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Madeleine Hart – Fulbright – Germany

Madeleine Hart (’17, Major in Psychology and Minor in German Studies) has a background in urban education, which, along with her work in conflict analysis with the Olive Tree Initiative, inspired her to pursue one of Germany’s prestigious Diversity Placements, which she received. According to Fulbright, the twenty Fellows (out of 140 total) who receive Diversity Placements are assigned to schools with “significant numbers of students with minority or refugee backgrounds,” and, like all ETAs in Germany, Diversity Program participants must “have the capacity to negotiate cultural differences and respond to challenges” in these dynamic environments.

Found below are Madeleine’s personal stories and experiences during her Fulbright:


Hello everyone!

I am writing an update at the end of month six of my ten-month Fulbright ETA grant in Germany. Currently, it is 46 degrees Fahrenheit, but the sky is blue. Everyone here is hoping for an early spring!

I live in the city of Saarbrucken, which is located on the border of France about an hour south of Luxembourg. One of the biggest adjustments for me has been living in a small city – about 180,000 people – with no major metro area surrounding it.

I work in a Gemeinschaftsschule or “community school” which is meant to bridge the gap between the traditionally segregated college-bound Gymnasiem and trade school-bound Realschulen. The grade level at my school is 5th– 13th, but I mainly work with the 8th-10th graders. My placement in Fulbright Germany is considered a “diversity placement,” so my school has a very diverse population. About 85% of my students have a “migration background,” and I have a few classes where only one or two students in the class were actually born and raised in Germany. When students feel comfortable sharing personal details, it can be a really cool education environment where students learn about each other’s backgrounds and cultures. The challenging side of this, however, is that some students do not have a solid German language foundation, causing them to have some issues learning English in a German-to-English learning environment.

My day-to-day in the classroom usually consists of either team-teaching lessons with a teacher or taking small groups of students into the discussion rooms that are attached to the classrooms and reading English language readers together. I try to use as little German as possible, so I’ve taken to drawing out scenes of the book that they don’t understand. In some classes, we’re reading Frankenstein, which is a pretty gruesome story. It’s hilarious when I attempt to illustrate the more heinous details of the story in my hastily-drawn cartoons, and it breaks up the reading for the students so we can all have a laugh.

I think the thing that has made the single biggest impression on me are some of the social problems in Germany that I wasn’t privy to before my arrival. Because of Germany’s tragic history, there is an awkwardness around the topic of race. In fact, the word “race” in German is considered taboo to even say; the generally accepted attitude is one of “colorblindness.” Yet, racism is as much a problem here as it is in the United States. As previously mentioned, the majority of my students are not German, and many of them have confided in me experiences of racism or xenophobia they’ve experienced, and I have also personally witnessed it. While trying not to see race may be a well-intentioned attempt at inclusivity, in order to address the issue head-on we need the vocabulary to talk about it effectively. To measure and address issues like housing or job discrimination, for example, governments must first acknowledge there are people from various races living in the country.

This experience has reframed for me some of the social problems that the U.S. faces. Prior to my Fulbright grant, I was quick to criticize American values and laud what I perceived as being a progressive utopia in Germany. While I still feel that our system is broken, I now have more nuanced views of both countries and see so much more possibility for change and growth in the U.S. than I did before. We are working with a blueprint for identity that is fundamentally different from the one that is used in Germany and riding the current of anti-racism toward – hopefully – some solutions. I feel so excited to come back to the U.S. as a future attorney and join the movement toward a better, more inclusive country.


Below are some of the photos Madeleine shared with us during her Fulbright —

A very elegant group photo from Saarbrucken Christmas market.

The Saar River that runs through the city (Saarbrucken means “Saar bridges”).

This is what most of the city looks like.

Some houses in the more affluent part of town.

The border of Germany and France where I bike sometimes. It says “welcome” in French on one side and in German on the other.

Joyce Nguy – Fulbright Recipient – Taiwan Experience

Joyce Nguy (’19 Political Science, Education Sciences) was awarded the Fulbright Teaching Assistantship and is currently teaching English in Taiwan. Here are a few of the many moments Joyce experienced during her Fulbright year —

Taiwan 小朋友

“Little friends,” I translate affectionately over weekly calls home to loved ones. In Taiwan, students are widely referred to us 小朋友, literally “little friends,” (a.k.a the cutest term ever). More than halfway through my Fulbright grant, little joys continue to fuel my days on an island 1/13 the size of and thousands of miles away from my home state of California.

