Six Months Plus, Mountains and Guardians

I have always said that the mountains are my guardians, but I always felt that my guardians were mountains as beings. My guardians were the physical mountains, like the mountain that is behind the house where I grew up, or like the mountains that I have visited on different occasions with their challenges and adventures. 

Reflecting on six months ago, I was on the edge of defending my doctoral research, with a visa about to expire and I cannot tell how many other worries were in my mind. However, in that process and without noticing, a Mountain Guardian appeared, almost like a Virgen Cerro, bringing known experiences with new eyes and new paths that I have been delighted to explore with more than my eyes. 

It has been a bit more than six months since I started to work for Moving Mountains and my gratitude for this project goes beyond this short blog entry. In these six months, we have worked with kids, teachers, artists, climbers, creatives, and academics that, in a mesh of disciplines and knowledges, have enriched the experience of what this project could have been and is.  

Now passing the midpoint of the project and soon traveling to Yungay, with a book starting the publishing process and various workshops ahead, I think about the next six or less months of adventures, learning and views, with excitement, and I also think about the idea of the mountain as guardian. A guardian that somehow has also been Moving Mountains. 

Victoria Vargas Downing
22 April 2024