I was born in Bogota, Colombia in 1959 and
came to the US in 1960, so I never had a chance to really
understand my roots and my Colombian heritage. I have a
deep love for my country and the Andes mountains seem to
calm my spirit. When I saw how the Kogi lived I was determined
to find a way to meet them. The only problem was they don't
like tourists and getting into their land is very difficult.
In May 1995 I started working for Ford Motor
Company in charge of a communications program in Latin America.
Then I relocated to World Headquarters in Detroit to work
in International Public Affairs. In April 1997, I went to
Colombia on a business trip and met some people who had
just returned from the Sierra Nevada where the Kogi live.
I had found a copy of the Kogi video and an old article
from Kindred Spirit magazine that mentioned the Kogi. I
was having major synchronicities with these Elder Brothers
and my heart kept feeling a need to communicate with them.
But how do you contact them?
In June of 1997 a lifelong dream came true
for me. I had just taken a leave of absence from my job
at Ford and decided to go back to Colombia. I got involved
with a conference called the "2nd International Gathering
of Priest and Elders of the Americas." The conference
brought together more than 300 elders from 15 countries,
including Native American elders from the US.
The first conference took place in Guatemala
in November 1995 from a vision of the Counsel of Maya K'ichee
Elders and under the leadership of Elder Priest, Wacatel
Utiw (Errant Wolf). The invitation was based on old Mayan
codex that stated it was time to awaken America and bring
to light the ancient teachings hidden for the past 500 years.
The time had come for the spirit of humanity to reconnect
with the Great Father and Mother Earth. It was time for
the Eagle and the Condor to unite as one.
The conference in Colombia was being organized
by the Sendama Foundation and it became a little bigger
than they expected and the logistics where a nightmare.
When you have to deal with the Colombia army to fly you
in military planes to a remote landing strip in the middle
of the Amazon jungle, you can easily lose your patience.
The core group who worked more than 20 hours a day really
did an excellent job. It is not an easy feat to please 300
Elders and go beyond all the egos.
I knew the Kogi were going to be attending
and my heart was racing; I couldn't wait to meet my lost
brothers. So much was happening, but my main focus was to
help with the logistics and act as a translator for the
North American group. Little did I know what I was getting
When the Kogi arrived I immediately made
friends with Jose Gabriel, who was the main elder. He had
made many trips to Bogota and was working to get the Government
to help with his community on the Eastern side of the Sierra
Nevada. He came with seven other Kogis who had never been
to the city. The innocence of these people really touched
my soul. I also made good friends with Emerson Jackson from
the Navaho Nation. He and his group were the only ones from
the North American group that didn't complain and really
breathed the Native Spirit.
Emerson had brought a special tepee to this
conference in South America. It was the first time in recorded
history that a North American Native Elder had performed
a Indian ceremony in the Amazon with a tepee and peyote,
the sacred sacrament of the indigenous people of the North.
The meeting with the Kogi and the Navaho fulfilled a prophecy,
which stated, "when the Eagle of the North come together
with the Condor of the South it symbolizes we are all of
one hand and the time for Unity and oneness is near."
Now is the dawn for the Earth to be renewed and the rainbow
tribes to work as one hand.
The Kogi also had a prophecy that they would
meet their younger brother from the North. Jose Gabriel
said, "Our Elders kept telling us one day we would
meet the younger brother of America and they would have
similar knowledge to our own, but we never come down from
this mountain, so when will this happen? Meeting Emerson
we now feel like we found a long lost brother" The
bonding of these two tribes made the whole trip worth while.
After the conference I was invited to go
back with the Kogi to their land. It was a real honor for
me and I felt like I was entering a new world. My family
warned me of the dangers with the revolutionary forces that
have caused so many deaths in Colombia, but I felt protected.
Nothing was going to stop me from going back in time, to
walk the ancient roads of the sacred Mountain and unknown
territory. I would be leaving civilization behind, no cars,
no TVs, no radio, nothing. In Kogi land it is you and nature
becoming one. When you are with them it seems like time
stands still. They live in a mini-paradise with rolling
mountains and pure rivers that come streaming down from
the snow-capped mountains. I have never seen so many stars
in the sky; it was like touching heaven.