Graduating in June of 2019 and leaving a month and a half later for August training in Taiwan was a whirlwind! I had never left home for so long. A San Diegan through and through, and then a proud Anteater, I found the transition into living in Taiwan challenging, even though I had waited for so long to go on such a big adventure. My biggest tip is to maintain your support system at home, but also be present and in the moment. I found such a great support system in the 10 other ETAs that live in my county, and have continued to lean on them and explore with them throughout the whole year.

I was placed in Changhua County, an agricultural county in the middle of the west coast. Although I originally preferred to be located in a city like Kaohsiung or Taichung, living in a quiet small city/suburb of Yuanlin City has allowed me to see a slice of real Taiwanese life. While I have easy access to all the big cities via bus or train (Taiwan is SO convenient and interconnected!), I typically enjoy staying within my county and experiencing the local culture that is hard to find in the cities. Plus, many people in my county do not speak a lot of English, which mostly presents a welcome challenge if you want to practice your Mandarin Chinese, or learn Taiwanese from the grandpas at the shops!

I currently teach at 5 schools in Changhua. My main school is Fen Yuan Elementary School, located in rural Fen Yuan Township, known for its pineapple production. Every Monday, Tuesday and Friday morning a teacher picks me up from my apartment and makes the scenic drive through the mountains and pineapple farms to take me to school. My school is considered midsized with about 400 students total, and while I primarily teach English to 5th and 6th grade, I interact with all of the students at school (1st grade – 4th grade) through my storybook class, where I teach character education and English with the help of storybooks in our library. On Wednesday’s and Thursdays, our government sends us to other schools on a rotating schedule so that we can reach as many students as possible in our short time in the country. In a typical week, I teach 18 elementary school classes, each with their own unique personality!

One of my favorite things about living in Taiwan as an ETA was getting licensed to ride a scooter during August training. With scooter culture being huge in Taiwan, scooter training is essential and built into our orientation! After getting licensed, I bought a scooter (her name is Mantis) and have been scooting around ever since. People even use their scooters to pull up to tea shops or food stalls like a drive-thru, and I have since applied my scooter experience during travel. I have rented scooters at the beach in Kenting (southern Taiwan), and even rented a scooter in Thailand during winter vacation!

My Fulbright grant has provided me with the opportunity to live and work abroad, and become part of a community that has welcomed me with open arms. There’s the egg lady, who always adds an extra egg to my bag, insisting that I eat more. There’s the director that drives me home from school, who always takes small detours on our way back so that he can show me his favorite spots in town. And there’s my LET (local English teacher), who brought me to get chocolate on a particularly hard homesick day and brings soymilk for my coffee in the morning, even when I tell her not to. Love and care for others knows no borders and have no singular language. Even though some days are harder than others, every moment of discomfort has yielded life lessons and learning. When I return to the U.S. as a graduate student at UCLA, I will carry this year with me as one of the most impactful in my life.


Below are some of the photos Joyce took during her Fulbright year —

Kissing the Sea Cow

“Fulbright Taiwan makes sure you get an immersive cultural experience. The Changhua ETAs went on a field trip to Fangyuan township, which is famous for its oyster fishing and peanuts. While there, we got to ride a cart drawn by a ‘sea cow’ into the ocean to visit the oyster farms.”

Mantis

“The day I bought my scooter with my roommate! The best investment I have ever made.”

School Culture

“I started to work with the counseling department at my school to help me with storytime! The counselor gives ‘talkbacks’ after my storytime to tie our stories into character education. For example, we used ‘The Paper Bag Princess’ to talk about gender inequality.”

Changhua Cohort

“11 ETAs live and work in Changhua county. We live together, train together, and teach together!”

Running Culture

“Taiwan is a country of runners and active aunties. The Tianzhong marathon, held in Taiwan’s ‘rice heaven,’ is a Changhua spectacle. I ran/walked the 10k to enjoy the food along the way (fried chicken, guavas, shrimp, pasta, and so much more)! One of our ETAs ran her very first half-marathon here and won first place, a Fila sponsorship, and a massage chair for her apartment.”

Storytime!

“My Local English Teacher(LET), Yinhsueh, and I in action in our school’s library.”


 

Megan Braun – Rhodes Scholar

Megan Braun: Rhodes Scholar (2010)

Since completing her master’s in International Relations at Oxford with Rhodes funding, Megan Braun (’10 History) finished law school at Yale and is currently the one Supreme Court clerk assigned to accompany John Roberts to the impeachment trial of Donald Trump. UCI in the News, UC Irvine’s news website, highlights Megan’s achievements and current involvement in the impeachment process.

