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Review – a group of Tamera visits the Peace community 'San Jose de Apartado' in Colombia

By Uri Ayalon





Following the Grace Pilgrimage in Bogota from the 30th of October to the 9th of November a smaller group of participants continued on to visit the peace community San Jose de Apartado. The international group, 22 people from 9 different countries, was led by Vera Kleinhammes from Tamera. After walking together for 10 days through the streets of Bogotá, the two peace communities met in Mulatos – a centre of vision of the Peace Community San Jose de Apartado and a station of the Global Campus, in the middle of the jungle.


The time in Mulatos was like a second part of the Pilgrimage. During these ten days we were able to deepen our contact and come to know one another and the daily work and dedication of the farmers and to look together into the future. Due to their commitment to create alternatives and not participate in the system of violence in any way the members of the Peace Community live with a constant threat to their lives. Our presence as international witnesses created the protection necissary for them to hold one of their general assemblies, a two day meeting of more than 100 community members, to deepen and think about the consequences of the Pilgrimage and the next steps for the building of the community.


In our first morning in Mulatos we gathered in the small stone circle (created during the last Global Campus) to connect with the Ring of Power (more the this Ring of Power further down). José, a farmer, teacher and young leader of the peace community, lit the fire as he is does every Monday morning. He inspired us by telling about his life and thoughts: “Peace does not include war”. This was followed by a deep talk about the logic of peace, no human being can be an enemy anylonger when we all discover our responsibility for the wellbeing of the whole.


We were honored to participate in the assembly and to join the common work – a next step of realizing the plan of Mulatos as a model. This vision was created in the last Global Campus that took place there in February 2010. During the five days there we created a living fence with branches from the jungle to protect a new medicinal plant garden around the stone circle. We renovated the chapel in which the bodies of Luis Eduardo Guerra and his family were found after the massacre in 2005. We carried hundreds of stones from the river for the new stage and wall of the chapel. Apart from these two projects we also ground rice that was harvested locally and cooked together in the communitarian kitchen. We meet intensively with the leading council of the peace community.

Hearing the story of Mulatos we were inspired by the commitment to life of people who have known so much death. In one of the meetings Eduar Lanchero was asked what gives him hope and what is the source of his dedication. Eduar answered: “What gives me power is that people do things together in community. When people believe and want the same and work for it together. What gives me hope is to know that we are not alone in the world and that Tamera supports us without conditions“.

One of evening we met around the campfire and shared the gift of music, bringing together the sounds and cultures from Portugal, Austria, USA, Germany, Israel, Palestine, Switzerland, Ecuador Peru and Colombia. In this way the dream is always triggered inside us for a world without borders. Here we cean meet each other in all our diversity with respect and curiosity, we can learn together and from each other.

On the last day we created common study groups for the issues of: the ancient wisdom of health care, the technology of solar energy and the empowerment of the youth. The group also visited the village of La Union where we learned about their impressive permaculture project (including a protected space for wild animals, seeds collection section and an education centre) which was inspired by a visit of one of the leaders of the peace community in Tamera. After this “think-tank” a smaller group went on to visit and support 3 villages which recently joined the peace community in the area of Cordoba.

During the time in Mulatos a group of seven Palestinians, Israelis and internationals met daily about their vision to create a Peace Research Village in the Middle East. This was a very important time that enabled us to envision the network of peace communities around the world. Sitting by the river of Mulatos, the group shared thoughts and feelings concerning the political situation in another crisis area and worked on a project description for the water landscape in the desert. We saw how the main questions of the peace communities are so similar: How can we gain self sufficiency? How can we create education and build conciousness where people become able to take on full responsibility? How can we make ourselves more radical in our decision to create a system of life that serves peace and not war – on all levels?

We have gained a deep respect for the path of the people of San José de Apartadó, they have given us so much inspiration for our lives. We are grateful for the communitarian physical and mental work done in these days and the deep trust that we gained. We look forward to the next chapter in this love story towards creating independent models of peace cultures and a future without war.


More about the Pilgrimage
Ring of Power in Mulatos