"My name is David Mauricio Duarte Ramirez, I’m Colombian and I’m 32 years old. Four years ago, while climbing a multi-pitch route in traditional style, I had a twenty meters fall, breaking my spine. I was kept in operating room for more than 11 hours, where the destroyed vertebra was replaced with a titanium one attached to the # 1, # 3 and 4 # lumbar vertebras.
I stayed in intensive care unit for twenty days, losing 30% of my body mass and coming to weigh 38 kg. After five months on a wheelchair I started to move the fingers of my right foot, I started physical therapy, and shortly after the first steps.
A few weeks later I went to the base camp of Pico el Judìo in Almorzadero (3800 mts), and from there I walked for a few hours with the help of walking sticks, reaching 4200 meters.
I had very hard pains but I was crying with joy feeling the medicine that the mountain at that time was giving me.
Until that day I was wondering why I was alive and only negative responses filled the mute ..
I went back on the mountains!
Seeing again the condors, breathing fresh air and listening to deafening silence, it was the best medicine I could take; it filled my mind with positive feedbacks and joy… and I am reborn! During this period, I gave life to ‘El andinista’. It is a tourism agency that works for the conservation and respect for the mountain landscapes.
With the agency we had the first ropejumps, put the first highlines in Colombia and opened various rock climbing routes, thus transmitting our knowledge about mountains and climbing to new generations in Colombia.
So we went to live in San Gil, the capital of adventure tourism in Colombia, and then return to Malahla where we consolidated the project and started working for the most unlucky, those who "have no voice". It's not easy to work in tourism in Colombia.
In fact, the region has been affected by years of violence that for decades have worn down the natural and social environment. There are not many visitors and tourists who come here and for this we still consider it very important to take away from this "forgetting" this territory. With El Andinista we began to convey our knowledge of the mountain to the new generations. We made the first rope jump in Colombia and installed the first Highline, as well as equip many cramps for the sport climbing.
Two years after the accident, I returned for the first time in the high mountains, completing the Pan de Azucar integral, in the Cucuy glacier (5200 mts), climbing the Diablo Pulpit on Via Krauz and becoming the first mountaineer to Do these businesses.
In 2016 my health continued to show signs of improvement and so I returned to the Cucuy Glacier to make the most difficult crossing on the U'wa peak (5100 mts). On this occasion I realized that I could start what I had dreamed since I had had that bad fall: walking on the big mountains all over the world! Months later I went to Ecuador to try Mount Chimborazo, but the night we were at the Whymper shelter, at the base camp, a large avalanche stabbed from the top of the mountain blocked access for the next twenty chapters.
So we arrived in Bolivia to try Mount Illimani (6450 mts), but a relapse made us change our mind and return to Colombia urgently. Three months later I was back in Bolivia to try Mount Huayna Potosi (6088 mts) and this time I reached the top at 6:30 in the morning of August 15, 2016 !!
At the top of this mountain I met Eduardo Unzueta, Go Bolivia and Miriam Campoleoni of Lambda, there was born BREATHING NEW LIFE.
"I'm Miriam Campoleoni, I'm 20 years old and I live in Milan in the Community of Villapizzone; I’m a university student in "Humanities environment, territory and landscape ", and a young climber. From September 2015 to September 2016, I lived in Bolivia as a volunteer at "Oikia", a home for street children run by father Dr. José Cervantes Gabarrón. During this experience, I have dealt also with disability and social inclusion.
Thanks to this experience, I approached Andinism meeting among the others the Andean guide Eduardo Unzueta and David Ramirez, a Colombian Andinist.
Eduardo Unzueta is the director of ‘Go Bolivia’, the first Bolivian travel agency specialized in high alpine trekking.
He graduated at ENSA (Ecole Nationale de Ski et d'Alpinisme) in France as international high mountain guide; for 10 years he’s been working as a guide on the Andes. In 2015 he accompanied David and Miriam for free on the top of 'Huayna Potosi’. He lives in La Paz (Bolivia).
Together, on August 15 2016, we reached the top of 'Huayna Potosy’ (6088 m - Bolivia) confirming once again that mountain and disabilities represent a possible and fruitful combination.
This year, in July, we intend to carry out a second expedition to reach - in sequence - the tops of the following mountains: Huyana Potosy, Illimani (6450 m) and Sajama (6550 m), all in Bolivian territory.
The expedition will be run between June 20th and July 20th.
During the expedition, it is our intention to make a video, that we will firstly present at the Milano Mountain Festival in September 2017, with whom we are already well in touch. We would like to spread it in Italy and in Latin America, Bolivia and Colombia, in order to promote mountaineering and Andinism as real opportunities for well-being and social inclusion.
PROMOTERS OF THE PROJECT
Lambda: an association of young people who believe in adventure on the mountains, on the asphalt of the city and on the waves of the sea as a way of free and alternative lifestyle;
"I Care Ancora Onlus" Foundation: a Milanese reality that deals with foster homes and social inclusion;
Go Bolivia: a tourism agency with large experience in the high mountains of the Andean Cordillera;
El Andinista: a tourism company in Malaga area (Colombia), that promotes environmentally friendly
activities and mountain conservation.
During the shipment we will try to climb the following mountains:
Breathing New Life
The Talent Place Srl
Via Cappuccini, 14 20122 - Milano
Piva 08318210963 Numero Rea: MI - 2017273 email@example.com