Please click here to visit UCI in the News, and view Megan’s profile article.

Joyce Nguy – Fulbright Recipient – Taiwan – Application Process

Joyce Nguy: Fulbright Recipient (2019)

Joyce Nguy (’19 Political Science, Education Sciences) is currently in Taiwan teaching English as a Fulbright Teaching Assistant. In her article “The Scholarship Opportunities Program” in UCI Unfiltered, a student-run blog aiming to give an authentic snapshot of what life is like at UCI, Joyce shares her experience of working through the Fulbright application and how the Scholarship Opportunities Program was able to provide her with helpful advising throughout the process.

Before pursuing a career as a research professor, Joyce plans to attain a Ph.D. in political science in order to focus on race, ethnicity, and identity politics, especially pertaining to Asian American communities.

Please click here to visit Unfiltered at UCI and view Joyce’s article about SOP services.

Daniela Estrada – Fulbright Winner – Colombia

Daniela Estrada: Truman Recipient (’15-’16) and Fulbright Recipient (’16-’17)

Read the rest of this entry »

Pauline Ho – NSF – Honorable Mention Recipient

    Ho with Vice Provost of Teaching and Learning, Michael Dennin

Pauline recently graduated cum laude from UC Irvine with a double major in Education Sciences and Social Policy & Public Service. She came to the United States ten years ago and did not speak any English and still considers her English language skills to not be proficient. At UCI, she worked in the Digital Learning Lab under the supervision of Dr. Mark Warschauer. As an undergraduate, she presented her independent research at different local and national conferences. She has achieved a variety of academic honors such as the AERA 2017 Undergraduate Fellow, 2017 Chancellor’s Award of Distinction and the School of Social Science’s Order of Merit. She applied for the 2016-2017 National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship and received Honorable Mention as an undergraduate senior. Currently, she is pursuing her doctorate in Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.


How did I hear about the NSF fellowship?

I knew about the NSF Fellowship through my graduate student mentor. In the summer, my graduate student mentor met with me individually to discuss my future plans after UCI. At that time, I was struggling between whether I should pursue a Masters or a PhD. I was very passionate about doing research, but I was worried that I was not ready. At that time, I also didn’t know my research interests.  My main interest is to help English Language Learner (ELL) students like me do better in school. After a long conversation with my mentor, she told me about the NSF fellowship. At that moment, I thought “applying for a national fellowship – am I even qualified?”

I’m very thankful that I had the opportunity to work at the SOP office as a student intern during my undergraduate time. Through this position, I realized the application process can be overwhelming, but rewarding. I heard stories about students who went through the process and received awards and students who didn’t get the award but received acceptance to grad school. I know that it was not just about getting the award, it was also the process and the growth. Therefore, I decided to give it a try.


What resources have you used when preparing your application?

My mentor provided me with a variety of resources on campus – past winning applications, some books about Science Motivation, etc. From my experience working at SOP, I know that applying for competitive scholarships can be overwhelming. So I actively reached out for more resources and guidance.

As I was working closely with my mentors, I reached out to Michelle and Courtney to get their advice on my NSF application. They read through my application essays carefully and provided many helpful comments. Their expertise in helping students apply for national scholarships gave me a realistic perspective on my qualifications and applications. By the time I submitted my application, I was on the ninth draft of both essays.


What did you learn or gain from the process?

Throughout the process of revising my research proposal, I also figured out my plan for after graduation – I want to pursue a doctoral degree and conduct research. As I was working on my application, I was challenged to think about the intellectual merit and broader impacts of my research. I realized that I can contribute to the literature as well as make an impact in society. That’s exactly what I want to do with my life. Therefore, I went on and submitted my applications for several PhD programs. I used my NSF personal statement and revised it for my graduate school applications.

After spending over four months working on my application, I was honored to receive Honorable Mention. Even though I’m not getting the financial support from NSF, the skills that I gained from the application process are very useful. I was accepted into the number one ranked PhD program in Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and recieved full-funding.


Tips for students who are interested in applying for the NSF.

