Monday, December 12, 2011

La belleza de Colombia

(The Beauty of Colombia)

The nature, the people, the dignity, the pride, the food, the hospitality, and the spirit of Colombia are only some of the characteristics that made this trip unforgettable. I arrived to the city of Bogota hesitant of what was to come my way, yet I immediately found myself among some of the most admirable people I have ever met. My group and I spent our days there learning about the hidden realities of the marginalized communities in Colombia. We learned about their losses, their struggles, their memories, and more than anything, we were able to experience their courage to continue living happily and grateful. Never in my life have I seen so much poverty, and been in the presence of so much pain, yet at the same time, never in my life have I seen so much dignity and strong spirits. When we arrived to the poorest neighborhood of Bogota, my group was welcomed with smiles, a warm meal, and an eagerness to show us what beauty lied beneath their dirt roads, their unsustainable houses, their lack of resources, their reality. Their faith and drive to continue to be thankful for being alive and together was more than enough to maintain their happiness. I left Chicago unsure, nervous, and doubtful of whom I would meet and if I would be welcomed. On our way there, someone asked me if I had any role models, and my mind went blank. After leaving Colombia, I have many faces in mind.
By:Diana Hinojosa
Diana is the Bachelor's level intern at the Awakening Center. She assists with the drop-in ED support groups and is a senior at DePaul University with a psychology/journalism double major.