2017: 50th anniversary of the «One hundred years of solitude»


(En español aquí) In may 1967, one of the most important works of the Hispanic-American´s literature: One hundred years of solitude was published by the lovely Gabriel García Márquez, Colombian, who was born in 1927 in Aracataca. He wrote more than one hundred novels, in addition to movie scripts, translations, reports, interviews, speeches, theater plays, stories, etc.

English translation by Joe Barcala, With the help of Jesús García Barcala

One hundred years of solitude

With his very peculiar narrative style, Gabo give us this jewel that fascinates everyone, makes us laugh and moves us to the extreme. It allows us to dream and enter in the Buendía´s life: José Arcadios, Aurelianos and others who claim to latin american world in its beliefs, customs, dramas and colours.


It is the time of the “Boom” of Hispanic-American literature and Gabriel is found in all the canonic lists as one of its most representative writer. He won the Nobel Prize of literature in 1982, precisely because this marvelous novel, which well deserves a new reading to those who have already enjoyed it, in this uncertain and mysterious 2017 which comes to us with a noisy arrival.

One hundred years of solitude


Enjoy each one of the adventures could help us create new imaginary worlds, full of fantasy, like women rising to the sky, 4 year storms, babies carried by ants and ghosts following their killers, all of this wrapped in a magical-realistic story which summarizes the foundation of a town, the arrival of progress, from the visits of gypsy Melquiades to the yellow butterflies over Mauricio Babilonia.


This first 50 years has converted to One hundred years of solitude (Cien años de soledad) in an icon of the good contemporary literature and to his author, Gabo, in one of the best narrators in history.

Teachers are not just teachers, nor followers of bureaucratic programs



(Spanish version here) A teacher walks through the knowledge of many sciences and theories without accepting one in particular; His role Is not to defend scientific positions, but to expand their diffusion and to question their postulates, evidencing the deficiencies of theories. A teacher shows his students the way to understand knowledge, to research, sowing in them the interest in study, so that they learn to evaluate and improve, to experiment with them and to document their discoveries with scientific rigor. A teacher should not assume the defence of a particular position, but must commit to disseminate any of the arguments so that the student decides what his position will be; In particular, the teacher should show students the method to discover new knowledge and to question, doubt and test their premises, inviting his students not to be satisfied with incomplete results, with half-truths.

English translation by Joe Barcala, With the help of Jesús García Barcala

The teacher would only be a professor if he did not show values. He/she is a watchman of human well-being, of its potential, defender of the truth, responsible with its social relationships and the environment. He does not impose knowledge, he loves it. When a child or young person asks, the teacher is not satisfied with a simple answer. He/she is able to show the wide range of possibilities, leaving more questions open for students to understand their environment, their history, methods and possible future learning alternatives. This is best understood by an example: “Teacher, who discovered America?” The response of a professor would be Christopher Columbus. That of a professor would go much further. From the path that the ancestors took to cross the Bering Strait, colonization to the south, the different versions of other northern peoples such as the Vikings, the social conditions that prompted Columbus to create new trade routes, the cultural imposition of The conquest, the plunder of American wealth, the enslavement of the peoples at the service of the various crowns …

A teacher does not give a conclusion, allows the student to arrive at his own definitions of truth, take the lessons of the past and postulate them in a personal future based on the wide and diverse knowledge. This way of teaching will lead them to become more interested in humanity, to be responsible with their environment, not to comply with half-truths, to create new research and to understand that the subjects of study are multidisciplinary, involving a great number of ethical factors, historical, scientific, cultural, artistic, sociological and much more.

