I haven't spoken of Vilcabamba lately, been too busy spouting off about geopolitical matters that rankle me. But I'm still very much here ….. and thriving rather than merely surviving. It's like being in a Smurf village, where the residents are all brown and white instead of blue and living a kind of fanciful life of leisure.
Vilcabamba continues to grace its inhabitants (local, indigenous and expat alike) with clean water, clean air, clean food and a relatively unpolluted environment. While we don't have chemtrails and governmental mind control technologies invading our lives, we do have an increasing amount of electromagnetic radiation from cell towers and WiFi routers. What happens when human population centers are flooded with massive amounts of powerful wireless microwave radiation? Nobody really knows ….. yet.
But we will soon. Because we are being exposed to 100 million times more Electromagnetic radiation than our grandparents were, and cell towers are making that number grow exponentially. If you can make a call on your cellphone, then you’re in an area that’s saturated with cell site microwave radiation. And this includes our own hidden-away Sacred Valley of Longevity. Those who know about these things are raising their voices in alarm, but few of our residents listen or understand.
We are a strange mix of visionaries, cranks, crazies, misfits, geniuses, goofy free-spirits and wild-eyed anarchists; a witch's brew of people, if there ever was one. Neurosis abounds, particularly in terms of the End Of The Worldists, freaks, backyard mystics, New Age Gypsies (those we used to call 'Hippies', with nowhere in particular to go and plenty of time to get there) the sleazy spiritual entrepreneurs offering their brand of 'Enlightenment' via jungle 'ceremony' and marketers of supposed Healthy Products and Super Foods, plying their fear-encrusted wares online with PayPal.
It seems to be quite difficult for such a group to remember that we are guests in this tiny pueblo and and not try to continually re-mold it into what better fits our gringo comfort zones ..... or worse. As you can imagine, "do-goodism" on the part of foreigners who can neither speak the language or understand the culture is rampant, a contemporary version of the Colonial "White Man's Burden" (of bringing modernity to our little brown brothers.) But we are muddling through, thanks to the great forbearance of our sweet-natured Ecuadorian hosts.
Then there are the rest of us. Those who mind their own business, tend their gardens, try to learn the language and interact comfortable with our local neighbours. These are the ones who are trying to learn how to live Alone Together in a place far distant from the places of their birth. They are too busy enjoying their lives to spend much time musing about the latest conspiracy theory or wondering exactly who makes up the Illuminati. That we leave to the Wayfaring Strangers who meet daily at Charlito's Bar in the village.
Is Vilcabamba still the 'Shangri-La of days gone by? Yes and no. Like anywhere else in the world, it is what you make of it. Our tiny hamlet is growing and thus necessarily changing in many ways, some of which is creating friction in the clash of cultures. If you come it ought to be in the spirit of loving adventure, not out of fear of that which we want to leave behind or the hope of finding greener grass elsewhere.