The creator of the musical project Juana Tumbao lives with her mother and the cat that she found abandoned in a parking lot that she named Félix.
The Woman Post | María Consuelo Caicedo Toro
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She has lived away from the traditional and swimming against the current which has allowed her to meet the world and make multiple projects come true.
Claudia Báez changed the cold of the Colombian capital, Bogotá, for the sea air and the warm climate of the Caribbean coast. One day she moved to Cartagena and there she stayed to develop an interesting venture that starred young female artists with tan skin and multi-colored talent who, initially, would show Caribbean culture in a cabaret format.
The Juana Tumbao project was born in 2019, but Cartagena showed that it was not the setting for a cabaret performance, which was not an obstacle for Claudia Báez who continued with the fixed idea of contributing to Colombia and the world through entertainment in events that, frequently, they are generated in the capital of the department of Bolívar.
The pandemic that took humanity by surprise at the beginning of 2020, forced Juana Tumbao to rethink the work horizon and her “daughter,” Juana y Compañía, emerged, whose entertainment format -especially for weddings and events with little attendance- rescues the Original idea that has in the main role the music of the Caribbean interpreted by violins, saxophone, piano, and voices: "The artists are women who break with the classical and highlight the tropical and Caribbean flavor through original choreographies," explains Báez.
No Strings Attached
During the 50 years of her life, Claudia always swam against the current, deviates from the conventional, and does not usually hear the advice: "I do not like what is considered normal, what everyone does. I hate anchors and ties and thanks to that I began my working life outside the parental home at age 18."
She studied social communication at the Universidad La Sabana in Bogotá but she never graduated, simply because the content that they taught her was boring. She worked with renowned Colombian media in spaces where few women moved: “I directed a radio newscast when I was very young, I traveled and organized events for the Presidency of Colombia and the Foreign Ministry with world-class figures such as the King of Spain, President of Nicaragua (Violeta Chamorro), and Fidel Castro.”
Like all her great projects, Claudia Báez decided that she would also assume motherhood alone. Today her son, Sebastián López, is 23 years old and a commercial pilot.
Claudia Báez believes that Colombian women, and Latinas in general, must overcome their fears and the need to depend on a man even if that implies an unhappy life.
"That saddens me and worries me. Those who know me know that I have faced life without tying myself to anyone. I believe in union, not dependency. It is important for the woman to find herself, her values, and her potential."
From the perspective of this empowered woman, “Latino women still have a long way to go, the macho cultures instilled since we were girls mark us. In schools, for example, they never taught us that we can be independent, travel, know the world or have different experiences, they always showed us the importance of starting a family and supporting it at any cost.”
That is why Claudia Báez fought for her independence and now looks at life with different eyes: "I think a little more about each step I take but I still dream of starting over in another place, reliving the experience of knowing new places and facing the challenges of the unknown. I want to know different cities and countries and take on challenges. I don't want to stay static."
Her day-to-day is motivated by the entrepreneurship that she has been strengthening through which she has helped young Colombian women grow. Thus, Claudia Báez contributes to Colombia.
"The artists of Juana y Compañía are young and have dreams that I help to fulfill. They want to study, travel and see the world. To the extent that I support them, I am making a country. I want to leave a mark on them, that they remember me as the woman who contributed and empowered them according to their talents and abilities."
Her message for Latina women is that they should seek happiness and live as if each day is their last.