Sunday, 28 January 2018


By Carolina Rojas Terranova (Social Communication)

Nowadays in our families, kids of different ages only want to play familiar sports like soccer, basketball or skating. Children’s behaviour is based on the action of their parents, who normally teach them these sports. This is usually because they don’t know other sports, so many children don’t have the opportunity to try new sports such as lacrosse, rugby or ultimate.

Lacrosse has its roots in the cultural traditions of the Native American Iroquis people, who inhabited what is now New York, Pennyslvania, and other parts of the North-Eastern US. The game is played between two teams and each player uses a long-handled stick to carry the ball (called cradling), as well as pass and catch it in order to score by shooting the ball into the opponent’s goal.

New sports should have more opportunity than classic ones. But normally people think it is better to play soccer, basketball or skating because Colombian culture shows that these are traditional in our society. Children who try new sports have more opportunities to succeed or stand out. As the number of people who play it is less, it is easier to be noticed and, for example, be selected to travel to different countries to play. In the case of lacrosse, the Colombian national team has participated in three world cups: Colorado 2014, Scotland 2015 and London 2017. Another benefit is that children can explore a new culture, for example when the Colombian national team went to those events.

Therefore, it is now easier to play a new sport because you don't need any additional special skills to start playing; you only need the same abilities that you have already learnt from more traditional sports. For example, in basketball you learnt the defender position and the correct movement of the feet, and in soccer you learnt how to run longer distances and shoot at the other team’s goal.

To sum up, there are numerous advantages to practicing Lacrosse. The main idea of this sport is to meet different people and cultures and start a new adventure by learning new rules and starting to use new sports equipment, like a stick, gloves and a mouth guard. Besides, it gives people opportunities, and lets them learn different plays and try out new skills, like making a fast spread, doing a good cradle, and learn a new pick up. Everyone should give it a try!

The future of sports: the technology in our hands

Image result for professional gamers

By Kenet Sebastian Segura Murillo (Social Communication)

Today, we have the opportunity to see, through television channels, radio stations, and even newspapers, everything related to sports. Everything that has to do with the sports scene is present in our lives and we are all involved in some physical activity related to sports.

But there are other types of sports that most people do not know about. Since the emergence of new technologies and the internet, our lives have had a constant change that we continue to see today. We must bear in mind that social networks are not the only thing that has revolutionized the lives of social beings.

Since the development of video games, in the second half of the twentieth century, we have seen a lot of titles that have marked the lives of recent generations. It should be noted that although the impact of video games has been very big, it has never been taken seriously as a real sport or much less as a way of life. But thanks to the development of technology related to the world of video games, a new kind of sports has been born.

E-sports is the name of these new competitive digital sports. Thanks to the evolution of technological products, sports alternatives have increased substantially, so we now have e-sports world championships, just like the football World Cup or the Superbowl.

Games like League of Legends, Dota or World of Warcraft are the most important games in a competitive context, and the impact of this phenomenon is so big. In the case of League of Legends, perhaps the most popular e-sports game, in 2015 it had more than 35 million people watching the world championship. That year, only the Superbowl could surpass this number.

The truth is that e-sports are one of the most important sports industries in terms of content development. It is clear that new technologies are present in all aspects of life. The future is in our hands and evolves constantly.

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
-Arthur C. Clarke

Trump’s Embarrassing Diplomacy

By Duly Albarracin (FIGRI)
(Article originally published on the Libre Pensador blog:
Donald Trump has tried to take a harmonic approach to United States diplomacy, staying true to his ideals and giving little in negotiations. It’s true that the decisions taken regarding migration haven’t left a good impression in other countries, and this has been reflected in the meetings that Trump has had with representatives of the United States’ allies. Besides, the way that diplomacy has been handled with the US’ main counterweight, China, risks putting an end to a potentially prudent friendly relationship between the two countries.

Image result for trump trudeau“Friendly” visits

On the 17th of March 2017, the president of the US, Donald Trump, met with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. This meeting, even if described as fruitful by its participants, was reported by the media as “uncomfortable”. It looked like the two heads of state were miles apart from each other. And it’s not without reason. The German chancellor has declared herself to be in opposition to the migration bans that Trump has announced, and tension has also been increased by the direct criticism of Germany for its economic participation in NATO. Meanwhile, Trump has criticised Germany’s refugee policies, describing them as a “catastrophic mistake”. Despite this, the two leaders tried to remain as powerful leaders of global liberal thought, keeping the discussions and agreements to topics such as industry and free trade.

However, there seems to have been a general feeling of implicit rejection from the US’ main allies, like Canada and the UK. On the 13th of February 2017, Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, and Donald Trump met in Washington D.C., which was another uncomfortable encounter where the handshake was also conspicuous by its near absence. Why the atmosphere of this encounter was like this is still unknown, given that these are two allies with important economic and frontier ties.

