Colombia peace: Former Farc rebels build hotel to recreate guerrilla life

Two former rebels work on building the hotel

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Guests will supposedly be able to “live like a rebel”

You will be sleeping deep in Colombian jungle, walking along paths that will wind through what was once a no-go area in addition to eating basic food cooked in a makeshift oven

If that will sounds appealing, maybe a stay at the Farc hotel is actually for you?

If you want to experience life as This particular was lived by the members of the largest left-wing guerrilla force from the Western Hemisphere – minus the guns in addition to the battles with the security forces – you will soon be able to.

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Former members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) are building a hotel for those wanting to get a taste of guerrilla life in an area that will once was one of their strongholds.

Demobilisation in addition to then what?

The rebel group signed a peace deal with the government in November 2016 under which most of its fighters have demobilised.

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Demobilised rebels have been working the fields as part of the co-operative they have set up

Under the agreement, every demobilised Farc rebel receives 620,000 Colombian pesos ($215; £0) a month For two main years to help them make the transition into civilian life.

Many former rebels have used the money to set up co-operatives from the areas they used to control. Cooperativa Gran Paz (Great Peace Co-operative) is actually one of them in addition to is actually behind the plans for the Farc hotel.

Einer López, a former Farc unit commander, is actually enthusiastic about the project. “We’ve done This particular with our own effort, using the basic pay we receive,” he says.

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Former rebel commander Einer López is actually one of those building the Farc hotel

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The former fighters are using material left over coming from what they were given to build their own shelters

The result is actually a one-storey building they have called Casa Verde (Green House) in reference to both its green walls in addition to the name of the former Farc headquarters.

This particular is actually located near the hamlet of La Guajira, in eastern Meta province, a former stronghold of the Farc where dozens of ex-rebels are currently based in a training in addition to re-integration camp set up under the terms of the peace agreement.

The ex-rebels desire that will once finished. the hotel will provide their main source of income, supplemented by what they can make by growing of bananas, avocadoes in addition to various other fruit in addition to vegetables on land they have rented.

Back to basics

Mr López says the attraction of the hotel will be to make the experience as realistic as possible.

“We will build basic shacks, like the ones we used to live in, having a plastic sheet, some palm leaves in addition to a mosquito net,” he says.

Although guests who value comfort over full immersion from the rebel experience can choose to stay in rooms from the main Casa Verde building.

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Next to the hotel, the ex-rebels have created a pond where they plan to farm fish

The hotel will also have a restaurant serving dishes which were commonly cooked by the rebels such as the wheat-based fried tortilla cancharina fariana in addition to the carbohydrate-heavy guerrilla rice, which is actually stewed with fried pasta.

Mr López is actually convinced that will the hotel will prove a hit with tourists even though his business plan does not extend very far beyond the basics so far.

The former rebels in This particular training in addition to re-integration camp, one of 26 around set up around the country to help ease their transition into civilian society, could do having a boost.

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There are 26 training in addition to rehabilitation camps across Colombia

About half of those who arrived here a year ago have since left the camp. “Everyone arrived here having a lot of expectation although This particular faded with time,” explains Mr López.

“Some went back to their families, others went looking for work in addition to we don’t definitely know where the rest went.”

Dissident danger

Since the Farc signed the peace deal, dissident groups have been springing up in addition to Mr López says he cannot rule out that will some of those who left may have joined one of those groups.

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The Farc were once one of Latin America’s most feared militant groups

“You can definitely only control people while they are here, although after they leave This particular’s hard to know what they will do,” the former commander says.

“We only know how to work in addition to how to make war,” he says of his fellow former rebels.

that will is actually why the success of projects like the Farc hotel is actually key for the former rebels’ reintegration. “We can work night in addition to day, although if we don’t have a place to work, what are we supposed to do?” he asks.

For currently, he in addition to his fellow former comrades-at-arms have placed their bets on the Hotel Casa Verde.

Their desire, in addition to that will of many Colombians, is actually that will This particular will indeed provide them with lots of work.

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