Renouned journalist share experiences with students


Maria Camila Agudelo

Author Ricardo Aricapa speaks to student about his book “Comuna 13: Crónica de una guerra urbana” on last years event.

The forum between Grade 10 students and Ricardo Aricapa, author of the current plan lector novel: “Comuna 13: Crónica de una guerra urbana,” was held at TCS theater on March 1. 

Aricapa returned to campus for the 3rd time to share his real-life chronicles of women involved in the urban war of Comuna 13 between 2001-2003. 

“Hearing the extraordinary stories that he recorded was breath-taking, the way he was able to portray all the pain and anecdotes in the story is amusing and being able to hear all the process in detail was just a privilege,” Santiago Lopez, Grade 10, said.

The purpose was to give students an opportunity to converse with a published author whose book they have all read. Prior to the convesatorio students learned how to develop critical questions for a formal setting.

“I think our preparation before the event was the key to a dynamic conversation. I never thought that I could talk personally to an author that has gone through that much research to create his book,” Isabella Ramirez, Grade 10, said.

The conversatorio lasted 2 hours and divided into three sections: a welcome speech from AP Spanish teacher, Norberto Villa, a round of prepared questions by six student representatives, and a space for students to ask additional questions. 

“The dynamic was positive because students behaved really well, had a great attitude when listening and the conversation flowed in a very natural way,” Villa said.

Participation increased in comparison to other years with more than 26 students being active participants in the conversation. 

“I sometimes got bored during the conversation because people were repetitive with their questions, still, I think it was a valuable out-of-routine experience,” Thomas Bernal, Grade 10, said.

Questions answered in the event covered Aricapa’s motivation to write the book, the methods used to gather information, the reason behind the chosen personal stories, and the author’s opinion on Comuna 13.

“I admit I did some challenging questions that included personal facts which may be controversial, still, I believe the author was very thorough with his response leaving all my doubts solved,” Lopez said

Students should have read at least half of the book in order to participate in the forum, and were encouraged to bring notes. Aricapa’s responses would be used for later metas de lectura.

“Ricardo Aricapa was enthusiastic to receive all the questions. I believe that he responded to all the questions according to the students’ expectations which is the most important part,” Villa said.