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What can be learnt from the Sikuani community? Lessons from Indigenous-colombian culture.


I had a wonderful, reflective and enlighted weekend in Puerto Gaitán (350 kms from Bogotá the capital city of Colombia). I was invited by a true inspiring entrepreneur and incredible woman and leader (Andrea Garcia "AGO"), who just sprout a real social-responsible company, Mano Sabia (www.manosabia.com). I had the opportunity to meet the Sikuani's tribe and learnt from them the real wisdom of life. At first sight you would think that they were not happy at all, after all they live in the rural Colombia in poor and really humble conditions. But then, you start to talk to them about different topics and realize that they are happier than most of the people you know.

I had the chance to ask them questions about their beliefs and how they perceive the blancos (white men). They told me that they did believe in god, not a different one from the christian's god, albeit with a different name. They seemed to me very spiritual and meaningful. They only take from nature what is needed. I was wondering what would they thought about inventory (because of my research) and came to the conclusion that they would probably told me there was no need to have any (maybe they are just-in-time oriented). They work with passion for life and their handicraft is an expression of their culture. A culture that makes them proud and that they take within their hearts. They do not wear masks or have face-paint, because they explained to me that the culture is taken within them.

The second point, was about an advise for my life. They said to me that they really enjoy nature and life. They enjoy their families, their work, their rituals, their time. They do not work for money, though they make some money that is shared across the community. They think that we, blancos, have a material purpose in life, and because of that are not able to enjoy life. They told me: "you wake up early, you work, you go back to home, and get to sleep. That is not exciting. I just wake up at any time, I work because I love to and sometimes if there is not a proper and inspiring work environment (for example full moon) I just wait and do my work in the best possible way".

I was really lucky to meet this people. Maybe, it was luck or destiny, but I reflected a lot about my purpose in life. Is it my purpose just to work and contribute to knowledge and a company? Or is my purpose as interesting and delightful as my partner's in which through her company, the dreams of this people are communicated and become real. I really wish that my doctoral journey gives me the tools, knowledge, capabilities, reflection and experience to change in certain way the health care industry. I am not doing a doctoral degree for the title or for the sake of it, but rather because I would love to become as inspiring and heart driven for changing many patient's lives, creating more job opportunities, as AGO has done with her wonderful company Mano Sabia.


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