Artists Comments - 2014
Eve Lyman - USA
Painting and photography - November 2014
It is hard to describe this feeling which infused my being from the moment I arrived in Sachaqa. The words "relaxed" or "at peace", give only an inkling of what it is. It is the feeling of a river flowing along at its own pace, sometimes rushing sometimes eddying, but you don't have to do anything, just let it happen, and do what comes to you to do. You don't have to act, react, push, pull, please, protect, struggle, try, lie.... That I think is the gift of this place. Everything and everyone seems to coexist with each other in a totally organic and unforced way. And there is something about the simplicity, the pure essentiality of this place, I think, that allows the magic to come through. This extraordinary freedom from distraction and materiality allowed me to tap into a new well of creativity within myself. I cannot recommend this experience more strongly to any artist. It is a rare opportunity and privilege.
Shelby Crisco - USA Florida
ceramics and painting September 2014
I stumbled upon Sachaqa one late night after getting home from my second job. It was in that moment that I decided to take a hiatus from life. I had been working 70 hour weeks, along with a full schedule at the University.
Sachaqa gave me the opportunity take a breath of clean jungle air and introduced me to our true planet, without the chaos of what we have created.
My time there was the most artistically inspiring time of my life thus far. Only here can you experience painting with natural minerals, in a bamboo hut, surrounded by mother earth's untouched jungle, and all the music that vibrates from within it.
What I didn't anticipate gaining from my adventure in the jungle, were the amazing friends that I would meet along the way, that will last a lifetime.
Sachaqa has taught me how to slow down and appreciate this life for how truly beautiful it is. There isn't a day that I don't think about Peru. Thank you Daniel, Trina, and San Roque de Cambaza.
Natasha Mistry- UK
painting September 2014
In January 2014 I could bear it no longer, I emailed Trina, and introduced myself. She said "come on over." So... I did.
When I arrived in San Roque De Cumbaza, it was getting dark. I walked up the hill towards Trina's place, and I asked her if I was in heaven. It felt so magical like I was in a fairytale. I was happy and knew that my intuition had led me to the place where I was meant to be.
The first artist in the group I met was Shelby, a 24 year old artist from Florida. We were to share a kitchen together, and our sleeping quarters were next door to each other. We connected straight away, and spoke well into the night about our reasons for coming to the jungle.
The next artists I met were Nila and Nioli. They were staying in the other house further up the hill. They were photographers from New York, Very interesting ladies, with lots of stories to tell. Nila stayed longer than Nioli, and so then the three of us would share anecdotes, or talk about films, documentaries, or ex boyfriends. You name it. We talked about so many things.... and we ate so much chocolate and banana cake!
Martha arrived soon after Nila departed. She was a little older than the rest of us, with a husband and children. At first she kept herself to herself, which we all respected, understanding that we all were in search of different things here. But, after a while, we were soon sharing stories, and playing the bongos in the kitchen.
Emma arrived next, and she was the youngest. A painter from New York. She had literally got off the plane, emptied the contents of her suitcase on to the studio floor and got started on her first piece. That was impressive in my book.
And so, the four of us became a jungle "Motley Crew;" eating, chatting , exploring the rainforest together and going on excursions. The most striking thing was that we were all of different ages, all from different backgrounds; but we had a very strong connection. I saw myself in each one of them, and it made me smile when I saw my reflection in each one them. A part of me really thinks that I was meant to meet these amazing women who had left their jobs, husbands, and responsibilities; and journeyed to the Amazon alone, in search of something...a space to create perhaps, time away to think and reflect about their lives. In search of healing, or to just exist simply....to breathe in nature, and to be at one with nature. For me, the most healing experience was sharing stories, food and laughter with my soul sisters.
