The making of ponchos
From catching and shaving the sheep to sewing the garment - the whole process on this farm in central Colombia is done by all 3 generations in one family.
Beneath the tourist goggles
It's very easy to travel through a country with tourist goggles on and not really see the country at all. Unfortunately, the most publicised hostels and travel companies in Colombia are often foreign owned (they're savvier about marketing and PR), and you can easily stick within the comfort of your own language, people and culture if you really want to.
Refreshingly though, there are a few enterprising Colombians trying to encourage tourists to understand the country through the eyes of the locals, and fund the Colombian communities at the same time.
The guys at More Local (a Colombian run travel agency) are some of those. Their tours are not luxury or pristine, but if they were, they wouldn't really be Colombian. They are however, genuine and fascinating. You'll be welcomed into local families and work places, and get a little insight into everyday, real life in Colombia.
So… having bought a Colombian poncho in the beautiful colonial village of Villa de Leyva, it was privilege to spend a day with the local farmers understanding the process behind their production, courtesy of More Local. I quickly realised they deserved every penny I spent on my poncho (and felt v. guilty for haggling them down). Three generations work hard together and natter their way through the days. Here's a little storyboard of my day without the goggles on.