Edición # 4
TWICE IN MY LIFE
EDICIÓN ESPECIAL CREACIÓN A TRAVÉS DE LA PALABRA
“My Medellin has never been like the headlines that have been flashing round the world Institución Educativa Rural Marina Orth, nos muestran sus for a decade...” by Maureen Orth creaciones
“Mi Medellín nunca ha sido como la que los titulares del mundo han pintado por una proceso de aprendizaje de la mano del periódico El década” . Continue Reading Page 3 Colombiano Fundación Marina Orth “Para una Educación con Futuro” Calle 25 N° 79 – 330 Barrio Belén La Palma– Medellín, Colombia Telefax: 057+4+2389334
SEGUIDORES DE UN LEGADO La Fundación Marina Orth ha tenido desde siempre un gran sentido de compromiso con la comunidad y el trabajo que allí se desarrolla. El impulso para ello ha sido el hecho de creer firmemente en sus habitantes y lo que ellos, con un poco de ayuda pueden lograr, mientras poco a poco sus sueños se van convirtiendo en los nuestros. El ser humano está finalmente hecho de eso, de sueños que son el motor para cada día afrontar las dificultades que llegan con el simple ejercicio de vivir y hubo una persona que se aferró a un sueño, de ella, todos en Aguas Frías hemos escuchado y muchos fuera de la vereda también lo han hecho, pese a que pocos saben la historia completa, es un relato que antecede la existencia de la Fundación y que se centra en una joven que siendo extranjera terminó enamorándose de las montañas y atardeceres de Aguas Frías, de su gente y de la magia que despertaba en ella esa posibilidad de cambio a la que tenía acceso, una joven que modificó su nombre para volverlo colombiano y que junto con éste modificó la vida de una comunidad que hoy sigue su legado.
Esta joven es Marina Orth, quien en la actualidad es una galardonada periodista, escritora y corresponsal especial de la revista Vanity Fair, ella empezó su carrera como la tercera mujer escritora en Newsweek. Se convirtió en editora principal para las revistas New York y New West, en corresponsal para NBC News y también ha escrito para el New York Times, el Washington Post, la revista Wall Street Journal y Vogue, entre otros. En los años 1964 a 1966 sirvió como voluntaria para el desarrollo comunitario en los Cuerpos de Paz en Medellín, Colombia, donde ayudó a construir una escuela, nombrada en su honor: Escuela Marina Orth. Hoy, la Fundación Marina Orth a propendido un programa de carácter público privado en 4 instituciones,
dos de éstas en Medellín y las dos restantes en el oriente antioqueño, donde más de más de 1.000 niños pueden tener su propio computador portátil, aprender inglés y fortalecer sus habilidades enmarcadas en el liderazgo. Marina Orth es egresada de la Universidad de California en Berkeley, donde actualmente se ha desempeñado como miembro del consejo de la Fundación Berkeley. Marina Orth recibió su maestría en periodismo y cine documental de la UCLA. Es así como su vigor y grandes logros se traducen en un incentivo para nosotros, quienes entre otras cosas, poseemos una responsabilidad inmensurable, puesto que hemos heredado el legado de una gran periodista, la cual continúa trabajando incansablemente por su Fundación, por su comunidad y por ser una líder a través de la palabra. A inicios del año 2013 se dio inicio a un taller con el proyecto Prensa Escuela del periódico El Colombiano, a través del cual un grupo de 9 estudiantes mejoraron sus habilidades en la escritura e incrementaron sus deseos de dedicarse eventualmente a la comunicación social y periodismo, por lo que ellos han descrito como ...
