Pachamama Club

Composed by Fernando Pomareda

Peru

 

© Vanesa Cúneo

 

 

 

Fernando Pomareda was born in Lima in 1980. Ex director of the Novissima Verba International Poetry Festival, he is now base in Cusco, realizing literary investigation.

 

Picking up the book Pachamama Club. Antología del relato brichero (“Pachamama Club. Anthology of Brichero Stories”) you might ask yourself ‘What on earth is a brichero story?’ The word looks Spanish, but you won’t find it in the dictionary. And that is no surprise, as the word is adapted from English. The term comes from the word ‘bridge’. The men and women who appear in these stories build bridges – cultural, romantic, sexual and emotional bridges – between Latin America and the rich world. In Lima and Cusco, the city at the foot of the Macchu Pichu, encounters take place between indigenous people and tourists – as the bricheros and bricheras know just what the ‘civilized’ people want and where they can get it: they are looking for themselves; an illuminated path; a transcendental experience. Being able to pronounce some traditional words such as ‘pachamama’ (‘Earth Goddess’) is usually enough to convince the stress-wracked that they are already getting close to the core of existence. We find, for example, the man who goes out hunting for gringas, end ends up as the hunted; a young Peruvian woman who deceives her admirers and travels at their expense; and an American gentleman who decides to settle in Cusco for love, and ends up falling in love with his beloved’s mother.

 

These stories show us different points of view, allowing us to see behind the tourist façade of popular destinations – and draw surprising conclusions. At times the tourist is the victim, and the poor the ones who dominate the situation. In some stories, the characters embark on love affairs; in others, the exchange is purely sexual; and in others yet deception is the sole motive for the brichero.

 

Always with a good sense of humour, with a pinch of irony and a generous dose of humanity, the authors of the brichero story give us a lighthearted vision of interpersonal and intercontinental relations.

 

 

Pachamama Club, Lima: Estruendo mudo 2007, 172 p.