Main characters

Sandra Liliana Rios

Sandra has been working with the people from local community since high school. Together with her schoolmates she was helping to deal with the problem of youth violence. Later on she used to work with kids and women in Fe y Alegria foundation. At that time she also got involved in the participatory budgeting as a local leader. After few years she started working for the municipality as dinamizadora - the intermediary between local community and municipality in the process of participatory budgeting and planning. Sandra became our guide, and a friend who was patiently answering all our questions. Even after 18 hours’ work at asambleas barriales she still had time to answer our questions about the whole process, make sure we are not hungry, and take care of our transport back home.

Adriana Giraldo Soto

Adriana Giraldo Soto, also known as Americana, lives in the Jesus neighborhood. She was our first guide, and the first person who believed in our movie. Since then, she has always been very supportive. Adriana has been working for the local community for many years. Currently, she is working in the field of culture and environment conservation, mainly in the neighborhoods located on the top of Commune 9 (District 9). She is a huge fan of all Commune 9 hip-hop squads.

Nidia Montes

Nidia is the president of social organization working for a local community in Gerona neighborhood. She mainly works with kids. She is also active in the field of women rights. Quite shy at the beginning, Nidia turned out to be the person with enormous knowledge of her neighborhood.

Elena de Arco

Dona Elena lives in the Los Cerros neighborhood, in a sector called La Pastora. She is a co-founder of dance group for seniors and an animator of community’s cultural life. Due to the participatory budget funds and the support of her neighbors, she managed to build a community center called Club de Vida – a place where all members of the community can gather. For sure one can call her a local heroine as we had heard about her a long before we actually met her. She opened Club de Vida for us, and allowed us to observe and record all the events that took place there. When we finished, she assured us that La Pastora is a place where we are always welcome.

Doris Guzman

Doña Doris was one the founders of an illegal settlement that is now known as the  “8 de marzo” (8th of March) neighborhood. She has been a leader of her community for more than 20 years now. Roads, pavements, school – all of those would have  not be build, had it not been for her contribution. Presently she is focused on providing young people who want to continue education with financial support.

Johnatan Marin

Johnatan is one of the younger leaders of Communa 9 engaged in the participatory budgeting. He is a founder of “Interactuando con la 9” magazine, he also works for local media. Apart from that he works helps to teach computer skills to the members of the local community. Johnatan is an extremely busy person so it took us a few weeks to set the date for an interview. We were impressed by his vast experience, and an ability to provide critical analysis of Medellin’s participatory budgeting.  As one of few people among those we interviewed, Johnatan told us about the challenges young people face when they want to start working for the local community.

Teobaldo Caraballo

Teobaldo Caraballo used to participate  in activities organized by the Medellin municipality. Currently he works with young people in the Secretary of Human Right and animates cultural life in Communa 9. He is also a member of Real Esencia – a music band  which songs we used in the movie. Teo is a role model for many artists in Communa 9, and he is very supportive for his younger friends. We used to meet him at every concert, every dance performance and every festival in Communa 9 during the 5 months we spent there.

Rap del Vientre

The group was created in 2010. It consists of S.Aguinaga, Daba and Smack. They have their own recording studio where recently they recorded a new album called: “Coctel de Ideas” (“Coctail of Ideas”).  Every Thursday they meet in the Milagrosa park to freestyle with other local rappers. We accompanied them with the camera during one of these events.

Los Ingenieros

Music group of five afro-Colombians from “8 de Marzo” – the neighborhood located at the highest point of Commune 9. They call their music “Urbano Pacifico” – a fusion of reggaeton, hip hop, rap and traditional Colombian music. We saw them singing and dancing during local concerts, district’s participatory event, and even during a national concert.