HACER VISIBLE LO INVISIBLE
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TWICE IN MY LIFE BY Maureen Orth My Medellin has never been like the headlines that have been flashing round the world for a decade. The gentle "city of eternal spring," the capital of the department of Antioquia, that I lived in and cherished for two years in the Sixties as a Peace Corps Volunteer, has been morphed into a violent and bloodthirsty symbol of illicit drug-dealing—where bombs and kidnappings have replaced conservative Catholicism and the Antioquenos' long held reputation for entrepreneurial fervor. Today the rap on Medellin is horrendous: The U.S. State Department warns Americans that all of Antioquia is off limits for safe travel. Journalists are especially susceptible to guerrilla attack. My Colombian novio of long ago, who had become a senator, was murdered in 1989 when he refused to give in to a self-styled militia leader who wanted a piece of his land. Amid this turmoil I could only dream of going back to Medellin to visit my Peace Corps site and to see the school that I had helped build. My memories, of course, were vivid. One Sunday a dramatic posse of five men on horseback dressed in black gaucho hats and traditional wool ruanas galloped up to my door in the barrio. They were leading an extra horse for me. We rode straight up into the mountains for about three miles to meet an isolated community of campesinos in a vereda called Aguas Frias. The people were desperate for a school. Several Sundays later we began with a community workday and formed a human chain to throw rocks down the mountainside to clear the land. A year later there was a brick building that on dedication day bore a crude hand-lettered sign that was a happy surprise to me: Escuela Marina Orth. I had not seen the school since 1979. Then suddenly an invitation came out of the blue from "Friends of Colombia,"our in-country group, and I thought that I must go.
In the fall of 1995 I became part of an official goodwill tour of Colombia, one of a dozen former Colombia Peace Corps Volunteers graciously invited by the Colombian ambassador to visit four cities. Medellin was not on the itinerary, but I could easily go there by myself. Things had calmed down, I was told, since the world's most notorious narcotraficante, Pablo Escobar, had been killed. Then a curious thing happened: I became afraid of the depth of my own emotions. I couldn't even think of going back to Medellin without choking up inside. So many intense memories of specific people and the majestic, sweeping Andean countryside came flooding back—not to mention the Spanish language, the music, the freedom of galloping on a horse through grass as high as my shoulders. Of course in those days we called the rain forest the jungle; there were families of 15 and 20 children, and good girls still courted through grilled windows; the young man wasn't allowed inside until he had declared. What if what I now saw broke my heart? We all knew the culture minutely; we had such a strong sense of identification with a country completely different from our own, and I was so young then, yet, never afraid of anything— not of living alone in a barrio considered rough, not of the rigid power structure that I believed kept my poverty-stricken neighbors locked in a dead-end destiny, and certainly not of the Peace Corps rules and regulations. The arrogance of youth—just leave us alone to do our work. About a month before I was due to arrive, I wrote to the Senora Directora of the school at Aguas Frias and had an old friend who lived in the city deliver it for me. She could get there by jeep, my friend reported—the road was now paved and a horse was no longer required. I didn't even recognize my old barrio, Las Violetas. Where once you had to cross a creek with water coming
halfway up the bus's wheels to enter, today the creek is gone and the barrio, even more teeming with people and cars—cars—looks not poor anymore but typical of a Colombian blue-collar neighborhood, an extension of a more prosperous area that used to be a few miles away. As we climbed the road it was reassuring to see the towering Andes flanking us. The higher we climbed, the calmer I felt. At least the dark green mountains hadn't changed. And then we turned a curve and the day became magical. Two smiling, scrubbed little schoolboys in brand new uniforms were out on the road to greet me waving paper Colombian flags. We parked below and they ran ahead to lead me up the steep steps (another innovation) to the carvedout mountain where we had built the school. "Here she comes!" they cried. At the top of the steps, in tears and hiding her face in her skirt, was my kind neighbor from across the street in the barrio, Dona Mariela—mother of 15, grandmother of 40, now widowed, now living close to the school. I too began to cry as I hugged her, the first of many tears that day. The school looked fantastic. A second story had been added, hanging pots of tropical flowers were suspended from the upper corridor, and just below on the front wall was a big metal sign donated by a local soft drink company that said Escuela Marina Orth. Next to it hung a second, hand-lettered sign: "Welcome Home." Instead of the 35 students in two classrooms that I knew of in the Sixties, there were now 120 children in grades one through five. I was amazed and unprepared for the sixhour homage to come. Slowly and shyly, men and women I had known and worked with came from around corners and behind pillars to greet me. They brought me lemons from their garden. They told me of births and deaths and invited me to their houses. I was most thrilled to hear that some children from the school had gone on to the university and were now professionals working in Medellin, a nearly inconceivable dream when we began.
