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Friday, June 19, 2020

Expository and Descriptive Essay



“Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.”
Horace Mann

Let’s define what conflict and violence are shall we?

Conflict: a fight, battle, or struggle, especially a prolonged struggle; strife.
Violence: an unjust or unwarranted exertion of force or power, as against rights or laws.

I would make a really short summary of what our country has been fighting all of these years.

Since 1964 Colombia has suffered the longest running active civil war in the whole world. It officially began with the creation of two guerrilla movements: FARC (fuerzas armadas revolucionarias de Colombia) and ELN ( ejército de liberación nacional). But violence started way before all this; in the 19th century the murder of the anti-establishment Liberal Party presidential candidate, Jorge Gaitan in 1948 started a decade of violence known as LA VIOLENCIA. During this period 200,000 people were murdered but most of them were peasant farmers; since then violence and conflict has always been present in our history. 

Other “actors” in this conflict are Paramilitaries and the Colombian State.

The Colombian Conflict is a shocking and really sad result of a direct rooted social and political conflict. We have to take into account that lots of Colombians live in extreme or just poverty, particularly in rural areas; 65% of the population lives in this rural regions being the most vulnerable and affected by this conflict either children being recruited by the guerrilla movements or ended up being victims of the atrocious violence between this movements.
Throughout Colombia’s history the opportunities for this social inequality to be addressed through the political system has been obstructed by systematic political violence. Opposition parties, progressive political movements, and community activists have been targeted in order to protect the political and economic status.

Fortunately, after numerous failed attempts, in 2012 a successful peace process was initiated between the Colombian government and the FARC with a final agreement signed in November 2016. Talks between the Colombian government and a second guerrilla organisation, the ELN, are ongoing in 2018. 

This is a very hard situation that affects all Colombians, mostly vulnerable people such as women and children. Although the government is talking with ELN and also has a peace agreement with the FARC there are still members from these movements creating fear and chaos all over the country. Hopefully one day all of this will stop.

“ Social justice cannot be attained by violence. Violence kills what it intends to create.”    
Pope John Paul II
By Nashla Puerta, Step 9

My Expository and Descriptive Essay


 Unemployment In Colombia

In Colombia there is a large percentage of unemployed people, the figure stood at 10.3 percent, thus completing 4 consecutive years with an upward trend.

 In this moment, for the month of April 2020, the unemployment rate of the national total was 19.8%, which meant an increase of 9.5 percentage points compared to the same month last year (10.3%). 

There are many reasons why there are so many unemployed people in Colombia, for example, at certain times of the year the percentage of unemployed people increases because the work that people had could be related to tourism and only at one time of the year is it convenient, another very significant reason is corruption in Colombia since some positions in the government and other institutions are generally granted according to certain influences, preventing fit people from reaching positions of value and even at certain times causing unemployment in Colombia to grow higher. 

For unemplyment there are many causes, as natural disasters, like the winter wave in 2011, which caused certain industries, especially agriculture, to have gigantic losses and even causing displacement in Colombia to continue to intensify as it does in Colombia. Hiring temporary employees is also a cause that affects quite a bit since companies only dedicate themselves to selecting temporary workers, who work for a certain amount of time and then be fired from the company, a practice that saves them a good amount of money but that promotes a greater establishment of unemployment in Colombia. 

Right now, the biggest cause of unemployment is confinement due to the covid-19. Thanks to this, the percentage of unemployed in Colombia rose in an impressive way. In fact, it is one of the strongest reductions in this indicator in the last decade. Quibdó (22.5%), Cúcuta (19.8%) and Ibagué (19,%) were the ones that registered the highest unemployment rate during the January-March quarter. And in contrast, Barranquilla (9.1%), Cartagena (9.9%) and Bucaramanga (11.8%) were the ones with the lowest rate.

By Sofia Ranauro, Step 9

Viewpoints on Violence In Colombia


Conflict and Violence in Colombia.

Conflict and violence in our nation have resulted in the immigration of business investors, development experts as well as a massive number of Colombian population who could have participated in developing our country.

This topic is something real, something that is happening right now in Colombia and in some countries that violence has been affected for violence.   Young people today are looking to study abroad or study in the country and work abroad. And that is bad for any country that subtracts points for being advanced. Colombia is a country that is part of the third world. We are ‘’ eco-sustainable’’ and the only way that we can advance, evolve, be a better country are our students. 

The new generations need to think more in the country not only be saying ‘’ oh no, Colombia is only violence and corruption I will study in Canada, England, United States (any country). But no, that is not the solution, we need to advance, we need to work in Colombia, for Colombia is going to be a pride that one day one person can say ‘’ I want to live in Colombia, is a country full of peace’’. But also the person with a political power doesn’t contribute in any of this, many of those people are involved in corruption, murders, kidnappings, money laundering and many more things that only dirty Colombia. 

That is not fair with Colombia people, if the government wants a better country needs to change, it is understandable that the new generation wants to study outside the country, any person wants to live in a country of violence, corruption, and abuse of power. The police, the people with political power abuse from it for doing whatever they want with a city or with the country. This is a whole set of conspiracy theories that exist in Colombia about corruption and things that the government has done wrong. 

