Juliana has always loved stories, but she never knew you could be a storyteller until she discovered Vivapalabra School for Storytelling and Oral Narration, which magically happened to be in her home city of MedellĂ­n. Instantly she joined, regretting having wasted 5 years of college on something else, but delighted to finally have found her calling.

After graduating in 2015, however, she realized that every country has its own completely different idea and style of storytelling, and there was so much more to learn. So she packed her bag (La Guerrerita), made a flag that announced “Travelling Storyteller from Colombia”, and took off around the world. In the first month of her travels someone (die, maggot!) stole all the money she’d saved for the trip, but she kept going, paying her way by telling stories in parks, cafes and theaters, and passing the hat.

Along the way she became Achira Stories, and was invited to tell at the 15th International Storytelling Festival of Greece, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and a forbidden festival organized by rebellious university students in a country where art is illegal.

The Road taught her to seek the right story for the right person at the right time, because stories, like seeds, will grow. And the good ones can heal the earth.

Sadly, when she returned to Colombia three years ago, the stories stopped speaking to her, and she hasn’t really told since. But a great storyteller she met on her journey taught her, “It is our responsibility as tellers to hold the stories for when someone asks.”

And now that the world is standing still, people are asking for stories. And so Achira is starting to tell. Thank you for listening.

Please support Juliana as generously as you can afford to via the virtual hat below. What may be a relatively affordable sum to you will make a big difference to her in Colombia.

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