The same thing happened with the UK. British citizens rejected Trump’s future state visit to the Anglo-Saxon state, putting the British government between a rock and a hard place due to this rejection of one of its main allies.

Why do the US’ relations with other countries have these two sides? One explanation could be that Trump is putting to one side the promotion of liberal values which characterise the US and which stabilise its links with other countries. Merkel is walking on quicksand by trying to maintain optimal relations with Trump despite his opposition to the reception of refugees. This has given Merkel such a good image in her country and in the European Union, for receiving the largest amount of refugees, and softening the migratory crisis which is affecting the continent. If she starts to sympathise with Trump more than is necessary, her political future will be uncertain.

The same is true with Trudeau. This head of state appears as subtly defiant, and this can be seen in the welcome to refugees that he expressed via Twitter following Trump’s first migration ban. Trudeau must play his cards skilfully if he doesn’t wish to lose his main commercial partner without disappointing his followers. After all, the defence of liberal and progressive values is what characterises the Canadian prime minister.

Along with rejecting Trump’s possible visit, the British also reject his migration ban, which forces the British government to speak out. For this reason, the UK government has adopted a critical diplomatic position which appeals to sovereignty but which leaves it clear that it doesn’t share the US leader’s position. The pressure on the government is greater, taking into account that it hasn’t been in office for long, and it faces the challenge of stabilising the country with Brexit on the horizon.

Once again, it turns out to be complex to maintain relations with the US without having to adopt a “hypocritical” position to neither cause problems for liberalism nor the alliance that relations with this country represents.

And what about the “not such good friends”?

If it has been difficult for the US’ allies to maintain diplomacy with Trump, this is even more complicated for its competitors, such as China, for example.

Relations with China have taken on various tones during Donald Trump’s campaign. At first, Trump lunged at the Chinese, who he accused of “stealing jobs from American citizens”. Trump’s government initially stood firm in supporting the One China policy, which recognises just one Chinese Government. This support changed later, after the disagreement and complaint of the Chinese government following Trump’s communication with his Taiwanese counterpart. More recently, Trump appears to have supported the policy, which can be explained by the improved handling of diplomacy with China. This then recognises the relevance which the question of Taiwan deserves.

We can see, then, that diplomacy isn’t Trump’s strength, but that it is even more difficult if his politics depend on the traditional pillars of foreign policy: support of security, development, and leadership in multilateral organisations. All of these, being liberal characteristics, can become a source of discord between the US and its allies, and this in turn will contribute even more to the American giant’s harmful isolation project.

Donald Trump needs to better shuffle his diplomatic cards if he wants to stay within the game of power. If not, others will take over the game, or, even worse, change the rules.

What’s better: comics or movies based on comics?

By Laura Evelyn Suarez Ramirez (Public Accounting)
Nowadays, there are a lot of films based on comics, for example the well-known movie Captain America: Civil War. In this film, Iron Man and Captain America face each other because of a disagreement in ideologies after some disastrous events. This is represented by a global discontent generated towards the team because of the damage caused in Johannesburg, South Africa. This resulted in a division within the Avengers team, which was divided into two. The first team was made up by Iron Man, Vision, Spider-Man, Black Widow and War Machine. The other team has Captain America, Hawkeye, Falcon, Scarlet Witch, Ant-Man and the Winter Soldier.

This film is based on the Marvel crossover “Civil War,” where a disaster occurs when a group of young super heroes called the New Warriors battle against Nitro and this causes an explosion where a lot of innocent people die. This incident makes the United States government create the Super Human Registration Act, which means that every superhuman has to reveal his or her identity to the government and can be tracked wherever they are. A lot of superheroes disagree with this act, which is why Captain America creates a team to fight against the superheroes who agree with it, such as Iron Man.

Image result for captain american civil war

One of the biggest differences between the film and the original comic is the amount of superheroes that are involved in this conflict. The most notorious difference is the appearance of the Fantastic Four and the X-Men and in the movie the only mutant that appears is Scarlet Witch, who is not a mutant in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Another significant difference is that Iron Man also recruits a group of supervillains who used for the purpose of capturing the renegade heroes.

Both the comic and the movie are critically acclaimed by the fans of the comics as much as by the fans of the movies. For me, the comic is better than the movie, because in the comic we can see more heroes, such as Wolverine, Daredevil and She-Hulk. Also, the plot is a lot better since the battles are more intense and the outcome is very different. In the comic, Captain America surrenders after seeing how the people of New York react to all the damage he has caused. But the movie is not bad at all because the movie also has a great plot, which shows the great battle in the airport, and the final battle between Captain America and Iron Man after a tough secret is revealed.

In this case the movie is almost as good as the comic, but this always depends on the studio that develops it and the story that the writers try to capture.

How should military service be managed nowadays?

