I’m finally back in Sucre.

It’s almost five years since I first came to this town. Five years is the average period of time I need to realize that I need to make that film and not another one.

I walk off the propeller plane that takes me from Santa Cruz to Sucre (my last flight from Berlin-Madrid-Miami-La Paz-Santa Cruz-Sucre, more than 24 hours of travel) and I am dazzled by the bright light, the blue sky. I love the light of America. Farewell to German grey skies!

The taxi driver of course doesn’t know where the psychiatric hospital is, he takes me for a walk around the city, asks people on the street and of course nobody knows anything about anything. Finally we find the place and when he gets out of the vehicle, he wants me to tip him for his ignorance. They don’t know it, but I have a special affection for those taxi drivers who receive me in Latin America every time I arrive from Europe. I’m so sorry, guys, there’s no tip for you.

I arrive on a Friday afternoon. They take me to the room where I will stay for the next few weeks and show me the facilities, which have not changed much in recent years. I have a brief meeting with the director of the psychiatric institute, Dr. Choque, who warmly welcomes me and invites me to start with the interns during the weekend.

It is the next day when I finally cross the little door that leads me inside the institution. The gardens are beautiful, full of flowers, you can tell we’ve just had the rainy season. Some inmates take a nap on the large expanse of grass. Everything is still in place, I even meet an old acquaintance of mine: Martín. He collaborated with us in the interviews we conducted five years ago. It reminds me right away and we are happy to see each other again. I ask him if he saw the video, he says yes.

The two beautiful main buildings, historical heritage of the Psychiatric Institute, are now covered with aluminum plates. Apparently part of the roof fell down and they haven’t been able to fix it yet.

On Monday I have my presentation in front of my colleagues at the hospital. I will explain who I am, what we want to do and what things are important to us. The important things are several,

We want to learn a lot about mental health, about stigma, reintegration, self-help. And many more things.

We want to make a nice movie. With a powerful message.

We want the protagonists to have a good time and if possible our project will help them in some way.

We want to join the global movement to end stigma in mental health!

 

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