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A young arriero leads a mule across fresh snow in the Peruvian Andes. Photo by Benjamin Swift (2016 Fall Semester Photo Contest Finalist), South America Semester.

Día de La Mujer: La Patagonia y Yo

La Patagonia y Yo

When her name is called I think of the diverse ways in which she is known. The multiple names people call her. The intersecting factors that weave her story into the mountains of her being. I am reminded again and again que yo soy hecho de las montañas y que en una manera de otras somos medias parecidas.

When you hear the roar of her winds before knowing their strength. Or when the clouds well in the sky indecisive and misunderstood- will she rage or surrender? I know this paradox. I know how it cycles around a year, or a lifetime. The strands of my own being have been sewn by turbulence and vibrance. Pero necesitamos los dos, turbulencias y vitalidad, o no estaríamos completas- Patagonia y yo.

To know her is to truly know beauty, even when it doesn’t sit and look pretty everyday. That the scars on my legs from shwhacking through kalafate are beautiful. That my hands, wrinkled by the sun and scuffed by her rocks are beautiful. A saber que mi cuerpo y sus montañas son medias parecidas. Hermosa, fuerte y resiliente. Si, hemos conocido, La Patagonia y yo, y somos medias parecidas.