By Mafe Mendoza Ramírez (FIGRI)

Military service has been, historically, a requirement for men of legal age. It is a service that men give to the state, being soldiers during a certain period of time. In most of the world’s countries, such as the United States or France, it is voluntary, but in other countries like Austria, it is obligatory. In Colombia it is obligatory too, from the moment a man reaches legal age: 18 years old. However, there are many ways to avoid doing it: paying, proving you are studying, graduating from a military school, etc. We should recognise though that the 21st century is not a time of war anymore; what it is, is a time of selfishness. That is why military service should be replaced by social service and be obligatory for everyone: both men and women.

Image result for ejercito colombianoFirst of all, it is important to recognise that the Colombian internal conflict is greatly reduced, because of the successful agreement with the FARC and the future one with ELN (the two most important guerrilla groups in the country). As a result, the amount of soldiers we need is less now, while the amount of volunteers we need for reintegration and for the reparation of victims is much more. We do not need people for war anymore: we need to help our bleeding country to heal.

With this in mind, it is time to re-educate our nation to be more peaceful and encompassing, and less violent. When we force men to be soldiers, we promote a strict, inflexible and rough lifestyle, and we teach them to be macho and insensitive. Besides, sending just men to the war gives the social message that women are weaker and not able to do these public services. Not teaching people this sort of thing is a good way to get people out of the culture of hate and get them into a culture of awareness. Social service makes people more sensitive and merciful, which is what we need right now.

In conclusion, military service is obsolete. It is not an option anymore for our country, and instead, we need a social service, which is equal for both men and women, and productive for our nation in this time of peace. Social service means helping needy people, giving women equality, and advancing to a new Colombia. 

Bungee jumping: an unforgettable experience

Image result for bungee jumping

By Geraldine Gómez (Social Communication)

Bungee jumping is an activity that involves jumping from a tall structure while connected to a long elastic cord. The tall structure is usually a fixed object, such as a building, bridge or crane; but it is also possible to jump from a movable object, such as a hot air balloon or helicopter.

Nevertheless, this is an activity that can be very risky depending on the place where you do it, so you must be responsible and know how to do it, taking into account that you need to be safe and have the right training.

In 2015 my family and I had the opportunity to have this great experience of an extreme sport in a small town called San Gil, Santander, which is a well-known place for these activities.

I remember that I felt really nervous and at the same time excited because since I was a little girl I’ve been afraid of heights and I wanted to overcome one of my greatest fears.

When I was ready to jump, the instructor placed onto me bungee equipment. We went up to the crane approximately 70 meters high: there was no turning back!

When we were up there, it was time to jump.  I looked down and the instructor screamed 3 – 2 – 1 bungee! And finally I jumped! It was one of the best sensations of my life. I felt an emptiness in my stomach and so much adrenaline, then I decided to just enjoy it.

During the jump the elastic cord that holds the person moves up and down and goes in different directions. During that time the best way to enjoy this, is to open your arms, relax and let the body just fly.

After the body passes through a feeling of emptiness, finally it comes to rest and that is when the instructor proceeds to lower the person.

Definitely extreme sports help us to break through many of the fears that we've had since our childhood. They make us change our routines, try new things and have a great experience with our friends or family.

Undoubtedly it is something that I would repeat over and over again. These are small things that you need to enjoy and have extraordinary moments in your life.

Destroyed Muisca heritage

By Valentina Moreno López (Economics)

Facatativá is one of the towns of Cundinamarca with the most indigenous heritage but the most important place is without doubt the “Stones of the Tunjo”. This is an archaeological park located in the centre of the town and is full of inscriptions of the Chibcha community that previously inhabited this place.

There are some legends about the name of the park but the most common is that of the priest who sold his soul to the devil.

According to the legend, when the priests were building the church of San Francisco de Quito they lacked a lot of stones to finish the building. So one of the priests decided to invoke the devil to ask for help and the devil agreed to bring the stones in exchange for the soul of the priest. The devil began to look for the stones and finally found them in Tunja and with the help of his army began to move the stones at night so that people wouldn’t be astonished to see flying stones. Halfway there, he stopped at Facatativá to rest and learned that the priest had changed his mind about the deal. The devil was so angry that he ordered his army to leave the stones there.

Then the Muiscas came to town and the stones were the place where they lived.

The “Stones of the Tunjo” has been one of the greatest prides of the townsfolk since the 1930s when it was declared a cultural heritage site. From that moment, it has been an object of study of this ancient civilisation and a place to discover a little more about their culture.

Also, it is the only archaeological park located in an urban center, but people don't take care of it. In recent years, this family meeting place has suffered a lot of damage thanks to the lack of care of the people who visit it.

Many families go to the park and have barbeques in the centre of it, and this smoke damages the surface of the rocks. In addition, the Chibcha inscriptions are covered with a layer of graffiti hearts with the names of lovers who think that it is very romantic to damage these historical engravings.
As if it wasn’t enough, the pond that is at the entrance of the park has received the dirty water from the neighborhood that is right next to it for many years.

But solving all these problems would be a huge expense that none of the administrations so far have wanted to assume. However, in my opinion this park is a treasure that we should all take care of.