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    • "We had no machinery and no technology, but we had vision and discipline. People have no vision and no discipline these days! God damn! I said to the Pallascans, each of you will build ten meters of the roadand it doesn’t matter who you are: a merchant, a peasant or a teacher, or a child, even. Every living soul in Pallasca had to build their ten meters. Women would bring us food out on the face of the mountain. I had not slept in months, months, I tell you – but the road was built”, – the Captain speaks hotly now, and behind him, there is an old black and white photograph, framed: the Captain, laughing with pride, carried on the shoulders of a cheering mob, waving the Peruvian flag, the first automobile entering Pallasca just behind him.

      June, 1973.

    • "Everything ages, everything crumbles and perishes… Pallasca is dying now, but I won’t move. Carajo! I will hold this place together with my bare hands, even if the Pallascans are leaving, I tell you, vision and discipline! I wrote to the Australian embassy and asked them to give me a pair of koalas: there are forests around Pallasca, immense woods of eucalyptus trees, the koalas would breed and the tourists would come, those ridiculous little bears would attract travelers, just like the Pandas in Guayaquil, you see, and Pallasca would flourish once again. We have built the road, god damn it! We have built the road”, – the Captain says, as he wishes us a good night and vanishes into the darkness of the second floor, into his chambers and into the glories of the past.

    • Deadly silence engulfs Pallasca as the freezing cold Andean night descends all around it. The Captain’s palace, leaning heavily on the old church, sighs and whispers in the darkness, and in the crooked cobblestone streets, during the witching hour, steps of Spanish ghosts fall soundlessly into the velveteen blackness of the night.

      “…the only thing that gave us security on earth was the certainty that he was there, invulnerable to plague and hurricane . . . invulnerable to time. For he had not survived everything because of his inconceivable courage or his infinite prudence but because he was the only one among us who knew the real size of our destiny” – Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Autumn of the Patriarch

      Photography: @rtwPaul

      Special thanks to: Captain Orlando Bladimir Alvarez Castro, Pallasca, Peru