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Maria Cuellar

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November 10, 2009
October 28, 2009
October 26, 2009

Tertulia colombiana


Colombia has a very long history of silences. She has suffered, struggled, enjoyed, danced, sung, worked, died and lived through the ages with very little evidence of it other than the living people that tell their stories to anyone who might listen.

Unfortunately, oral history vanishes in a world where newspapers scream shocking news, and our country has come to think of herself as international experts portray her. It is a sad perspective, a bad angle and definitely a mistaken approach.

Certainly, the violent situation involving drug dealing, armed groups, poverty, and many other issues, have undeniable impact on every inch of the country and should be up for discussion. Nevertheless, it is the human response and persistence that defines her as a changing, diverse and unexplored country that could never answer if one would only call her “violent”. This misconception has overshadowed every other subject that even more urgently needs attention. The causes and consequences of “violence” other than sudden deaths, the living situations that signify them: the real, polyphonic Colombia.

Women here, as in most of the world, have a privileged position that allows them controversial points of view. We encourage anyone who wants to share her voice and anyone who feels like listening, to help visualize Colombian realities.

Written by Mónica Cuéllar.


This group offers a collaborative and safe discussion forum for you to share your thoughts, ideas, struggles, and emotions surrounding Colombia's dynamic and often paradoxical history, present and future. We invite you to speak about the issues and obstacles women and men are facing in your communities, and to share the solutions we are all working towards together.

The following questions can help you get started:
• What are some of your personal experiences as a woman or man from Colombia?
• How have you fueled your cause to incite change for your country and her people?
• What would you like the world to know about your homeland?
• What is your vision for the future of your country?
• Do you feel you face special challenges a woman in Colombia? If so, what are these challenges?
• Where are women in Colombia making the most progress? What are the obstacles to this progress? What are the signs of hope?
• What do you feel are the biggest misconceptions about your country?
• What do you—and/or women and women’s groups that you are involved in—advise U.S. President Obama to do in terms of U.S./Colombia relations?
• What can the international community do to support Colombia’s people? What do you wan the international community to know about Colombia?
• What are the greatest rewards in your work, and what inspires you to continue in this work?
• What advice do you have for other women embarking on a similar journey?
• Where do you see the greatest hope for your country?

There's no right way to contribute! Use this space to share your stories, post an introduction, a photo, or information about your organization—whatever you'd like!

Encourage those around you to let their voices be heard as well! Use the "Share This" feature to invite your friends and colleagues. Be sure to check back with the group to keep the conversation going!

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