13 September, 2010 With Timoteo in Costa Rica - Jan van den Berg


We had slept in the most beautiful house I've ever seen, in the middle of a rainforest, surrounded by huge trees. Joep Merkx, a Dutch friend, had built it on a little place where he didn't have to cut any trees. There was no electricity. At night candles gave a fairytale light. At 4 o’clock monkeys started a kind of loud barking, very close. I spent some hours collecting surround sound with my handy recorder. Every ten minutes new birds started their morning songs and I could see the monkeys, jumping from tree to tree. Viraj filmed nature shots from the balcony.

Don Timoteo, member of an indigenous organization, had worked hard on our permit to film in the forest, and with him we travelled up north to a small village. First by jeep, then from the little village of Suretka in a small banana boat. After an hour a lorry took as to a meeting with the elders. They talked about the dangers they faced: a dam, pollution and mining.

Timoteo had been to the place upstream high in the mountains and had already seen a landing strip. The men expressed their anger in beautiful language. Timoteo translated their words for Pipaluk in Spanish. The layers of the mine were like the veins of mother earth, he said. When you start digging there you'll kill her and much more. After the meeting they danced in a circle, arms around each others shoulders.

In the afternoon the lorry had gone and we walked back through the forest. When we passed a sacred place Timoteo wanted to sing. In a beautiful song he expressed his worries: we had to fight for mother earth, and nobody was allowed to spoil her, nor sell her.

We had a nice dinner in Timoteos house. It had been such a great day of filming and we were tired, impressed and silent. His family members were making jokes, hanging in their hammocks. His grand daughter Janelle was the most happy, humorous and beautiful of all. She was going to have a role in the biodiversity film we made for the World Future Council and in our film as well for sure. When we left for our house in the jungle Timoteo already talked about the premiere of the film, later, in Suretka. We had to invite at least fifty people and take care of transport and food for all. We immediately agreed, eager to have a reason to come back to this wonderful place.  


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Rien on 20-09-2010 16:55:
Mooi Jan. Je sprak er gisteren al over, maar met het beeld van Don Timoteo er bij spreekt het nog meer. Bovendien: hij heeft helemaal gelijk. Wordt een wereldfilm! In de dertiger jaren schreef een Wagenings hoogleraar (de Vries geloof ik) een boek met de titel "De aarde betaalt". Maar wij mensen zijn en blijven jammer genoeg te egoïstisch. HGr. Rien
marta on 17-09-2010 11:25:
It's good to read that local people are fighting the distruction of their land all in the intrest of the money. They need all our attention and support to fight for the right to live clean safe peacefull life.

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