A town full of Hay spirit

The Hay Jericó programme kicked off this morning, 26 January, as guests filed in from a picturesque sun-soaked street to a cool renovated theatre to see Colombian writer Hector Abad Faciolince speak about his literary influences with journalist Xavi Ayén.

With a weekend full of world-renowned writers and thinkers ahead, Héctor Abad Faciolince spoke of how happy he was to be part of the festival in Jericó. Jericó, el infinito vuelo de los días, a film which explores the town’s difficult history and its spirit and regeneration, opened the festival last night in the town's square.

He talked about his experience at the Wales chapter of the festival, Hay-on-Wye, describing it as a tiny village packed full of bookshops.

“I hope that Jericó will also fill up with bookshops, libraries, and readers as a result of the festival. An hour of reading can cure anything.”

Outside, the central square is bright and buzzing, with Hay’s purple bunting flapping in the breeze, musicians playing in the shadow of the church, and the market in full swing. Still to come this afternoon, Juan Gabriel Vásquez will talk about the art of storytelling.