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Café Español Conducts Conversation with Columbian Activist

On October 20, 2010, Daira Quiñones Preciado , an advocate against the exploitation of natural resources, the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, and paramilitary actions, spoke in the basement of Union Church, then addressed a small circle of students at Café Español, a meeting held entirely in Spanish.

Daria Quinones Preciado at Cafe Espanol 2010

Berea’s Café Español hosted the Columbian activist and manager for an organization in Bogotá, Colombia called Fundación Arte y Cultura del Pacífico which is loosely translated as the Art and Culture of the Pacific Foundation.
Café Español is managed by the Hispanic Outreach Project (HOP), one of several student-led programs in Center for Excellence in Learning Through Service (CELTS). As part of earning an Active Learning Experience (ALE) credit for Fred de Rosset’s Spanish 310 class, Franceska Mehmeti is this semester’s volunteer who helps coordinate and run the sessions.
Café Español does a variety of activities that include playing games, cooking and listening to music. The goal of Café Español is to practice Spanish and Daira Quiñones Preciado helped provide one of the best opportunities for Berea students to do just that. Having Preciado speak in her own accent and tell her own story was a great way for students to really take in the idea of a Spanish speaking world.
Preciado is extremely knowledgeable about Colombia and its past, especially with issues concerning its present state. Preciado and her translator Melissa Cox work with a group called Witness for Peace, an organization that works to help activists in Latin America and the Caribbean, focusing especially on issues that are influenced by international policies and treaties formed or adopted by the United States.
A delegation from Witness for Peace is working to connect Appalachia and Columbia by working together against mountaintop removal in Appalachia and the problems of para-military control and ownership of resources that face Columbia. Berea was happy to have Preciado come for Café Español. The college looks forward to future collaborations between working against Mountaintop Removal here in the United States as well as abroad.
From May 31 through June 10, 2011, Avi Chomsky, daughter of linguist Noam Chomsky, will lead the group on an international tour to Columbia.

Relevant Links
For more information in Café Espanol contact Carol Brobeck, carol_brobeck@berea.edu
http://witnessforpeace.live.radicaldesigns.org/index.php
http://www.amdae.org/

For more information about Daira Quiñones Preciado and her cause watch the following video that tells a small portion of her story:
http://witnessforpeace.org/daira

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