❝Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.❞ ‒ Chinese Proverb
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The Story of Adolfo Echeverria and his song 'The Four Parties'
What you're going to read is an amazing story, an incredible story, it's a story of triumph over adversity, and of perseverance - but don't worry, here in Colombia, the amazing, the unbelievable, the incredible, happens everyday. I want to introduce you to a man, His name is Adolfo Echeverria, it's 1961 and he's 28 years old. He sells clothes in Barranquilla, but he also writes songs. He's very passionate about music and he has written more than 300 songs, but he has only recorded one. He decides to give up his job and follow his dream, his passion that is writing songs. He starts by using his final pay from his old job - 60 pesos, to record a song. His best song, the song most loved by his family, friends and workmates. So he goes to a restaurant where his friends play in a musical group, and they record his song - the song is called "The Four Parties".Next, he buys a one-way ticket to Medellin, he's confident that he can sell his record. In Medellin, however, no-one likes his record. They say the rhythm is too complicated, the womans voice is not the best, it should have been sung by a man. Adolfo is sad and broken he has no money, but some Costeno musicians in Medellin give him the money to get back to Barranquilla.
For the next year he tries and tries to sell his record, but no-one is interested. As a last resort he visits a man from Medellin, Mario Ochoa, who has a Record shop in downtown Barranquilla. Mario agrees to make 100 copies of the song and they would sell 50 each. Adolfo takes his record all over Barranquilla and people start to like it, he has the greatest of human attributes - perseverance. In a week he sold all his records, and Mario made 200 more copies, then more - altogether 5000 copies.. All the radio stations had to start to playing it. From that time on, "The Four Parties" became an anthem - it has more than 100 versions, even the one in English below. Adolfo's songs have been recorded more than 1000 times by National and International artists, including; Celia Cruz, Bonny Cepeda, Billo’s Caracas Boys, Los Melódicos y Víctor Manuel. After more than 50 years writing songs these are some of his most famous; Amaneciendo, Fantasía nocturna, La paloma, La Inmaculada, El bocachico, Gloria Peña, Perfume de gardenias, Julio Calderón, Sonia, El guayabo, Puya y hunde, El hombre del sombrerito, Me robaron el sombrero, La gota gorda, El cangrejo, Los gansos en la laguna y Para Santa Marta. So that's the wonderful story of Adolfo Echeverria, and his song "The Four Parties". Adolfo never stopped believing in himself and his dream, and he never gave up...it's a good lesson for all of us.
"The Four Parties" - English Lyrics
Through that river you can see all kinds of beautiful trees (x2) And many black fishermen on boats are arriving now, the first gets inside the water that gets wet with all the mud. The illuminated nights remind me of paradise and everywhere there are candles as gorgeous as brilliant stars. Come on, come on, come on and row my Juan, come on, come on, you’re getting to the shore (x2)
It’s great when you can enjoy the holidays in December (x2) Observing the triquitraques you can party all night long and drinking with all your friends is difficult to control. The happiness and the joy announcing the Christmas time, a new year is expected better than the current one. Come on, come on, come on and dance my Juan, come on, come on, come on and have some wine (x2)
But the carnival is close, the party is more than fantastic (x2) With different kinds of customs the parade is going to start, the drums and the many rhythms invite you to dance and dance. With the Batalla de Flowers there won’t be a way to stop; the queens of the Carnival give happiness to your heart. Come on, come on, come on and dance my Juan, come on, come on, come on you party all the time (x2)
Las cuatro fiestas in english - Video por Franklin Villanueva Barranquilla
Jorge Orejuela, founder and director of the Cali Botanical Garden in Colombia,
Orejuela, who is also professor in the environmental sciences department at Colombia's Universidad Autónoma de Occidente, is being recognized for his work over three decades in conservation education, protected area management and sustainable development in the tropics. His accomplishments include the establishment of the cloud forest nature reserve, La Planada, between Colombia and Ecuador, and the creation of the Environmental Area of the Fundación para la Educación Superior, Colombia's leading private conservation agency. He also helped establish Utría and Gorgona Island national parks and Quindio Basin and Calima River nature reserves. As a field researcher sponsored for 10 years by the World Wildlife Fund, he paved the way for the establishment of that organization in Colombia. Trained as an ornithologist, Orejuela has worked on species as varied as orchids, condors, spectacled bears and bats. Since 1999 he has been director of the Cali Botanical Garden, recognized as a leading research center and part of a protected high-altitude area with important ecosystem representation.