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FOTO: www.miis.edu - Peace Corps Anniversary Schedule
They exclaimed at and eagerly grabbed pictures of my family that I had brought to show them. Then I saw Luis Eduardo, the humble, softspoken president of the vereda's community action junta and really the cofounder of the school as well. A portrait of us taken together nearly 30 years before, now tattered, was brought out for our inspection. How many times Luis Eduardo and I had ridden to town together to knock on doors in the city government to beg for bricks and mortar. He was so quietly persistent that he had been hired by the city of Medellin to work in its office of school construction, a big step up for his family. The children, shined up bright, were taking their places outside to raise the flag and sing for me the Colombian and Antioquenan anthems. The principal presented me with a beautiful homegrown arrangement of orchids, lilies, and roses, and gave me a formal speech of introduction. With the children standing at attention, she announced a 12-act program in my honor to be followed by a lunch, a serenade, a toast, and a Mass! I was standing but I felt I should sit.
The moment was surreal. It seemed that I could almost touch the other side of the mountain. The populous valley of Medellin was spread out below and I was surrounded by these beautiful children honouring me in a school that bore my name. Was I really in this exotic place on this cool sunny Friday morning so far away from the rest of my life? I missed my family and wished they could share this with me. Nevertheless, I felt completely at home.
I tried to make my fifth speech of thanks
At the end, Mass in this setting was simple and moving, celebrated by a young priest in white vestments on a makeshift outdoor altar in front of the school.
something that my country and my family
The Mass to me was the most important part of the day. The people's faith remains strong and, as a Catholic myself, I felt a special bond in sharing it with them, in having the children come up to touch my hand to wish me peace, and to take communion with them.
have ever imagined.
and told the congregation that the whole idea of the Peace Corps was to plant the seed so that the community could go on as it had. This was my real thanksâ€”that they had persevered. As I turned to go, I realized that at least once in my life, when I was young, enthusiastic and just doing my job, I actually accomplished could be proud of. And twice in my life,
the Peace Corps and the people of Colombia had given me more than I could
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IN AGUAS FRIAS: A RAINSTORM TOOK EVERYTHING AWAY ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN “EL TALLER” EL COLOMBIANO NEWS PAPER
Foto : www.elcolombiano.com
Many people piled up in
Cristian Ángel Uribe
shelter, 9 th Grade
and watched help-
lessly from the
It was three in the afternoon on December 18, 2011. Everyone remembered that it was a sunny day. Some said there were
as a huge avalanche of water, mud and rocks took homes in its path. There was nothing that could be done.
no clouds, not even a bird in the sky. There wasn’t any indication that a storm was nearby.
Many years of hard work lost, the fruits of their labor
In addition to material loses, many people
destroyed. All people could
and several animals died.
do was run for their lives. This “Everyone was happily preparing
was the beginning of a huge tragedy.
opening doors and windows,” remembers Don Manuel Rodas, who set out early to decorate the
Rescuers of SIMPAD (Sistema Municipal para la Atención de Desastres) were present to deal with the emergency and help the victims.
One of the victims reported that while water destroyed his home, he also lost the pigs he was breeding, leaving him with nothing. It was his only source of income. “No one could have known what would happen that day, but one thing for sure was that the water took away everything that December afternoon.”
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AN ALMOST INVISIBLE JOB? BY
Maria Luisa Chavarria
with them to Venezuela where I
Fe y Alegría. I travelled
lived for 11 years, until my ac-
10 th Grade
cent changed (she laughs)! Af-
In the Marina Orth School, we have a very important teacher. Her name is Angélica Restrepo. She teaches Spanish Language and is also the school coordinator. She says: ‘This is the most satisfying job, it has filled my life with many experiences, and I have worked in at least 5 schools now. ’
terwards I returned to Medellín and continued working with the Magisterio Colombiano. We certainly feel very lucky that this teacher’s path has lead her back to Colombia and to us, in our school. Her work and travel has not been in vain, she
Tell us about yourself
has changed lives and she now
My name is Angélica Restrepo. I have 2 children, Daniela and Guillermo, both are studying at university. I am a widow.
stands out as one of the best teachers that we have. She is kind and knows how to be both authoritative and flexible in her
How long have you been a teacher? I started teaching in 1977, so that means I’ve been teaching for 33 years now, dedicating myself to the profession. Have you ever thought about changing your career? In all my years of teaching I have thought about a change but seeing the students achieve their goals, graduate, and become professionals is something so beautiful that it gets me out of bed in the morning. I know that each day is going to
words. It is obvious to everyone that she works tirelessly to give be beautiful.
