Juaisca Rodriguez is a Venezuelan woman with one arm, one leg and a massive dream: to summit Antisana, an 18,714 foot peak in Equador.
Ever since she was a young girl, she was an outstanding athlete. She was nationally recognized in waterpolo, mountaineering and climbing representing Venezuela worldwide.
In 1996, Juaisca was diagnosed with Bacterial Meningococcus Meningitis, a serious infection that inflames the membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord. She became one of the 188,341 reported meningitis cases in an 8 month outbreak in Venezuela. Because of her humble origins and the poor local health care, the treatment for her infection did not start on time and resulted in the amputation of her left arm, right leg and part of her right hand.
She was forced to rediscover her body as she persistently kept going back to the rock. Only two years later after the amputations she ventured into the Bolivar Peak in Merida and made it to the summit. She continues to defy what others may consider physical limitations in order to pursue her lifelong dreams.
“At the time I thought this new circumstance was going to change my life, my paradigms of beliefs, my life plans. But today, I can say that moment was the one that released my true self and let the world see the best version of me.”
The fact of being a female athlete with physical challenges, coming from a family with a humble background and from a country immersed in a severe social and economical crisis such as Venezuela turns all odds against anyone. Juaisca lives in a world that is constantly telling her no. But now, more than ever, she continues to dream big and refuses to take no for an answer.
In 2015 Juaisca lead Venezuela’s National Team of Paralympic swimmers to the Para-Pan-American Games in Santiago de Chile, where she won 6 gold medals, a national record for its category and an achievement that qualified her for the Para-Pan-American games in Rio, Brazil in 2016.
Through her undying spirit and numerous achievements, Juaisca has been a strong and inspiring role model. Through this film we will show Juaisca pursue what she has given to so many others: a great dream.
It is a proven fact that everything she intends succeeds. Her strong mind leads her to fulfill her goals, despite her disabilities. Maybe these impairments are the ones that give her the strength to achieve what she intends. The idea is to find out if this theory is true by following her steps while attempting the summits.
El Circo de Los Altares: Located in Ecuador. “El Altar” is perhaps the most technically demanding climb in Ecuador. It is an extinct volcano on the Western side of Sangay National Park in Ecuador, 170 km south of Quito, It has an elevation of 5,319 m (17,451 ft).
Alpamayo: Located in Perú. It is one of the most conspicuous peaks in the Cordillera Blanca of the Peruvian Andes. It has an elevation of 5,947 m (19,511 ft) and it is distinguished by its unusual formation. Alpamayo is known as «The Most Beautiful Mountain in the World»
Ilimani: Located in Bolivia, is the highest mountain in the Cordillera Real of Western Bolivia. Illimani has four main peaks; the highest is the south summit, Nevado Illimani, which is a popular ascent for mountain climbers. It has an elevation of 6,438 m (21,122 ft) and it lays between the cities “El Alto” and “La Paz”.
Veronica Badell (film concept, director and camera operator)
Veronica Badell, an avid climber who learned of Juaisca’s story through meeting her and climbing with her at the climbing gym. This film is her concept. Juaisca was one of the many female climbers featured in her most recent documentary film Cuesta Arriba that went on to win Best Music, Most Voted Film, Best Earth Video, and Best Video at the 2015 Ascenso Film Festival.
Gustavo Padrón (Executive Producer)
Gustavo started his career working as a photographer for lifestyle magazines in Venezuela. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Film Production from Full Sail University, he moved to Los Angeles to start working as a DP and editor for digital media companies, trailer houses, documentary films, and most recently extreme sports TV shows. Gustavo’s passion is telling stories through projects that inspire audiences to transcend cultural barriers.
Paloma Azpurua (field producer, AD)
Paloma has shot in the most remote Venezuelan outdoor locations and National Parks. She has also traveled to the most humble communities and slums in South America [Rio de Janeiro, Lima, La Paz, Bogotá, Buenos Aires] while shooting and producing corporate videos for Sustainable Development Social Programs of CAF Development Bank of Latin America.
She also worked as 2nd Unit 2nd AD in the production service for the remake of the film Point Break (2015) shot at the Angel Falls.
Gustavo Moser (BTS camera operator)
With 20 years of climbing experience Gustavo has traveled to many known climbing places of the world and also organized expedition to explore and develop remote climbing destinations. As a climbing photographer he collaborated with publications such as Climbing Magazine, Dead Point Magazine and UrbanClimber.