Friday, July 22, 2016

Faces of Repelón: The Musician

Music is something that I enjoy on a a personal level. I have played piano since I was eight and was a part of some musical ensemble from junior high until my junior year of college. I love making music by taking black and white dots on a piece of paper and turning them into something melodic and beautiful. Here in Repelón, I am not the only one who loves creating these sweet harmonies. One of my students, Selene Carrillo Polo, uses her alto saxophone to express herself musically.


Born in Repelón, Selene grew up in a loving family that consisted of her and her two brothers. Her parents were great teachers of values, helped explain her homework when she had doubts, and pushed her to do her best in school, knowing that education was a gateway to her future. During her childhood, Selene loved playing with her dolls, winning first place in various competitions and activities in primary school, and participating in local parties and festivals.

During school, she remembers having a great time participating in classes and other activities. It was during this time that Selene developed a deeper love and appreciation for music. She took up the alto saxophone during high school and hasn't looked back since. Currently she is a member of a local muscial group that performs for various holidays, festivals, and other special events around town.


Following her graduation from high school, Selene would travel daily to Cartagena to take nursing and technology systems classes at Fundación Boscania Caribe. Along with her studies, she continued to make time to enjoy numerous fiestas and continue with her music. Currently, Selene is a secretary at the Centro de Vida del Adulto Mayor here in Repelón. Here, she helps to better the lives of the older citizens of the pubelo through various programs, activities, and campaigns.

When it comes to pubelo life, Selene absolutely loves the cultural and weekly parties. Participating in the local band brings copious amounts of joy to her life, as she plays alongside her father and one of her brothers. Like many other locals, the high temperaturas, lack of overall development, and a sense of lost culture amongst the farmers are things that she wishes would change.


However, Selene does see some minor improvements that are being put in place to better the life of the local citizens. One initiative is the fixing of many of the major streets that run through town. By turning these once mud traps into viable and usable modes of transportation, the inhabitants of Repelón are able to move around town easier and with less problems. Despite this attempt at creating a more accessible pubelo, there is still more to do. She sees the lack of a superior education in the local schools as a major problem. Many students are not driven to continue their education after graduation and to Selene, this could lead to problems further down the road.

When it comes to the United States, Selene views this country as a beautiful country that has many opportunities to offer. Technology has been developed in a way that makes it easy to communicate both locally and globally. Finally, the greatest reason, in her opinion, that the USA is so important on a global scale is because of its language: English. Selene sees and feels that English is a portal to a brighter future and a better tomorrow.


Whether it is in the classroom or on the stage, Selene is leaving her mark on the people of Repelón. With young, dedicated, and motivated people like her around, the future of this pueblo and Colombia as a whole is bright and promising!