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Simón Mejías pasó 6 días viajando por el Pacífico colombiano y conociendo a sus guardianes. Photo: Shock.
Simón Mejía spent 6 days traveling the Colombian Pacific coast and meeting his guardians. Photo: Shock.

"Let me breathe": Bomba Estéreo deep in the Colombian forest

Working against the carbon footprint and capturing the sound of the forest, a new collaboration between Joaquin Phoenix and Simón Mejía of Bomba Estéreo honors…

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"The Pacific is talking to you. To save the forest is to save life," sing Nidia Góngora and Li Saumet in a music video of a little more than three minutes that accompanies the new documentary, Sonic Forest, in which a team from the Stand for Trees collective takes an artist to the heart of an indigenous community and proposes alternatives to end carbon footprints.

On this occasion it was Simón Mejía, the paternal soul of Bomba Estéreo, who is in charge of immersing himself in the Colombian Pacific region to get to know not only the murmurs of the forest, but also give voice to the Afro and indigenous leaders that are its custodians. 

The documentary, which premiered last Nov. 18 on YouTube, took the singer on a six-day trip from Medellin to very remote places, such as Malaga Bay, the Chocó, Mutatá and Urabá. It is directed by Josh Thome and features actor and climate activist Joaquin Phoenix on its production team. Their intention is to showcase the work of communities and economic activities that mitigate the environmental impact in regions where mining and logging are killing people.

"I am more than grateful to have been invited by the communities to be part of this project," Mejía said in a statement. "Traveling through Colombia is one of the things I enjoy most, especially when it comes to unknown places that have always caught my attention because of their music. Now, I am aware that these territories are crucial for the world in environmental matters. There is a lot of natural wealth and the conservation of the forests protects that wealth and life on the planet. Likewise, giving visibility to the conservation work of Afro-Colombian and indigenous community leaders is a way to combat excessive violence against them."

For his part, Phoenix said that "maintaining the world's tropical forests is fundamental to addressing our climate and ecological crisis. The work of Pacific forest communities presented in the documentary Sonic Forest is an inspiring example of the solution."

Stand for Trees

Reducing tropical deforestation and enormous carbon dioxide emissions that accelerate climate change and move us closer to the Apocalypse is everyone's responsibility. It is also the responsibility of young people.

To include them in the cause, Stand for Trees expands its mission to social media and promotes musical and artistic initiatives, as well as selling carbon credits from tropical forests so citizens can contribute their grain of sand to fill the Colombian lung with clean air. 

"Six dollars is the cost of a ton of carbon that is prevented from being released into the atmosphere, anyone who wants to reduce their carbon footprint (our lifestyle produces a lot of carbon dioxide) receives a certificate, that money goes directly to support the communities that protect the tropical forests," the organization said in a statement.

On this occasion, Stand for Trees supported more than 20 communities and 9,000 indigenous and Afro-Colombian families in the Pacific region to reduce emissions of 2,065,566 tons of CO2. 

It's an honorable purpose that inspires through music and culture and seeks not only to generate awareness, but also become part of the solution alongside local communities. 

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