Shortly after I landed in Valledupar, Colombia, I was abducted by the indigenous Arhuaco.
Over the previous few week I had been in contact with them and must’ve asked, “Do I need a translator? My Spanish stinks,” ten times. They never answered. They never told me if they were going to pick me up at the airport. They never told me that I was going to be whisked away into the mountains down treacherous roads to the heart of their spiritual world. They never told me that I was about to have an amazing experience witnessing the most preserved indigenous culture I had ever seen.
Of course, I did use Google Translate for all of my emails, so maybe they thought my Spanish was better than it actually is.
Lucky for me, Katie Barrow of Fair Trade USA was on vacation with her boyfriend (now fiancee) Bobby Schneider. It says a lot about Katie’s passion for her job and also the passion that Fair Trade inspires that she would spend part of her vacation meeting Fair Trade farmers. Shortly after meeting Katie, Bobby, and our host Aurora, we crammed into an SUV and spent the next five hours bumping shoulders and knees as we navigated the mountainous roads of Colombia’s Sierra Nevada range.
If it weren’t for Katie, I couldn’t have written about the Arhuaco in WHERE AM I EATING? and connected with such an amazing group of people who have forever changed the way I eat.
Katie wrote a blog post introducing the contest Fair Trade is hosting. Read it and enter to win.
Katie, and the folks at Fair Trade, made sure that the Arhuaco got their very own copy of EATING. I’m thankful for the work they all do to bridge the gap between producers and consumers. Traveling with Katie and Bobby to meet the Arhuaco was one of the coolest travel experiences I’ve ever had.