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On this journey with the community of Pichilín during these nearly two years as a SEEDer on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, I have met marvelous people that have profoundly impacted my life with their strength in fighting for life and for justice in a territory profoundly impacted by violence and abandonment from the government.  This poem is dedicated to Yarlis, because she is an example of hope; hope in female leadership and in the value of dialogue and using words to transform conflicts into opportunities for community growth.  Yarlis gives me back my faith in transparency and honor, because despite so many necessities, she has not fallen into the political corruption that is so common in the state.  For this, and many more reasons, this poem is for her.

la foto-web edit


Woman your hands plant life

in a land stricken with death

You do not conform to injustice,

nor do you resign yourself to forgetting

Woman your voice is the voice of a people

that fight and believe in peace and justice

Woman with your brave heart

you teach the value of forgiveness

Breaking the chains of vengeance

that bind us to this cruel war

Woman that believes in the powerful force of love

for restoring fallen walls

For replacing with her arms the absence

of those who have left by force

Without losing hope you invite us to cultivate

solidarity and to work for your people.

Translated by Lani Pickard



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