For many, the pandemic was, in many ways, the push they needed to escape the urban environment and settle in quieter areas and rural areas. For Diego Guelerthat forced recess delayed the plans a bit, because the decision was already made.
Diego is a journalist and audiovisual producer. He has 42 years and was born in the Buenos aires city. However, he always felt something that led him to search a little further. After a process that included trips from a very young age, moving and learning, for a year and a half he settled with his family in Umepayan ecovillage located in Villa Yacanto, Córdoba.
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From there he produced and recorded the world i wanteda documentary that portrays how one travels a sustainable life among the mountains.
“An agent from the SIDE gave me the playpen in the Pachá VIP”: how a process that seems like something out of a movie began
“It was a process”answers Gueler when asked about his decision of a resounding lifestyle change. However, it is understood by knowing his path, which is not very linear or predictable.
It could be said that he is a premature traveler, since at the age of 14 he began to travel the world alone. “I am a rare species. I got emancipated at that age because my old man had me as a partner in a company and that’s why I was able to travel wherever I wanted from a very young age”, he tells TN the producer, who today can say that he toured 60 countries.
Uruguay and later Brazil They were the first destinations. Another great adventure began, somewhat planned and somewhat less so, in the 2001when he left for Barcelonawith a preview that looks like a movie.
“I left 3 months before the outbreak of the crisis. an agent of the SIDE, in June 2001 he told me one Saturday in the VIP of the bowling alley Pacha that at the end of the year everything fell to pieces”, he recalls. “The corralito anticipated me. And I kept that in mind to leave, ”she adds. At that time she was 20 years old. She lived abroad for six, and much of it was away from the big city.
Back in Buenos Aires, the journalist, who trained at the school TEA and he graduated in Spain, he dedicated himself fully to the trade, and already with the idea in his head of changing cement for green. “I decided to leave Buenos Aires. I have some friends in Trevelin, Chubut, and I loved the place, but the south was too far from my family and friends, and the weather was hard too. I lived for several years in a country house in Engineer Mashwitz”, he recounts. “That’s where I had a first screenshot,” she says.
“In the towns I noticed that you can be in a healthier place, with a different rhythm of life, another chip. Where people meet and greet, schedules are a bit more fluid. There is not that anxiety of the city of wanting to be productive all the time, all of that is diluted a bit”, he considers.
Cordoba, precisely the UmepayHe came in 2016. One of the founding couples of the community, whom he met in other circumstances in the city, invited him to see the place. The desire to live in another way was combined with a spiritual path and a destiny that turned out to be ideal.
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In harmony with nature: life in Umepay
Umepay is a mountain ecovillage that in december will be 10 years old. Currently, Gueler, his wife Luciana Rinenberg, who is a tantra therapist, and her son Jan3 years old, are part of the 150 stable inhabitants of the place.
In addition to changing the urban landscape of Núñez, where he lived in the Capital, for vegetation and mountains; and the pigeons for foxes, hares, and weasels, the new neighborhood brought with it a new paradigm. “I liked the proposal, I felt very related. When I was able, I bought a piece of land,” she says.
According to what he says when describing the lifestyle maintained by the inhabitants of the 500 hectares that make up Umepay, in the beginning it was “more communal.” Now, with the growth, several “neighborhoods” have been formed, which function as a neighborhood. “Each one has their land and some issues are shared among all, such as the water and road development”, he details.
One of the slogans is respect for nature. “There is a code coexistence and private building. In the most populated neighborhood, “La Aldea”, for example, you can’t have dogs, as if to maintain silence,” he says.
As for the construction, only environmentally friendly materials are used, such as adobe, wood, living roofs and even recycled materials such as PET bottles.
“There are limitations. The colors also have to be respected, you cannot use one that is not in the mountains, due to visual contamination”, she comments. At this point, the impulse that Maria “the Black” Fourcadewho built his house, and Germán de Filippo (developer in charge of 100th Builder and also one of the founders of the ecovillage) gave the bioconstruction.
Right there there is a recycling enterprise, another vegetable garden, and in each home separate the waste, make compost and eco-bricks to give a destination to single-use plastics. “It’s like the basics”dice.
Already working independently as an audiovisual producer (he is in charge of Sasho Films), Diego planned the construction of the family home. With Luciana, whom he married first in Brazil in 2021 and then in Umepay, in February of this year, construction began in 2017and lasted for three years.
The move took longer than necessary, pandemic and quarantine involved, but finally in 2020, when Jan was two years old, they settled in the village. “Before February we had the furniture made, but the quarantine caught up with us. we were going to move at the end of March, but everything was closed. So we did it in October“, remember.
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The choice of life is a decision that the producer reaffirms daily. The Wi-Fi provides internet access for workbut the lack of a telephone signal adds an extra dose to the mountain harmony. “Sowing bliss”the tea house from where he speaks with TN offers a space of coworking which became a frequent meeting point for the residents.
“The world I would like”: from everyday life to the screen
Parallel to the construction and planning of the new life, Gueler began to shoot the world i wanta documentary that portrays the daily life in the mountain ecovillage, with its lights and shadows, and the values they promote. The goal is to inspire others to follow their dreams.
The documentary premiered in April and portrays the lifestyle of Umepay. (Photo: courtesy Diego Gueler).
It premiered on April 7 at the Cine Gaumont Espacio Incaa. The film Directed by Gueler was official selection in nine international film festivals y won three awards: Special Mention Environmental Panorama of the International Film Festival of Puerto Madryn (MAFICI); finalist of the contest of the TV channel and streaming of the United States, CINEMOI; and best overall production in documentaries in the Universal Film in the United States.
“In short, living in peace in the paradise that we want to build it is more than challenging. You have to pay a high human cost living with friends in the middle of the mountains, far from the families of origin and in the face of the new codes that living in the middle of the mountain implies,” adds the director.