Grandmothers always say:
Don’t touch! You’ll curdle it!
Many times, when I have been meaning to help, I have been shooed out of the kitchen when I have taken hold of the beater to stir the hot chocolate.
All those mothers who make hot chocolate every morning with sacred hands so that their family sets out with the energy to face the day.
It is true what Colombian chef, Leonor Espinosa, said when talking about the Colombian woman’s role as caregiver: She sows, fishes, takes care of the garden, the children, the kitchen.
The hands of Colombian women tell many stories.
While we were talking, Rosalba opened the yellow packet of Luker Chocolate, which is imprinted on my memory, to make the hot chocolate.
It was about 35 degrees Celsius, with 100% humidity; hot chocolate was not the best thing to be drinking, but Colombian mother’s vast wisdom says that “heat drives out heat”.
I drank the hot chocolate and could not stop looking at Rosalba. There was something in her eyes that revealed a silent sadness, a pain that had taken hold of the soul; that same look that I’ve seen in someone close to me, where the light has gone out.
I started walking with her while she showed me Caribia and she told me a little about her story. We always tend to hide something, not out of fear, but so we avoid hurting others.
We were born in the middle of a war. In Colombia, there are millions of parents who have lost a child, several children, millions of lives that have been dispatched for no reason, that have been snuffed out before their time, or so it seems for us mortals, who do not understand life’s plans for us. Those of us who believe in God wonder why he calls them away so quickly.
We all have dreams that drive our lives along. Colombian mothers push their dreams to one side to follow those of their children and partners. “I want to finish building my house for my family”, Rosalba said. I refused to let the family’s dream be her own dream.
Juancho, her son, was going to make her dream of studying Pharmacy Management come true before he had an accident. When he died, her dream did too.
Her son died a year ago. Rosalba shut down…
For some reason, life brings us together… So, I could learn about the pain, and so she could have a friend to remind her that Juancho, in heaven or wherever souls go to rest, would want her to be happy, he would want Juanita, his daughter, to enjoy her grandmother. Her husband, her children, Fernando and Silvia; her grandchildren, Juan Carlos and Laurita, all miss that grandmother who was once the life and soul of the party and who used to bring joy to their home.
Rosalba’s story is replicated in millions of Colombian mothers; a pain that we can’t imagine but that we must accompany.
Today, at Transhuella, we keep Rosalba company every day, technology has made it possible for us to communicate, send photos back and forth, ferry her granddaughter from Medellín to Necoclí to spend a few days together. Rosalba has begun to smile and has accepted that her dream of being a Pharmacy Manager could come true after all.
Now Rosalba is setting up a business with friends from Caribia so she can own her own restaurant thanks to Luker Chocolate and its selfless work in the community.
Without Luker Chocolate, our mission to change the world would not be possible. We are achieving it, one life at a time.