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Mónica Cuéllar's picture

Mónica Cuéllar

ColombiaBogotá, Colombia

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September 27, 2009

Mónica Cuéllar

About Me: 

I have no favourite color, so that's no good way to introduce myself. I guess lately my main occupation is being an anthropology student in Colombia, where I have lived all my life. My family is also part swiss, but I calculated how much of Switzerland there is in me, and realized I'm just an eighth swiss (it wasn't exactly a complicated mathematical equation) which makes a lot of sens since I feel precisely seven eighths colombian, all though I do love speaking french, eating cheese and chocolate, and the beautiful Swiss Alps - among other things.

My Journal Title is "Monica's blackberry recipe", because my mom loves making wild blackberry marmalade, but the truth is that I have never cooked blackberrys myself. I just feel really related to the fruit, which grows aggressively in the mountains of Subachoque, a small cold town close to Bogotá where I spend a lot of time.

I study anthropology in the National University of Colombia - Universidad Nacional de Colombia -, where I have become more and more interested in the cultural aspects of reality, the infinite ways of thought, the amazing diversity that has so badly been conceived and treated in this country. I'm working on my thesis wich analyses different aspects of the tragedy of Armero, a prosperous town that 25 years ago dissapeared under the avalanche produced by the explosion of a snowed volcano called Nevado del Ruiz. I'm trying to understand the impact of the tragedy on the survivors, mainly through their love stories, for understanding as well an annual ritual where all of them gather where the town used to be and today seems nothing but a giant cemetery. In this process I have come to know very interesting and loving women that have showed me their way of living life and falling in and out of love, even though they have had their hearts ripped out, their families killed, and their town disappeared, and work to exhaustion as prostitutes, witches, and single moms. It's about them that I want to write here, and about my ethnographic experience as a Colombian woman.

I believe that taking the time to learn about the people you share your country with - or you house with, or the world with - is the only way of seeing the value of difference, and making differences. In Colombia we have such variety that there are endless ways to be surprised among amazing perspectives and beautiful landscapes.

My Languages: 
Spanish, French, English

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