“My urge to rebel and to teach were born when I asked myself why Colombian history ignored women.” Tila Uribe began teaching basic literacy at the beginning of the 1960s. Accused of subversion, she remained in prison for four years. After her liberation, she took her teaching experience to Nicaragua, invited by the Sandinista government. In 1985, she founded, in Bogota, the Centre of Labor Studies and Research (Cestra). It promotes the education of trade union members and rural workers focusing particularly on the elderly.
“The first thing I did in my life was to found a newspaper in my school,” remembers Tila Uribe, a Colombian woman, born in 1931. At that time, when women were just educated for marriage, she constantly asked herself: “Why are women excluded from our history?” In the beginning of the 1960s, while she was rearing her children, she joined the groups organized by Camilo Torres to teach literacy skills to the people from the poorest neighborhoods in Bogota. Accused of subversion, due to her work teaching in the mountains of Antioquia, she spent four years in prison, in the place where her husband and her oldest son were also imprisoned. After they were liberated, the married couple published the book ‘From the inside’–a narrative about their experiences in prison. In 1990, the book was translated into French. With this book, the details of the struggle of the Colombian people became known in Europe. As a result, she was invited by the Sandinista government to bring the benefits of her teaching experience to the revolution. “When we finished writing the ‘Mathematics for adults’ teaching cards, I handed them over to the caricaturists, to the illustrators. I called the main character of the scheme Rosita, but the artists changed the name and called her Tila. Years later, I found out that in the North of Nicaragua, a lot of women were christened with my name.” She published the book ‘The hidden years: dreams and rebellions of the twenties’–which today is a reference at Colombian Universities. At the same time, she took on the post of Head of the History department at the National School for Female Leaders of Trade Unions. In 1985, she founded, in Bogota, the Centre of Labor Studies and Research (Cestra). It promotes the education of trade union members and rural workers focusing particularly on the elderly.
Center of Labor Studies and Research (Cestra)