A Way of Being Free

Background Information

Herminsul was a 15 year old boy who lived in Boyaca. His family lived on a farm with sugarcane fields and he went to school. His family was forced off their farm and moved to the city of Bogota. His family and himself moved in with his uncle until the could buy a small plot to build on. He continues to go to school and gets a job. He had a father, mother, and four siblings. When they needed to be punished they would be hit by the father. When he was ten he would sell peas each day on the streets of the market, and he continued to do this as work. The neighborhod he lived in was dangerous. Many people were beaten and sometimes even killed if they did as much as steal something or sell on the streets.

Selling Peas


When Herminsul sold peas men called "vultures" would beat him and steal his money and merchandise. They did this because the pea sellers would take away fromt the marketers customers. Eventually, Herminsul decided to sell his peas at Plaza de Flores because he couldn't afford to lose anything else. Vultures also would beat others almost to the point of death. These events help influence him to participate in fighting for rights, especially children's rights. No one has ever verbally threatened Herminsul, but he has been robbed by the vultures which showed they didn't want him to be there.


Herminsul used the money he earned to help his family including hiself. He would give a portion of his money to his mother and kept the rest for him self. The money he kept was use to buy clothes and books for school.


A Right to Fight

Herminsul chose to fight for peace rather than sitting on the sidelines. He made the decision to fight for peace because he wanted justice in Boyaca and Bogota. He hated how the vultures beat people and nearly killed them.


Herminsul worked so hard to support the Children's Movement for Peace that he, along with others, were invited to go to Spain to recieve an award from the queen of Spain. The medal was called the Grand Order for Social Solidarity. Herminsul was "tongue-tied" when he was at the peace conference and now wished he could say more. One idea he wished to present was that the ultimate prize for the children of Colombia is peace itself.

If I had an Interview...


I f I had an interview with Herminsul I would tell him what impressed me the most about him. I was amazed when he said what he did with his money he earned. He gave a portion of it to his mother and used the majority of the rest to continue his business and pay for his school clothes and books.


One question I woud ask Herminsul is: What would you do if you were given one million dollars?

Article by:

Victoria Grantmeyer, Period 4