If you have the research experience, give it a try! It doesn’t hurt to try, and you will grow a lot throughout the process. Given that it is very similar to graduate school applications, it is not too time-consuming because you don’t need to write a completely different essay. Instead, if you are serious about graduate school, start on your NSF application in the summer. Get a lot of help from your advisor and the SOP staff. Then, by the time you submit for grad school, you will have a strong application. If you are not sure about grad school yet, still give it a try in the summer. NSF really challenges you to think deeply about your research and what you want to do as a researcher. The intellectual merit and broader impacts criteria will make you think more seriously about your research interests. The amount of work to prepare a strong NSF application is very similar to the level of work that you should be doing in grad school as well. So if you can manage the process or learn to manage the process early, you are more ready for grad school.

Sunny Liu – Fulbright Winner – Nigeria

Sunny graduated from UCI in 2015 as a magna cum laude graduate having triple majored in Public Health, International Studies, and Anthropology. Sunny was a recipient of the Chancellor’s Award of Distinction and awarded the School of Sciences’ Order of Merit Award. Sunny was awarded the Fulbright Scholar Program in 2015-16 to conduct public health research in Nigeria. Additionally, she served in the Peace Corps for the Community and Youth Empowerment Project in Fiji. Her research interests include immunology, epidemiology, disaster medicine, and the emergency response to Ebola. She plans to earn a doctorate in Global Health as well.

http://www.socsci.uci.edu/files/news_events/2015/liu,%20sunny_220.jpg


Nigeria seems like an odd choice for those applying for a Fulbright Scholarship. The statistics says it all. The majority of Fulbright applicants choose their destination in the Western Hemisphere or in emerging economic powerhouses in the East. Additionally, Nigeria’s international reputation is tainted by news stories that reduces the country to a few keywords: Boko Haram, abductions, political instability, economic recession, and corruptions.

To have the words “Nigeria” and “good” in the same sentence is highly unusual. Therefore, I was not surprised to find many puzzled faces when I announced my departure to Nigeria in late March to embark on a journey of curious discoveries.

In my previous trips to Africa, I ventured on a life-changing journey to Kenya. Then, as a naive teenager, I was stunned by the beauty of Kenya and its people. Like many Americans and people from other parts of the world, I assumed that the word “Africa” is synonymous with disease, poverty, and suffering. My experience in Kenya was a life changing one where I found my passion and direction in life undergoing a paradigm shift. I longed to return to Africa with greater humility, knowledge, and skills.

My first impression of Nigeria came from Nigerian authors such as Uzodina Iweala and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. These author’s work challenged the West’s stagnant and biased view of Nigeria as the most populated country on the African continent.Iweala and Adichie told the true story of Nigeria through shedding light on the richness of Nigerian history, portraying the diversity within their culture, and highlighting the complexity of their social issues.

Following the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Lagos (a metropolitan center with a population of over 22 million), Nigeria became the poster child of the international public health community overnight. I arrived in Lagos with little expectations and much hope to learn about a country as culturally diverse as Nigeria. However, there were many obstacles awaiting me. Despite these obstacles, my Fulbright experience has become an opportunity for self-reflection, discovery, and character building.

Sara Arellano, Fulbright Winner, Blog Post #3: Research findings and reflections

Trigger warning: This post contains summaries of research findings on sensitive topics such as forced displacement and domestic violence.

In my prior blog I shared the sense of community between family, friends, and neighbors, and the willingness of a majority of the public to assist each other with directions when they are lost, and the common practice of businesses and people sharing food with those whom are less fortunate. Medellín rests within a valley surrounded by beautiful mountains. These are the qualities of Medellín that I absolutely love.

Sara’s friend Bladimir serves lunch with 5 different dishes

As beautiful as Medellín is, the topic of my Fulbright Scholarship U.S. Student Program Fellowship is violence against women. Violence against women is not a problem unique to Colombia, but rather a global problem that international and nongovernmental organizations have grappled with for decades. Another component of my investigation focused on how does race and ethnicity impact a woman’s access to resources, which was a challenge, because the entities in Medellín that collect data on victims of violence do not code race and/or ethnicity.

My research was conducted within the context of the Colombian internal armed conflict, where close to 8 million Colombians have been directly affected (Red Nacional de Información, October 26, 2016). Although a peace accord between the Colombian Government and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia–Ejército del Pueblo was passed by Colombian Congress in December of 2016, forced displacement continues, as some demobilized armed actors have reformed, and/or joined criminal gangs (referred to as BACRIM for bandas criminals by the Colombian Government).

