On a bicycle, through "The Open Veins of Latin America"
Exploring Latin America with a camera on my hands has always been a dream of mine.
Thanks to the amazing books written by writers such as Gabriel García Marquez, Pablo Neruda, Mario Vargas Llosa and Eduardo Galeano (whose most famous book is perhaps one of the biggest sources of inspiration for my trip) I have always been curious, and fascinated, about our variety of cultures, traditions and landscapes.
Many other books and movies have also contributed to cultivate in my spirit this unstoppable desire to wander through Latin America and photograph some of its faces, places and stories: Walden (or life in the woods), by Henry David Thoreau; The Motorcycle Diaries - Notes on a Latin America Journey, by Ernesto Che Guevara, and Into the Wild (both the book and the movie), amongst many others.
I wanted to immerse myself in "The Open Veins of Latin America" (Eduardo Galeano), so why not doing it on a bicycle?
My traveling pace would be slower, so I would be able to be "more part" of the environment, feel it more, discover it more, learn more, share more, photograph more.
Besides, it's an environmentally friendly form of transportation, and I also wanted the physical, psychological, mental challenge.
I wanted the adventure, the feeling of freedom.
And traveling for me is not much about the final destination only; it's more about the journey itself.
So on a bicycle I'm off.
Furthermore, this trip is also about manifesting myself against this consumerist society we live in; against this economic system (Capitalism) that destroys both the environment and human relations. It is about trying to truly live according to my beliefs; it's about taking a stand for what I believe in.
It is about discoveries: of the worlds outside, and within myself. The story of a curious travel photojournalist looking to discover and tell stories through words and images; of a man embarking on a spiritual journey.
The idea? To cycle from Bogotá, Colombia, all the way south, to Montevideo, Uruguay, passing through Equador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. No over-planning, no time frame. Serendipity. Surprises. Wandering. A genuine curiosity, an attentive eye, an open heart and the will to be a platform through which people can share their stories, their struggles, their dreams.
This is undoubtedly the biggest adventure of my life so far, and I'm indeed a bit afraid - I'm completely aware of the risks I will be taking. However, my excitement is much bigger, as well as my curiosity and my thirst for exploration. I know I will discover a lot about Latin America - and much more about myself.
Right now, as I finalize my preparations to embark on this adventure in two days, I feel truly happy, and excited beyond words about everything that is to come.
Join me as I cycle and photograph the Latin America I will discover - and wish me luck! :)
March 19th, 2016