Los Pastos, and soon got married. Just when everything seemed to be going well, Freddy was diagnosed with Lupus and was fired from his company.
Even if he did not know then, this would be the beginning of a new path that would make him passionate and change his life. In 2014, his wife proposed him to go to her family's land. Her grandfather had found a beautiful waterfall within his land and the progress of the peace process was going to allow for the first time to freely explore the territory. That was how he decided to go for a calmer life and decided to help his wife's family to start a tourism operation on the farm.
Here the magic began.
Freddy found the healing power of connection to Pachamama and decided to share it with the world. In 2019, the tour with Freddy was rated as one of the best experiences by our travelers, which transcends from nature to profound transformation as human beings and the relationship with the earth.
How did tourism change your life?
Tourism saved my life. It was through tourism that my illness was reduced. When I stop the tours, the lupus flares return, which are very strong.
When I tell people my story, they ask me what my medicine is. I tell them that it is to embrace the trees, teach the history of this territory and connect with nature.
What benefits has tourism brought to the community?
We do conservation tourism. It goes beyond planting trees. We look for ways to rescue the forest through tourism. For us, the forest is not just a landscape, it is life. We know that there is a relationship and interdependence between the forest and us.
We live that same relationship as a community. There are artisans who make it through ancient meanings, because of what tourists ask. Tourists value culture, language, ethnology ... and that is an incentive to retake language and give value to their own.
Another benefit has been our pact of respect. As a community we create routes that take tourists directly to the artisan, giving them incentives to continue preserving their culture.
With peasant communities we also follow the pact of respect. We pay the right amount, we request the best services and we demand quality. Together we train ourselves to offer quality tourism.
Why do you think it is important to preserve the tourism that you do?
In addition to the benefits to the community, preserving this type of tourism is essential to meet the current needs of people. The tourist is looking for something different, not only entertainment, but a meaningful and deep encounter. An encounter with himself, through birds, trees and water. This transforms them, between artisans and ancestral doctors we guide them to a meaningful connection.
How have you been affected by the current situation?
We went from organizing tourism in the region, taking it to fairs, with a very good proposal and welcome, to having nothing. The agency is completely stopped.
Now we are taking advantage to think of new experiences that can help people with the problems that the confinement has brought. We want that once all this happens, people want to be at peace with nature.
Because we have the hope of being able to travel again, we want to give hope to Freddy and other warriors like him who every day, despite any circumstance, get up to continue betting on responsible and reconstructive tourism in their regions. Today these warriors need our help to keep going. You can support Freddy by buying one of the experiences he guides to the "Where the Sun Hides" or other of his tours in Putumayo in advance. When all this happens, we will help you organize your trip so that you can live that experience. You can redeem it until December 1, 2021. You can use it, give it to someone, or donate it.