In my dream I was speaking with plants under a sea of stars. Sleeping in the belly button of The Mother, clouds were making stories and dancing rainbow clothes in a bluebird sky. Butterflies came twirling smiling white stones next to a holy river where I found my heart. The children were angels, dressed in brown and black, wide-eyed and pure like transparent crystals. A pregnant woman was waiting there strong and beautiful, cooking new life. Insects in camouflage and armor moved all around with wings of dust and prisms. A chrysalis was golden and dreaming in an upside-down world. Over orange and beige earth a spirit was calling in the twilight, a bird or a ghost of a forgotten memory. Green mountains held me and I slid on rusted clay and collected seeds in my hair. A woman showed me nothing is everything inside a simple pot. My body moved like a heavy horse, trodding roads and fields. I woke before roosters and watched with awe the miraculous and difficult labor of coffee, plantains, peanuts, and plants for walls and roofs. The people moved through the mountains like agile panthers and gave me polite greetings. Over coffee and liquid sunlight I was bathed in words of wisdom distilled in a greenhouse of life. Stripped to my bones of modern life and looking eye to eye with the contents of my being, I entered through a crevice inside a mountain next to a pristine creek with white shiny sand. I became one with Her, who was the Jungle, the Mountain, the Water, the Living Earth. She was my Mother and I was also Her. A deep and wondrous mystery was all around and wakened in me through breathing mud walls and thatched roofs. Someone sang me my song and with a rustle of leaves and a shot of smoke, I was alive in The Dreaming. There were secret talks of secret things never to be told, but available to anyone with a clean heart. Sweet sacred spaces were revealed to me as the Selva took me in and filled my breath with photons and chlorophyll. I was in a foreign place that felt like home. Enthralled: every stone, mushroom, tree, animal, bird, bug and person was a new totem, a new teacher, a new messenger. My Elders stood tall and strong and their words and hearts sung out like magic echoes reminding and remembering me back. I fell in love with a whole family and a whole village. Every challenge was a joy. Every tear of good-bye was a prayer.
Thank you Sachaqa.
(aka Sky Woman, Child of the Mystery of life
Sky Santiago - USA
Mixed media- June 2014
Shan wang- USA
Fabric designer - March 2014
I designed and sewed eight dresses in eleven days. Despite the rigorous concentration and time that I devoted to this feat, I spent much of my nearly three weeks in San Roque interacting with the locals and learning about the Northern Peruvian village life style. In my dresses, elements from my experiences can be found, experiences ranging from the many ways of preparing and cooking the Sanchi Inchi nut to hunting local wildlife to exploring chumbe weavings from the neighboring villages. Every dress has a local component and uses textiles purchased from Tarapoto. For example, braided horse hair from the village is used to connect a two-piece dress. In other dresses, traditional weavings from Lamas and inked fabrics from Pucallpa are integrated into my modern designs. For Shan's blog about her experience at Sachaqa and lots more photos of her dress designs,
Kris Friesen -Canada
Boaz and Anika Barken and family
Dance and adventure - Jan 2014
Family Trip to Sachaqa.This past January Anika and I decided to take our two boys (9 and 6 years old) on a trip to Peru. We wanted to experience the jungle but did not want to follow the guided tours as we have learnt from experience that staying for a while in one place works better for the family, than moving around from place to place. We wanted a place we could spend time in and get to know – feel at home.We searched online and found Sachaqa with a clear and strong initiative behind it. As soon as we read about the place, we knew it would be our destination. The idea of being able to stay with people so dedicated to arts, local community and the environment, made us hopeful. Hopeful we might be able to find a home in Peru.Our time at Sachaqa was all we hoped for. We got to stay in the most beautiful, cozy and simple house.Our home within Sachaqa was on a hillside, a short walk from the village of San Roque de Comaza. A lively village with a proud history. We had a sense that there was a real effort to integrate the local community life and the new initiatives of eco-tourism. We went on many walks in the jungle near by and further away guided by Daniel or other guides.It was easy to rent a taxi and there were no middlemen organizing things. We just went into the village and spoke to people. Or Trina and Daniel arranged things so kindly.Among the many highlights was the sense of freedom our boys felt in the community. After just few days they were walking alone through the main dirt street and down to the river near by. That was a big deal for us! We got to know some of the kids in the village by name and they knew ours, and the routine of coming by daily made for a sense of closeness.Trina and Daniel also introduced us to the native community that lives in the hills in the area. And we got a chance to practice our skills in pottery up in the home of one kind women.Up on the hill, Sachaqa was a little community made up by Trina, Daniel and the kids as well as the artists in residence and anyone else passing by. It felt like Sachaqa was a small but global community of like-minded artists, creators, community and food makers, and much more.Toward the end of our stay of 12 days, we got the treat of traveling with Daniel (and his son, Jacob) to the big river! A half-day drive and well worth it.Daniel arranged a super exciting boat trip to a cacao farm on an island in the middle of the river. This farm is run by a family and we got the opportunity to talk with them about farming life in the post narcotic coca leaf farming. Was fascinating. From there we continued with the boat and the kids into some hidden jungle streams surrounded by caterpillars of the most amazing colors.After 12 days we felt we made a little home in the upper Amazon, and witnessed not only the local communities but also the new and emerging life of people moving form the city into the jungle. It was through Daniel and Trina that we could enter the Amazon in such a direct and safe way. I wish such an experience fro many other families like ours.