Making the Film
High-altitude shooting was difficult on Chimborazo, not only because of the thin air, but also due to the uneven mountain terrain and the ice. We could only bring what equipment we could carry on our backs on the three-hour hike up to the ice mines. Weather changes quickly on Chimborazo, and storms descended upon us more than once.
Producer Rodrigo Donoso and I were, for the most part, a two-person film crew. We set up tents in Baltazar’s yard and camped for two weeks in Cuatro Esquinas so we could immerse ourselves in the family’s daily life. We ate breakfasts of horchata – a delicious hot drink of boiled grains (oats, rice, quinoa or barley) with sugar and cinnamon. Most mornings, we followed Baltazar or his brothers as they worked – on the mountain, in Riobamba and in Cuatro Esquinas. We also filmed the children at school. Dinners often consisted of quinoa soup along with rice, potatoes and fava beans. After dinner, we would spend time with the family and then retire to our tents to prepare for the next day’s shoot.
It was a privilege to be able to observe a community from within and to then to have the opportunity to share a part of it with audiences that may otherwise never have known it existed.