In the small mountain town of San Bartolomé sits a small wooden building. Layered between a small dirt road and a gorgeous valley, the building is half workshop, half home. The workshop belongs to Don Uyaguari, one of many guitar makers in southern Ecuador. The rest of the home is occupied by his family - his sons and daughters, their sons and daughters.
Don has been working with guitars since he was a small child, learning from his father in the same shop. While his father was self-taught, and not a traditional guitar maker, Don has made a living out of working with his hands and building these instruments.
“A mal tiempo, buena cara” – In bad times, a face held high. Although Don has faced serious financial troubles and could face losing his home, Don has been persistent, and makes whatever sacrifices are necessary to help his family survive. No matter what the situation, Don always presents himself with valor and good spirits, never letting disappointment show or defeat him.
He finds the strength to continue on with his craftsmanship through his ever-present faith. The idea of an ever-lasting faith provides a unity for all Ecuadorians—an intimate bond of hope.
The film serves to tell Don's story, and highlight his guitars. Guitars allow him to use his hands, and craft with his soul, while also making an instrument others will use to make music – a language that transcends all boundaries of the world.
While Don's guitars are some of the best in the Andean region of Ecuador, he struggles to sell the guitars and support his family. The economy of Ecuador doesn't allow for the guitars to be sold for what they're truly worth.
Don has begun reaching out to the international community, and through his new company, Andean Guitars, he will be able to market to the world, and hopefully earn the money he works for daily.
Production Company: Flex Collective
Directed/Shot by: Zach Lowry and Luke Rafferty
Edited by: Zach Lowry
Colorist: Zac Gobetz
Original Score and Sound Mix: Josh Liebman
Translators: John Rafferty, Claudia Molestina, Veruska Fontevecchia, Tammy Granda, Stefy Naranjo
Special Thanks: Maggie Eberts, Evan Kelman, Sam Maller
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