San Jacinto: Tierra de la Hamaca Grande

San Jacinto is a historical town dating back to 4530 BCE where it was heavily influenced by a prosperous tribe, Zenú, which had sub-tribes depending on regions. The province of Finzenú devoted their time to manufacturing weaving projects and working with gold. Panzenú, which was also located in modern day San Jacinto devoted their time to agriculture and fishing on a large scale. In addition, the Zenufana were in charge of extracting gold that they could both use and barter for other materials they needed. In the early 90’s there were archeologic efforts to dig up artifacts pertaining to the Zenú tribe which is pictured to the right.

In more recent years San Jacinto was exposed to over 60 years of conflict due to Colombian government and paramilitary forces. Montes de Maria have brought much prosperity to San Jacinto but is also known for its long history of violence, massacres and massive displacement. More than 50 percent of population in region has been displaced by conflict. Every time I ride the bus it never fails some of the personal accounts people want to share with me. They don’t mind baring their bones to bring awareness so it must never happen again. Huge variable in my humility lesson.

With so much artisanal history, it is no surprise San Jacinto is renowned for its weaved goods (i.e. hammocks, mochilas, hats and corsets) known as “Tejido” across the country. This labor is traditionally done by the women who learn the art by watching past generations since childhood. In fact, the official town slogan is “la tierra de la hamaca grande” , land of the big hammock, with colorful murals scattered throughout the town celebrating this folklore. It is a common theme that nowadays much of San Jacinto’s cultural heritage rest with an aging generation and without an interested youth to carry it on it risks being left behind.

I will somehow, be working with an artisinal mochila weaving 10th/11th grade class to promote entrepreneurial skills that compliment the technical training they receive under SENA.

P.S. We also have a town museum, beautiful sunsets surrounded by mountains, a Gaita Festival in August and an amazing coffee shop!

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