For me, Colombia has the opportunity to improve, but that decision depends on us, the citizens, the government, the police cooperating to have a better educated country, and all actors involved in the conflicts leading to violence need to change their mindsets.

By Antonio De La Ossa, Step 9

Book Report


Max Einstein: The Genius Experiment. 

Book #1:
This book is a fictional novel where it narrates the life of an incredibly genius girl named Maxine and how she wants to change the world. The girl is an orphan, with no idea about her past, nor a place to live. She lives with a bunch of other homeless people on top of a barn. She goes to a university in New York, where she managed to get a full tuition. She plays chess with one of the teachers there. His name is Mr. Weinstock. Suddenly, she finds out that an evil corporation is trying to use her to advanced knowledge for their own purposes. This corporation is referred to as "The Corp". Another association wants to protect her and use her intelligence for the world's benefit. This one is called the Change Makers Institution, also known as the CMI. Max is told this by Mr. Weinstock, who appears to also be in the CMI. Max decides on joining the CMI, as she wants to do good in the world. She then meets two specially trained soldiers who work for the CMI, Isabl and Charl.

They fly Max over to Jerusalem, where she meets up with a bunch of other kids who are around her age. Turns out that those children are also geniuses who the CMI have gathered. They all have to take a quiz to see who is the most intelligent, and who would be the leader of the group of children. Max decides not to answer any of the questions as she sees all the questions as unimportant and irrelevant to being a real Change Maker. The other people who work at the CMI realize this, and they do another, more relevant test. Max does this one again, but she only answers one question and turns in her quiz. 

When asked why, she says that all the other questions could be answered with just that question. The CMI controversially decides to make Max the leader of the group, even though she had terrible scores on the quiz due to her not answering many questions. And with that, the CMI decided to start its first mission. There was a city in Africa that never received any power and the CMI wanted to change that. They get flown into the city and decide on using solar panels to power it. They place the first solar panel, and after a lot of work, it gives power to a house.

The CMI celebrates, but they must do it with every house in the city. So they install another solar panel, but it doesn't work. They decide to postpone the fixing to the next day due to it being late. When they wake up, they see the solar panels have been shattered. The locals say it was a corrupt leader of the city and his goons. The CMI knows that fixing the solar panels would be expensive, and they simply couldn't afford to keep repairing the panels if they would just get broken again. The band of criminals show up and say that the CMI must leave the town or else thy would attack them. The CMI considered leaving, but in the end stayed. The band of criminals attacked, but the CMI defended themselves. After thinking for a solution for a while, the band of criminals returned, but with a new leader.

Apparently, the old leader was knocked down from power, but a new, even more corrupt leader took his place. The band of criminals, once again, threatened to attack the CMI if they did not leave. Now, everyone was considering leaving more than ever. However, Max had an idea. The old leader of the city now had a new job. He would take the phones from anyone who entered or left the city. That meant he had a bunch of phones, but no way to charge them. The CMI struck a deal with him. He would let a shipment of parts and panels come through and fight against the new leader, and he would get power to charge his cellphones. He hated the new leader, so he would already be willing to fight him. The parts come, and the CMI decides to invent something. A windmill with solar panels attached to the blades, so they would get extra power. 

The invention worked and they got power. Then they fought the band of criminals with the old leader's army. They won the battle, but a mysterious Mr. Zimm appeared in a helicopter, and told Max that if she were to come with him, he would tell her about her parents and who she was. Max politely declined. After Mr. Zimm leaves, they install the rest of the windmill solar panel hybrids. They then split up and each go back to their homes. The benefactor buys an apartment room for Max, as the conditions in the barn were unsanitary. All the other people who lived in the barn also got new homes. They meet the founder of the CMI, it is a young boy named Ben.

Book #2:
Max was bored in her apartment. She was instructed not to leave, but she managed to fool her two protective bodyguards and go outside. Charl and Isabl find her and order her to go back to the apartment. Siobhan, another kid in the CMI, comes over presenting a problem. Her city in Ireland had terribly unsanitary water and many people were getting sick due to drinking it. They both get alerted that two members of The Corp came to kidnap Max. They make a make-shift sound wave blaster, where it sends noise at a certain frequency. These certain frequencies, to put it short, would make the two Corp goons poop their trousers. Yuck. That would give them enough time to make their escape. They waited patiently, and then the two Corp nerds entered. They fired the sound wave, and they instantly fell to the ground. Siobhan and Max used this time to escape.

Charl and Isabl were waiting outside, and they drove off to their next mission. Their next mission was to clean the water in Ireland. They went there, built a robot to clean and fix the wells, and they were done. They had a celebration, but there they found Mr. Zimm and a strange android named Lenard. They pulled off a plan that involved tossing flaming alcohol around and making their escape. That stalled Mr. Zimm and Lenard enough to leave the building and they successfully escaped. They then begun their second mission, bringing clean water to an Indian city. Vihaan, another one of the prodigies, helps out on this mission. He explains the problems with the city. That all the clean water was owned by a big business that sold it to the people. Vihaan's grandfather is one of the water distributers in the city that give out free clean water. 

