January - February 2001
Through a special page on the UCC web site, the daily activities and images of the emergency peace delegation to Colombia from March 11-23 will be offered by journalist Andrea Cano Vargas, who will accompany the group.
"Essentially we want the readers to see, feel and perceive the experience as the delegation investigates human rights violations and the affects of $1.3 billion of U.S. military aid, and to understand from Colombians what is needed to resolve the situation," says Vargas.
She suggests that readers can prepare for these reports by learning about Colombia and Latin America through the eyes of their writers, specifically Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "One Hundred Years of Solitude" or anything by Eduardo Galeano. "In fact," she says, "the daily feeds might be called ‘Letter from Macondo,' the mystical town that Garcia Marquez refers to in ‘Solitude.'"
Vargas, who now lives in Portland, Ore., and is a member of Ainsworth UCC, served as communications director for the U.S. Office of the World Council of Churches and as communications consultant to the Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI—Consejo Latinoamericano de Iglesias). At the CLAI post in Quito, Ecador, a Common Global Ministries Board appointment, she edited the monthly Latin American Ecumenical News.
Another CGMB appointment sent her to Guadalajara, Mexico, where she helped establish the Dr. Alberto Rembao Center for Religious and Theological Studies, a bi-national project of the UCC and Mexican congregational churches that looks at critical political and social issues affecting both countries.
Prior to working with the church, Vargas worked for daily newspapers, radio and television news in Southern California. Through a fellowship from the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial, she was the first director of the California Chicano News Media Association.
Vargas currently is the director of the Microradio Implementation Project sponsored by the UCC's Proclamation, Identity and Communication Ministry Team.