Farlis: Out of War

By Lauren Espinet and Abby Helt


Meet Farlis. She is nineteen years old. Her father worked on a farm packing and picking bananas. Her mother ran a small business selling soft drinks and snacks to workers. Farlis has three siblings. Their names are Obier, Elis, and Yeleny.

Geographical Information

Apartdo is a town in the Antioqia Department. Colombia is cose to the Atlantic Ocean and it is in the gulf of Uraba. Most of the economy is based on the plantations and bananas.

What made her want to fight for change

Farlis hates war and violence very much but she loves her family so much that she would be willing to fight for them. She wants to do everything in her power to help and protect her family.

“ We have to take our chances. We can’t let fear stop us.”


For fourteen years her family lived in a small adobe house with a tin roof in a dusty compound. Farlis and her siblings had to ride on a banana truck everyday to school. In school, Farlis said that to survive you need to be loyal to your friends and not be a sapo. A sapo means toad but is slang for informer or a tattletale. In villages, sapos can get many people killed. The climate in her town is dusty and hot.

‘If you kill the father you kill part of his child as well.’

‘They did not want to remember the terrible events of war. Yet I was sure that for those who lost family members in massacres, like those of La Chinita and El Bajo del Oso, the pain would never die’

Events that influenced who she is

Events that influenced Farlis was that one of her mother’s friends was killed from violence.

Farlis met this woman Graca Machel who was studying the impact of armed conflict on children in UN. She was pleased with Farlis’s views. Also, Farlis was eventually elected the first child mayor. One more time was when Farlis’s cousin almost joins a gang.

"People in columbia would rather fight over a disagreement than talk about it. If they do talk they are only interested in proving the other person wrong not finding common ground. But how can we learn peaceful if we don’t understand what it means? No one here has ever lived in peace. We have been fighting since the time we were born and so have our parents.”

What she stands for

Farlis stands for her family, because she loves them. Farlis also stands has always hated war and violence. Farlis gave up her best friends because he was cleaning a gun. Instead of thinking of herself and her wants, she focuses on the big picture.

What Farlis has done to promote change

So far Farlis has done any things. She was elected child mayor and her and the rest of the child government organized youth groups to join communities. these consisted of basketball and soccer games. They also organized a peace carnival to get kids to realize that they are one in the same.

What Farlis wants to accomplish in the future

Farlis wants children's view on the war to be heard. She does know that children are very young but she still believes their opinions should be heard. She says they have really good ideas that need to be shared. She most of all hopes for peace. Her whole life she has lived in war. All of her generation and the one before. No kid deserves to experience the war. She did get her wish though. Only for one day. During the child election their was no fighting. But, she hopes for that alll the time.