However, the city is very corrupt so the people who work for the business bribe the police officers that protect the water distributer. When the officers are bribed, they force the water distributers to leave. This means that less people get water, and more people are forced to buy it from the business.
 In order to stop it, the gang of prodigies develop a cleaning solution, that will make all the dirt rise to the top so they can scoop it off. They did that, they cleaned it, and then they gave the water to everyone. 

When suddenly, the evil business spilled waste into the recently cleaned water, not allowing anyone to drink it. However, after a turn of events, and a very large protest, they make another water purifier, and the problem is solved.

By Andrés Díaz Mosquera, Step 8Yellow

Recommended Stories for 10th Graders


Recommendations for 10th graders

As we grow, it is time to start paying attention to what is called “classic literature”, we have matured and we are ready to incursionate into deeper waters.

As we are leaving 10th grade ourselves, we wanted to give you three completely different books to begin reading classics without it being torture.

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo:

This classic of French literature is one that EVERYONE needs to read at least once in their life. It speaks about liberty, equality, to fight against oppression, while narrating in a truly human way the situation of France post revolution.

“Do you hear the people sing? Singing a song of angry men”
― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
This book is a delight, and it is a fantastic way to begin with classics, due to the fact that it is a collection of short stories, which makes reading it so much easier. Each story leaves you a different teaching lesson and each one of them leaves you reflecting about your own life decisions and the truth of human nature. One of our personal favorites is All Summer in a Day, and it definitely is worth your time.

“Why live? Life was its own answer. Life was the propagation of more life and the living of as good a life as possible.”
― Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles

Edgar Allan Poe
As 10th graders, we have had a certain amount of experience with Edgar Allan Poe, we have read stories like The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado and The Mask of the Red Death, and if something can be said about this stories is that all are unforgettable. Once you read them, they leave a mark in you that will never fade away. Each one of Poe’s stories messes with the mind of the readers until the very last page, exposing human nature in a raw but delightful way.

“I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active - not more happy - nor wiser, than he was 6000 years ago.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

By María Camila Pinzón and Camila Orozco, Step 10

Rural Youtuber Family Receives Youtube Play Button


Rural Youtuber Family Receives Youtube Plate Button

Ending last April, the rural family made up of Nubia Gaona, her two children, Jaime Alejandro, Arley David and Luna, their pet, opened a Youtube channel as an alternative after the difficult situation that agriculture has experienced on account of the COVID-19. 

As they said at the time, with their videos they seek to sell their products and teach those who live in the cities to plant, in houses and apartments, fruits, vegetables, aromatics and many other things. The family is located in Chipaque, Cundinamarca, and the things they show are with the help of more families from the La Sabana. Nubia is the head of the household, since her husband passed away.

Familia campesina 'Nubia e Hijos' recibe condecoración de YouTube ...

Today, less than two months later, the channel "Nubia e Hijos" has consolidated on the platform, and as a result Youtube gave them the silver play button of 100,000 subscribers. This is a gift the platform gives out to their non stop content creators when they achieve such milestone as having 100,000 people watching your content. With this they look forward to encourage the creators to continue creating content.

To receive the news, the family posted a video as a thank you for their beloved subscribers and celebrated with a tutorial on how to make a "Sancocho". This is a beautiful family with amazing goals, that with the help of our country and others, will grow and achieve many more milestones!

María Camila Montes, Step 10.

Expository Essay


Conflict and Violence in Colombia

While escalating the National struggle in Colombia is attracting increasing foreign interest and involvement, these complicated relationships between drug trafficking, governmental upheaval, and the more actors involved in this cultural conflict in Colombia are often absent from the debate.

The scene outline offers a broad summary of the relation between the largest Insurgent group in Colombia, the radical armed forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, FARC), and illicit drug production and trafficking. In terms of arguments in Washington, the “narcoguerrilla” concept is used to indicate that these insurgents are great drug traffickers and The Counterinsurgency and counternarcotic processes are one and the same.

As a matter of fact, the portrayal of the guerrillas in the illegal drug industry and drug trafficking has developed over time and remains mainly focused on the revenue of illegal crops. After 40 Years of armed struggle, several futile attempts in peace negotiations, and the continual drug trade, Colombia remains plagued by force. The quality of this struggle is the consequence of the multiplicity of interests and actors involved, including the government’s official strengths, Lefts-wing insurgents- these radical armed forces of Colombia (FARC) and the often smaller human liberation army(ELN)- and extreme-right force groups. While safety issues get ranked high on the public governmental agenda, framed within the U.S-led world war on drugs and struggle against terrorism, the human rights condition remains important.

In this environment, the movement has become a multifaced topic as it embraces both legitimate and undocumented migration for economical reasons, forced internal movement, and refugee movements.

For many years, Colombia was the country most affected by violence in Latin America. The armed conflict in Colombia had political origins, but it long ago morphed into something driven far more by the drug trade than by ideology, engulfing the country in a swirl of criminal and insurgent violence that made it one of the most dangerous country.

By Keily Valdivieso, Step 9