GUAKEROS - Merchants of the underworld
Colombia. One of the richest lands in the Americas, abundant in natural, historical and cultural resources. But Colombia´s better known face is that of civil war, poverty and corruption. The times when Colombia was a rich country are underground. Welcome to the cradle of the ElDorado legend. Here, the first conquerors looted amazing treasures, sparking one of the biggest pillages in the history of the Americas. Early Spanish tales describe native chiefs taking baths in sacred lagoons with their bodies covered in gold dust. The conquistadors where overwhelmed with stories of incredible treasures. The gold fever had begun.
Centuries later, with the expansion of agricultural lands over the forest, campesinos found immense tombs rich in gold. Discoveries are still made to this day. Many believe that most of the treasures beneath the soil have already been found. Some others believe the best treasures are yet to be unearthed. From those that do believe in the lost treasure of El Dorado, there is an entire subculture devoted to hunting it. Despite laws and regulations protecting the burial grounds of the indigenous people, this practice has survived for centuries. And thus continues the conquistadors? thirst for native treasures in this lawless land. These people are named guaqueros. Generation after generation, they have been exploring the mountains and emptying the archives of Colombian history. For 200 years, guaqueros have sold these pieces to merchants, who resell them in the black market.
Guaqueros believe the biggest treasure of the Colombian Andes is still hidden somewhere. More than the gold itself, it is the faith in gold that has kept the business alive for centuries.
Come explore the Colombian underworld with us in an adventure that takes you from the depths of ancient tombs, through the dark alleys of the black market, to the shelves of an antique store half way across the world. Witness what it means to uncover history only to hide it again in the depths of illegal international trade. Enter with us into the Colombian black market with the guaqueros, the merchants of the underworld.