We just arrived back from a very productive trip in Paraguay, and now we have begun reviewing the footage, and I am happy to announce we have what is needed to finish our documentary!!
It has been a long and arduous road to get where we are. We are now in the final stretches of the project, the process of editing and putting it all together in a manner that fulfills our goals.
We wish we could have spent more time behind the camera to capture so much of the beauty and rich heritage we witnessed. Unfortunately most of our effort had to be invested in logistics, public relations, and politicking.
For example, due to land conflicts and lack of security, ranchers have closed the principal access road to the reservation where our Indian Friends live. To gain access we had to bribe the key holders to let us pass, or other times get access off roads in an off-road vehicle. Before there was only one locked gate, in our recent trip we had to surpass 5 gates!
In part because of the peculiar moment in Paraguay's rapid transitioning environment, and partly by the local culture that doesn't appreciate what in the U.S. we think of as a "no nonsense approach" to doing business. Any serious discussion must be preceded by hours, (if not days,) of socializing and Terere drinking. Terere is the national drink, cold water infused Yerba Mate drunk passed around "peace pipe" style.
Talking about meetings. The property where one of the richest, and least protected of the Paraguayan Rock Art sites is located, has a new owner. We had a very good meeting, and discussions with him. Through a comparison of our older and current footage, we showed him some of the losses that had happened in the last year or so. We are happy to report he is fully on board with the goal of protecting the site, and we have mutually pledged to work together toward that goal. We are fortunate to have good contacts with both Paraguayan Government authorities as well as having established good working relationship with some of the greatest experts in ancient rock art conservation, the leaders of the Altamira Museum, who will be advising us on the best way to protect these sites.
We also submitted a preview of the rough draft of our documentary to the Pai Tavytera community. It was important to us that we get their approval. It is no surprise that the native communities are unhappy about the way they are often portrayed, and have an inherent distrust due to so many historical deceptions.
We felt it was the right thing to ask them for their approval, and very happy to announce that they have approved our depiction of them. This is the most important endorsement we could have, and are immensely proud of it. Thank you everyone for your support and your patience as we make this project a reality. It looks that by this summer we could have our documentary live!
Thank you once again, and check out our Instagram for more photo updates.
-Solar Map Project Team