After so many achievements, is there anything else you would like to accomplish? Although old age catches up with all of us, I would still like to retire totally satisfied with my work. Where else have you worked? I started in the municipality of El Salto de Guadalupe, from there I moved to Caramanta, and later created ties with a foundation
the best to every students every day.
She is Angélica Restrepo
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NATALIA LOPEZ IS MUCH MORE THAN JUST A PROJECT LEADER BY Luis Miguel Araque Montes MarĂa Isabel Araque Montes
Twenty-two year old Natalia Lopez Zuluaga was born June 10, 1991 in the city of Medellin. Natalia studied four years of pedagogy and is currently pursuing a degree in Foreign Languages and working as a coordinator for the Step by Step project in the Marina
and English clubs, to name a few.
Orth rural school in Aguas Fri-
However, in addition to leading
such it is having a direct influence on society.
as. Natalia began teaching
student projects, Natalia also
What do you enjoy most about
herself English as a hobby
supports the students on a per-
when she was little. Over the
sonal level. According to the stu-
years, she continued learning
For me it is studying each edu-
dents, she is more than just a
for the joy of learning, and as
cational theory and implement-
leader of student projects and
a result of her efforts is
ing them in a wide range of
clubs, but someone upon whom
now proficient in English .
situations, but above all working
they rely on both
As coordinator of the Step by
with people and hearing their
and intellectual levels.
Step project in the Marina
Orth school, Natalia performs
What led you to an interest in pedagogy/teaching?
How do you feel in your job?
various functions. Her most
To be a teacher is to have access
Every day is a challenge and I
to many different worlds. More
feel blessed that I am able to
are the projects that she has
than this, it is working with stu-
play a part in so many lives,
implemented with the students,
dents that will go on to make to
and that mine is also changing.
including the School Garden
make up a future generation of
project, the leadership group
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How do you cope in such a challenging position? It is a huge responsibility because I must overcome my own limits to provide others with what they need from me. It is more than just role as part of my contract; it is a promise to the community where I work. The knowledge that to some extent, there are a wide range of consequences as a result of my actions. Does the success of your students make all the hard work and challenges worthwhile? Of course, but it also brings me into contact with a reality where I do not always achieve what I had hoped to. I have achieved success beyond my wildest dreams and this fills me with happiness. Do you enjoy challenges? What challenge would you most like to overcome?
and everything I have learned
What is your relationship
there. All of the above are invalu-
with the people in the sur-
able because through my work I
have become a better person. My
I feel very fortunate. I find it
philosophy and way of life have
remarkable when you are lost
been readdressed and improved.
for words when describing
What were your feelings when
people, and this is something
you first started with the Foun-
that happens constantly with
the community living in Aguas
Yes, what I like about challenges is that they push us out of our comfort zones. The one I would most like to overcome is helping the students that I have had the pleasure of working with thanks to
I felt a combination of fear and
my job to achieve their dreams. Like
excitement. I was afraid that I
they say; â€˜If it does not challenge you,
would not be able to achieve
you do not change.
what was expected of me. Lead-
What do you like most about your workplace? I like a number of things: the atmosphere, the beautiful scenery around the school and the clean air. From a professional point of view I like the objectives of the Foundation, its methodology
ing a project is a new challenge, but it is one that has filled me with excitement and provided me with a world full of new experiences. I think of it as one of the best decisions I have ever made.
FrĂas, especially the children I work with. They have helped me improve in many ways, and I have become a better person because of them. They not only keep me grounded, but they provide me with the desire to keep improving and this
EDICIÓN ESPECIAL is something I am extremely grateful for. We have seen that rather than ordering those around, you lead them. What do you think about this?
Iemo News 9 person, and very professional in her work. Her activities are always creative and different from those that they do in school because she makes a big effort to make the students feel comfortable and to
Ordering someone is a way of creating a hierarchy in create an environment that is good for everyone. which you are superior to them. Because of this, I have Her activities are always entertaining and different taken to leading people and adopting the philosophy of from the normal activities and routines of ‘Let’s do it together’ rather than ‘you do this’. It is this school. Through the careful planning and execution feeling of being part of a team that pushes us towards of her activities, Natalia demonstrates her commitour goals. That is what leadership is; thinking of the best ment to her students and her position as an authority way to come to a conclusion together. The most signifi- figure. cant changes in history have come as a result of making Natalia has become an important source of support decisions together rather than as individuals. for the students and in this way has distinguished The students say that what they most like about Natalia is that she is an autonomous, interesting, intellectual
herself and her work as the coordinator of the project developed by the Marina Orth Foundation.
ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN “EL TALLER” EL COLOMBIANO NEWS PAPER
WHO IS ZAIDA BELTRAN BY Juan José Vergara 8TH Grade Below is an interview with teacher Zaida Beltrán about her professional and personal life. The interview will discuss the great truths of her life, as well as her joys and her challenges. What are your hobbies? I like to listen to music, use social networks, play basketball and read. What types of music do you like and who are your favorite artists? I like pop, salsa, vallenato, and clean reggaetón. I love Juanes, Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez and Pipe Peláez. What do you miss about your birthplace? I miss the parks, the beautiful customs and the traditional foods. What is your favorite color and why? It is pink because it is a color that inspires tenderness and because I identify with its softness. It is one of my distinguishing characteristics. Do you have a husband and children?I have a wonderful husband and three adorable children. My husband travels a lot but loving my home has always been easy. How old are you? I am 38 years old and have spent five years in dellin.
What is your job? I am an information technology engineer, but I have also worked as a teacher for three years and although I like technology systems, through teacher I have found a way of growing as a person and as a professional. Why does teaching interest you? Because I like being
able to contribute to children’s development .
Why are you technology?
Because computers and electronics are my passion and I like learning about everything related to technology and information networks. How many years have you been in this profession? I have been working for 18 years and during this time have had several different jobs, but I can say with confidence that what I am doing now, applying my knowledge in the educational field, is something I really value and the possibilities to continue learning
Many thanks to Zaida for taking the time to do this interview. I admire her ability to teach. There are many great things to be done in this life, like starting to climb the stairs to our destiny, cultivating day by day, loving, dreaming and helping from our homes to forge a better country.
are endless. How many years have you been working for the Marina Orth Foundation? For three years, I started in 2011. What do you like best about your work? I really like interacting with all types of people, both children and colleagues, and learning from them while they learn from me.
THE SPORTS TEACHER BY Liceth Higuita Sepúlveda
I teach Physical Education (P.E.) across the school and Spanish to the 6th grade. What made you decide to be a P.E. teacher?
The teacher Juan Diego Paniagua or ‘el lindo’ (the beautiful), as he calls himself, was kind enough to give me a few moments of his time to conduct this brief interview. I wanted to highlight the work of one of the most popular teachers in school and the person who is in charge of keeping the students in good physical health. Juan Diego is 46 years old and has dedicated the last 20 years of his life to teaching students everything he knows about sport. He is also a great person who has always been dedicated to helping others and gives advice to any student in need.
When I was 13 years old I used to do a lot of athletics and, through teaching, I am able to train others in all the things I learnt about the sport. Have you worked in other schools as a teacher? La Inmaculada, CEFISA – The physical education centre Sabaneta, Santa Inés, San José de las Vegas, The Marina Orth School.
Why did you leave these other institutes? Because I saw new opportunities to improve my situation, both personally and professionally.
One of his greatest virtues is his patience which he constantly demonstrates with his students as well as his son, Juan Diego, and his daughter, Melisa. Juan Diego also claims his children are the driving force in his life.
How long have you been working at the Marina Orth School?
How long have you been a teacher?
Other than working in the Marina Orth School, do you currently work anywhere else?
For about 20 years What subjects do you teach at the Marina Orth School?
For about 8 years.
Yes, I coach for EPM’s athletics team.
What do you like most about the school?
I like the school’s environment and the connection I feel Can you give me a quote that you identify with? with the students. ‘Education and studying are the path to a prosperous future’. What would you like to pass on to your students? The thing that I would most like to pass on to my students is an understanding that you can you secure your- I would like to thank Juan Diego for giving us some of his time to take part in this brief interview. I would also self a good future with what you learn. like to show my appreciation for him for being so Based on your life experiences what advice would friendly and open. you give your students? Furthermore I would like to say thank you for being I would tell them to use sport as a way to be gain disci- such a great person who has shared all his knowledge pline, responsibility and improve their standard of with his students throughout his work as a teacher.
María Isabel Araque
Luis Miguel Araque
Juan José Vergara
María Luisa Chavarría