86% of the TCS students in 11th grade are native “paisas,” and 96.5% of 11th graders have lived in Medellin most of their lives.
This is surprising due to the fact that TCS is considered an international school that promotes an international environment and international education, yet there is so little diversification in it.
It’s no secret that at TCS there are not many students from different backgrounds, and many people wonder what might be the reason. Is it the culture, the parents or the school itself?
The majority of TCS students are paisa natives or have lived most of their lives in Medellin, this has created curiosity in teachers and students on why is there so little diversity.
“Paisas have a sense of pride and love for their region and they have a unique culture,” 11th-grade student, Esteban Ramirez, said.
Jorge Vazquez, high school academic support coordinator, was born in Bogota, he worked in Nogales and know he is currently working in TCS. He claims that he loves Paisa culture and believes he has a Paisa soul but also sees the Paisas are close-minded and regionalists.
“The negative thing is that paisas are really close-minded and they are really regionalists,” Vazquez, said.
Paisa culture is perceived differently by many people, it will probably never have a clear-cut definition, but what is greatly agreed upon is that it is based on regionalism and pride.
“Paisa culture is a little closed minded, we cannot see beyond the edge of the mountain, and we are really protective of each other we want to keep it concentrated,” Gregorio Correa, 11th-grade student, said.
Many reasons have been voiced on the low diversification in the school, and students such as Correa and Ramirez have their own idea on why this might be happening. TCS is a private school, meaning that a select group of parents are in a committee known as “The Board.” This committee controls most of the decisions made on campus. When it comes to student admissions, some people believe that Paisa culture is one of the influential factors that determine whether students are or are not allowed to attend.
“I don’t think the school is against foreigners or outsiders coming into the school, but the outsiders do not want to enroll their children in the school because they have that idea of the school being close-minded,” Correa, said.
Ramirez has also claimed that Paisas are known for being regionalists and believe themselves to inhabit the best city in Colombia, he himself also believes that he is a little regionalist himself.
“The school is in Medellin and people from outside don’t usually migrate here, so the city is mainly filled with locals, and so is the school,” Ramirez, said.
As there is no clear answer to why the school is so un-diversified students and teachers have their own hypothesis and want to find an answer to this question. As the capital of Colombia is Bogota, Vasquez believes that the international diversity of Medellin can be affected by not bringing many outsiders into the city.
“Medellin hasn’t been such an international city like Bogota, just because it’s not the capital, if it was, Medellin would have people from other places,” Vasquez, said.
Students such as Ramirez don’t believe that this is a problem at all and that the school is not even involucrated in the lack of diversity but more on the culture that paisas are based on.
“If I had a chance to choose my culture again I would choose paisa culture again and again,” Ramirez, said.