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Jose Ismael Camacho Arango
Born in Colombia
69 years
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Life story
August 4, 1996
Passed away on the twenty first of October 1995.

April 22, 2007

I’m sharing with you the life of a clever, funny and gifted writer, a man who could talk about any topic and knew everything. A father that I miss and wished he could have been preserved for eternity.

A quiet province in the north of Colombia at the beginning of the twentieth century, Santander del Sur had been rocked a few times by the wars between the liberales and the conservadores.

It had been spared the destruction of other towns in the region subject to the tantrums of local politicians, who had dreamed of a grand Colombia.

In a village called Lebrija, an hour away from Bucaramanga, a young woman (Josefina Camacho) went in labour. She already had two other children and had lost a few others at birth.

Little Horacio Camacho was five years old and his sister Lijia, two years old as they waited with their father in the lounge.

After pushing for the last time, Josefina delivered a rose faced child into the world.

Shots of the rebels echoed nearby while the household waited in silence and even the baby had gone quiet.

The sound of footsteps resounded in the street, leaving the place in silence as the troops chased whoever had made trouble.

After cleaning the child, the midwife placed him next to his mother. As the baby cried, the children went in the room and admired the new addition to the family, while the midwife cut the umbilical cord.

Having lost another baby the year before, Josefina felt nervous about the child and the midwife wanted to make sure everything would be fine this time.

The father stroked the baby's hair as the children admired his rosy face. Then he led them to the kitchen, where they had their lunch.

The children wanted to know how the baby had come in the world and if he would live with them.

That evening little Ismael slept in a small cot by his mother’s side. The sound of cockerels singing, woke them up next morning. As the baby cried, his mother put him to her breast.

Ignoring the rebels making trouble, his brother and sister watched the child, sleeping by their mother’s side.

Time went past and Jose Ismael grew into a chubby child with golden curls, who liked to play in the countryside around his home.

He pulled his cars along the grass and hid his sister's dolls under the bushes.

After going to bed one night complaining of pain in his arm, their father didn't wake up the next morning.

Jose Ismael was five years old while Ligia and Horacio were six and eight years old.

The children couldn't understand death at that age and they thought father would come back later.

Life had shattered for the young woman, left alone with her three children. She had to do something to give them a better life.

Travelling on the back of mules, they went to find some of her family living in another town. That journey across the mountains must have been exciting for a five year old boy.

The country didn’t have many roads during the ninety thirties. They had to trek through the cordillera, looking for another life.

Little Horacio recalled the slow pace of the mules by the edge of precipices and ravines.

A friend, who had come with them, built the tents where they slept that night amidst the wind and the crickets.

The children collected flowers growing alongside the grass, while playing next morning. The weather turned cold and they felt tired but they had to go.

After the children had climbed on the mules they resumed their trek through the mountains full of fog and dangers.

An immense kaleidoscope of rivers, hills and ravines, made up the countryside in the central cordillera of the Andes where the Chibchas had lived before the conquest.

Having left the province of Santander, the mountains had given way to pastures. Cows and goats ate the long grass, as an eagle circled above them, looking for pray as nature rejoiced in life.

The church steeple against a cloudy horizon, welcomed them, as they neared Choconta. Sensing the end of their journey, the mules trotted towards the houses at the edge of town.

Josefina with little Ismael were the first ones to enter the town, people looked at them from their houses while dogs barked.

"Where’s the church?” she asked a man.

He took them along the high street and up to the church, the sound of people singing spilling out into streets.

Helping her children to dismount the donkeys, Josefina led them inside the building, as a little man talked of God's grace in front of the congregation.

He paused for a minute as the new arrivals sat down, before resuming his sermon.

Waiting for the sermon to finish, Josefina hoped the children would be quiet, even if they felt tired after the journey.

Then the congregation sang again, their voices echoing around the church, while the priest put his bible away.

Blessing the congregation, he got ready to kleave the church, before noticing the beautiful woman sitting in the first row.

Smiling, he took his gown off, before leaving through the door.

"We'll see him in a minute," Josefina told the children.

Leaving the church, they went to the house next door, where the housekeeper greeted them.

"The children have grown a lot," she said.

Uncle Antonio appearead at the door, his white collar visible under his gown.

“I was expecting you,” he said. "How was your journey?"

"I liked the river," little Horacio said.

His sister nodded.  "And the ducks."
"But you must be tired," he said.

As a catholic priest, Uncle Antonio believed in the value of his family amongst the kingdom of God.

They had lunch in the refectory, after the maid had taken their luggage to the room upstairs.  The man accompanying the family to Choconta, went back to Lebrija in Santander later on.

Tired after the long journey, Josefina and the children went to sleep in a room upstairs with three beds and lots of blankets to keep warm during the night.

They met Uncle Pedro as the maid brought their breakfast in the refectory next day.

Sharing the responsabilities with the congregation, the brothers took turns with their religious duties, looking after their sheep all the time.

"The children will  go to the best schools in the area," father Pedro said.

"Can I ride on the horses?" little Horacio asked.
"This is your home," he said. "You can do anything you want to."

They promised to help the young widow while teaching the children all about religion and the bible.

My father was 14 years old when the second war world started. After reading everything about the conflict, he liked going to the movies to see the films of the time.

A clever boy, he did well in the school. He inherited his mother’s blond hair and fair skin, but his brother and sister looked more like their father.

Jose Ismael studied medicine at the Universidad Nacional of Bogota, and after getting his degree in medicine, he married his second cousin, Cecilia Mogollon, on the 14 of February 1952.

Ref ID: 2
Ref Type: Book, Whole
Source Type: Print
Authors: Camacho Arango,Ismael.
Book Title: Siete minutos.
Pub Year: 1971
Notes: ID: 2056469
Edition: First
Publisher: Tercer Mundo
Place of Publication: Bogota
Language: Spanish
Database: WorldCat
Data Source:
Created: 03/12/2007 10:04:41 GMT
Last Modified: 03/12/2007 10:04:41 GMT
December 9, 2007

ARMAGEDDON by Ismael Camacho           Arango


The world awaits   -
Seven minutes   -                               
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December 9, 2007

Jose Ismael Camacho's Family Tree
Go to Jose Ismael Camacho's:   Profile  |  Family Tree 

  • Ismael  Camacho Ismael Camacho
    Male, Deceased
  • Josefina  Arango de Camacho Josefina Arango de...
    b: 1900 - d: 1981
    Female, Deceased
  • Ismael  Camacho Ismael Camacho
    Male, Deceased
  • J  Gomes J Gomes
    b: - d:
    Female, Deceased
  • Jose  Arango Jose Arango
    Male, Dececeased
  • Josefina Gonzalez
    Female, Dceased