Conference with various womens’ organizations, including Ruta Pacifica de las Mujeres

I have interviewed Afro-descendant, indigenous, and mestiza women whom were victims of intra-familial violence, and also experienced forced displacement, and/or had relatives assassinated by armed groups. During my research I realized the revised 1991 Constitution of Colombia impacts the security of indigenous women, as Article 246 specifies indigenous communities have the right to self-govern. A consequence of protecting indigenous culture and tradition has resulted in confusion, as to when Colombian ordinary law supersedes indigenous internal law. Thus, laws designed to protect women from intra-familial, non-partner, or sexual violence often exempts crimes that were committed within indigenous communities (Escobar, Maria Roldån 2015, “In the backyard of indigenous justice-Weakness of communities” El Tiempo).

Comments from interviews I conducted with indigenous women organization leaders suggest indigenous community authorities (whom are usually men) do not resolve the issues of violence against women with consistency, or to the satisfaction of the victim.

Hilda Liria Domicó Bailarín from the indigenous community Embera Eyábida

Within the Afro-descendant population there is a strong culture of silence, which is similar to the indigenous culture. I was advised by several Afro-descendants that they do not speak about intra-familial or sexual violence with “outsiders” or those who do not share their same skin tone. Based on my research, I believe this is due to the exclusion of, and discrimination against generations of Afro-descendants, which has resulted in distrust of “outsiders”; furthermore, there does not appear to be equal employment of Afro-descendants in the entities that provide resources for victims, which may further exacerbate their unwillingness to use available resources.

I propose race and ethnicity does impact a woman’s access to resources. Race and ethnicity have a historical context in the social and political structure of each subpopulation, which has an affect on their decision to reach out to available resources after an assault. Based on participant responses, Afro-descendants and indigenous women do not encounter blatant discrimination when reaching out to resources within the Municipality of Medellín; however, my research involved a limited sample size (30 participants).

CERFAMI (Centro de Recursos Integrales para la Familía​) social workers

Providing statistics on race and ethnicity would provide important demographic data for research groups and organizations interested in understanding the scope and dimensions of victimization for a specific subpopulation. Disregarding this information underscores the ideology of “mestizaje”, where all Colombians are considered one mixed race (Wade, Peter 2005, “Rethinking Mestizaje: Ideology and Lived Experience”; Dulitzky, Ariel E. 2001, “A Region in Denial: Racial Discrimination and Racism in Latin America”).

Multiple dynamics exist within Colombian civil society that exacerbates the vulnerability of women. The intersectionality of the internal armed conflict, culture, socioeconomic status, and the politics of law compounds the realization for women to reach equality, equity, and a life free from violence.

The author, Sara Arellano, and her friend, the late poet Jhony Arenas

My Fulbright experience has impressed upon me the magnitude of the internal armed conflict, however, I have also witnessed the strength, resilience, and hospitality of the people of Medellín, Colombia. The friends I have made, and my positive international experience has enhanced my professional and academic development, for which I will always be eternally grateful to all who supported me (UCI professors & SOP, and friends & family).

Sara Arellano: Fulbright Winner, Blog Post #2: A Sense of Community in Medellín

Living in Medellín, Colombia is a wonderful experience. In the area I live, and where my friends live, there is a strong sense of community. The employees of the local stores and restaurants know their customers by name, and they greet each other warmly or chat about food, family, and/or politics. The people are very kind, and willing to offer their assistance to help each other. I have made many friends within the community where I live, as well as near the Universidad de Antioquia.

my-new-colombian-family-i-am-in-middle-my-daughter-is-to-rightSara Arellano (middle) with her daughter and new Colombian family

I decided to spend the holidays in Colombia to fully experience the Colombian holiday culture. In Colombia, approximately 80-90% of people are Catholic, which is evident in their Christmas traditions. Emphasis is placed on the Nativity scene. Also, it is the Baby Jesus who brings children gifts, not Santa Claus. Most families make natilla, which is similar to flan. I spent the New Year with one of my Colombian friends and her family. They sprinkle and toss lentil beans at each other to bring prosperity. There were many people in the streets cooking sancocho (a stew) in huge pots over open fire, while music played and some people danced in the street.

don%cc%83a-rosa-y-sancochoDoña Rosa y sanchocho

It is evident that many people are not living in the best socioeconomic situation, and they are acutely aware of the political problems of their country (based on numerous conversations). However, they appear to be enjoying what is most important in life, as I have witnessed the significance that is placed on cultivating ­­their relationships with their families and neighbors. Medellín, Colombia is an excellent location to experience a rich and rewarding cultural exchange, and there are many other beautiful pueblos that are 2-4 hours away by bus and are great to visit as well!

