I live in a country full of rich resources. Our weather is like a bittersweet lotion that replenishes the skin. People from all over the world come to my land for these things called “vacations”. Vacations bring in nothing but good memories, smiles, and family. A vacation is a fairytale here in Columbia. The beautiful landscapes are just a pinch of reality that are on the brochures, websites, and posters. Sometimes when I look at these Americanized pictures of Columbia I wish I was there. The true story of Columbia starts in the city of Bogata located in the mountains. I am a young girl.
I will not disclose my name or age because what I’m about to tell you about my culture and land are hands on things my soul has been through; which may upset you. In Columbia it snows 365 days a year. My country is the only one in the world where snow can exist in these climates. When I say snow you must put your mindset as a peasant. Yes, am a peasant of my own country. Snow is another word for cocaine. As a peasant when I see snow I see another opportunity to live. When you see snow you see a fun time. Cocaine has been around for many years and it’s business is to only bring in more successful years to come.
For many generations my family has been in the cocaine business. Cocaine is apart of who I am. I guess you can say I was destined for it. Cocaine is my past present and future. Columbia is the third largest slum in the world. The place where I lay my head is hard as a rock, actually I use the rocks that hold up the piece of wood I sleep on. In your world it’s called a bed-frame. Instead of waking up every morning to learn what 5+5 is I go to learn bigger and better mathematics. Like how many pounds of cocoa leaves do I need to pick in order to sell 5 kilos of cocaine for my family to survive for one month.
Divided by food, clothes, and a percentage I have to give the drug lord. Since I am the youngest in my family I transport the money to the drug lords. I am quicker and smaller to run in case the gorillas or the paramilitary start a war against each other. I have a greater o survive because I can hide in tiny places. I remember one time I hid in a ditch covered by broken branches of war. In this ditch I was not alone. On the right side was a dead peasant just like me but the only difference was that my heart was still beating. I searched his pockets and found enough cocaine to rest the hands of my family for 72 hours.
As I waited for the sound of guns to stop my feet were marinating in this man’s blood. This blood was not warm, so my feet were cold. I am an expert on death. I seen more deaths than days I have been alive. His body has been there for a couple of Columbian sunsets. Again I am young so I tend to see the brighter side of things. I was lucky enough to come across his body and take his shoes since I didn’t have any. This dead body was a blessing for my family and I. Not everyday I get this lucky. When I get home play with my one my legged friends. No, they weren’t born with one leg, they lost it in the mountains picking coca leaves.
Colombia has the highest percentage of land mine victims in the world. The gorillas and paramilitary have set up land mines all over the mountain to protect the coca leaves from intruders. A majority of my friends have a missing arm or leg. One time I was playing with another peasant child even younger than me. I admire her because she can pick coca leaves the fastest in the village. As we were playing catch with a rock she stepped on a land mine. All the sudden I blacked out and lost my hearing. I woke up and still couldn’t hear but I was able to see.
I seen my friend lying like I’m a bed of red dirt, it was like she was already meant to be buried. My friends leg was gone. All I could see was a Red Sea. For a second I thought I was in heaven because the GOD talks about the Red Sea in the bible. I’m not much bigger than my fiend but I carried her with ever last bit of energy I had. I’m just lucky that I still had my arms and legs. Coca leaves get so much respect I wish I was one. I could be able to travel the world, see beautiful places, and homes. I would be treated like a queen everyone would pay millions of dollars to get their hands on me.
But the most important thing is I will always be protected. Again I do not want to disclose my age because it may seem sickening through all the things that I see on a daily basis. I do not want to disclose my age because this is not a story about me this is the story about Columbia The land covered in snow. This is reality. The authentic lifestyle of Colombians. We don’t have to travel and pay money to see things that are on “vacations”. It’s free for us. In America they say the best things in life are free, i just wish life was free in Colombia.