my-friends-fam-i-am-in-red-shirt-smSara Arellano (red shirt) with a friend’s family

Sara Arellano: Fulbright Winner, Blog Post #1: A Historic Day for Colombia

Editor’s Note: Sara G. Arellano is a recent graduate, past participant in the UCDC and Summer Undergraduate Research programs, and winner of the Fulbright Study/Research grant to Colombia. She was a transfer student and has lobbied state representatives as a Legislative Intern for ASUCI. She plans to conduct research on victims of domestic violence in Medellín. After Fulbright, she plans to earn a Master’s in Public Policy or Juris Doctorate and enter a government career.

arellano_1

Wednesday, August 30, 2016, a historic day for Colombia. After experiencing over 50 years of an internal armed conflict between the Colombian Government and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia–Ejército del Pueblo (FARC–EP) the two sides successfully negotiated an agreement for peace. President Juan Manuel Santos approved Decree Number 1390, which provides for the plebescito to be placed before the citizens of Colombia. The plebescito will have one question, “¿Apoya el acuerdo final para terminación del conflicto y construcción de una paz estable y duradera?” which translates to, “Do you support the agreement to terminate the conflict, and the construction to establish a stable and lasting peace?” (El Tiempo). The available options are “Sí” or “No” for the citizens to approve or reject the peace agreement between the Colombian Government and the FARC-EP. The plebiscito, which is similar to a bill/referendum, will be voted on the 2nd of October 2016. The actual agreement was finalized in La Habana, Cuba, and contains 297 pages—the product of four years of negotiations between the Colombian Government and the FARC–EP. The document mandates a bilateral ceasefire, addresses land reparations for those forcibly displaced, settlement of contested land titles, economic development, as well as numerous complicated and highly sensitive issues (especiales.semana.com).

SA - Blog Photo 3 - Ruta Tejendo

Coincidentally, Ruta Pacifica de las Mujeres, the organization that is collaborating with me on my research, held their monthly “plantón” on that same day, August 30th at Parque Berrio plaza in Medellín, Colombia. The “plantón” is a gathering of women who demonstrate for an end to violence against women and advocate for a peaceful resolution to the armed conflict. As I witnessed the demonstration, one woman sat silently “tejendo” (crocheting) as approximately seventy women, and several children and men formed a protective circle around her. At her side was a silhouette of a woman, and on the ground next to her was a large round sign made of raw corn kernels and beans that prominently displayed the word “SI” (Yes, for the plebscito). The woman “tejendo” symbolized the weaving of life, as well as the weaving of Perdón, Resistencia, Memoria, Verdad, Esperanza, Justicia, Reparación, NO Repetición, and Vida (translated as Forgive, Resistance, Memory, Truth, Hope, Justice, Repair, NO Repetition, and Life) which were the additional signs that were displayed one by one by different women, and subsequently attached to the “SI” sign. The demonstrators chanted slogans, and sang songs for a “SI” vote. After approximately one hour the demonstration ended peacefully.

Several Colombian citizens I have spoken with have questioned as to how the FARC–EP will be integrated into civil society, as well as concerns regarding the remaining armed paramilitary and organized criminal groups such as the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia, Ejército de Liberación Nacional, and the bandas criminales, also referred to as BACRIM. However, several women whom I have spoken with advocate for a “Sí” vote, as they believe it is the best alternative. In the next several weeks leading up to the plebscito, there will be numerous peaceful demonstrations strategically conducted throughout the city by the network of women organizations based here in Medellín, as they advocate for a “Sí” vote. They strongly believe a “yes” vote will end the over fifty-year armed conflict in Colombia, which will allow the beautiful people of Colombia to begin a new phase, as they strive for a path for peace.

Sara Arellano - Blog Photo 1 - Ruta

Sara G. Arellano
Fulbright U.S. Student in Medellín, Colombia, 2016-2017
B.A. Political Science, University of California, Irvine

El Tiempo.com. August 30, 2016. Política. Proceso de Paz. “Oficial: esta es la pregunta para el plebiscito por la paz”.
http://www.eltiempo.com/politica/proceso-de-paz/plebiscito-por-la-paz-pregunta-del-plebiscito-por-la-paz-en-colombia/16686937

Semana.com. September 1, 2016. Recomendado del Editor. “El Acuerdo Para Terminar La Guerra”.
http://especiales.semana.com/acuerdo-para-la-paz/