Teaching values

The teacher lives and teaches values, but does not impose them. His main interest is in continuous learning, because he loves knowledge, he makes incursions day by day into new challenges and thus infects his students. Always invents new strategies so that the student is interested and takes scientific positions at any level. Therefore, he is secular; Can not and should not assume specific moral values ​​in the classroom. It would be like being in favor or against Christopher Columbus. The teacher rather watches over history and humanity from a much higher point of view, avoiding cultural biases or boundaries. He can not opt ​​for Mohammed or Christianity, for it recognizes its origins and the present confrontations. And he may have children sitting at the desks at the same time; He puts interest in knowing history, to value its postulates, to recognize its influences on the world’s geography; It will be the student who decides his interest in one of them or assumes a more futuristic, sociological or cultural human vision.

Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Teachers does not defend a political party either; He understands that ideologies converge and diverge at different times. Nor is he a supporter of extremism of the left or right, of imperialism or nationalism. He teaches his students to evaluate the pros and cons of the positions of each political institute and guides them in their research to question the influence of each one, to doubt their fallacies and to recognize their successes.


For all the above reasons, the teacher should not assign tasks but guide the interest of the students that he generates; The task is imposed by the pupil himself, satisfying the curiosity that the teacher causes daily. Research should not be tasks, but formulas to find the truth, the constant becoming of a student whose interest increases as he advances in his ideals of life. Curricula in this regard are nothing more than mere references that guide new teachers in the pupils’ learning map and not a narrow box of methodical regulation. What does a teacher learn? Double and for each student. He follows the steps of each one’s research as well as understand the part of the process in which they find themselves and the very personal way to face the truths and to cross each one’s investigation routes. The teacher, in short, should be the most important person in human communities and not the degrading bureaucratic people who they have become in many cases.

Truths about atheists that believers get wrong


(Spanish Version here) Af year and a half ago I published the novel The atheist priest (El sacerdote ateo). Since then, I´ve been attentive to the comments people make about it, and I have seen that believers do not understand at all the concept of atheism. I found wonderful people who are believers and, nevertheless, they understand the matter very little. Many of them think atheists were sent by the demon in person to cause temptation of sin and condemn us for all of eternity. That is why, I have prepared a list of answers to common questions. I hope it gives you a clear idea. You can comment at the end if you have doubts or comments.

What is an atheist?

Is a person who have decided not to believe in a divinity, in no one, of any kind. The Word has greek roots: “a” = without and “teo” = god, it means: without god.

English translation by Joe Barcala, With the help of Jesús García Barcala

Why there are atheist?

Universal symbol of atheism

It would be the same answer to another questión: “Why there are believers?” Simply, because every person has decided to believe or not believe, in each case. To stop believing when someone has been a believer in some kind of divinity from childhood isn’t easy either. It needs a long process of introspection, not a few days or weeks. It´s necessary too, a great dose of honesty with oneself and, of course, to have clear information, because the tricks and self-delusions usually win the battles.

A believer is used to survive with unverified information, because faith is precisely that; «Without hesitation» would be a good synonym of faith. They have no problem receiving with open arms any data that «feels» right, without testing.

Atheists, instead, are mostly skeptical people, that is, they doubt everything. They try to verify every set of information that comes into their hands, to know the source, to compare data, make an analysis, infer or generalize, so that the argument in passes the hardest tests. If this is not entirely clear for a believer, an example would be to believe in the government. Do you believe everything they say? It is easier to understand this. I guess.

Will atheists be condemned?

According to the version for believers, atheists will obviously go to hell without hesitation. God, the character who is “offended” – if that could happen- by the way of that behavior, will not even pass judgment. But what happens is that the atheist do not believe in another life, nor in god, nor in angels, nor in a final judgment. Not even in the demon. When they die, their consciousness says, according to their beliefs, that the spotlight goes off and there is nothing else. That´s why they are not afraid of warnings of damnation.

Are the atheist a sinners?

According the Catechism of the Catholic Church, to commit a sin, three requirements must be fulfilled: 1) Enough knowledge about the sin, 2) Enough conviction and 3) It has to be a serious matter. An atheist can´t sin because he fails in the number 2, although he complies with the other two points. He does not believe in a god, so he does not believe in the rules, nor in the commandments, or in anything like that. By the way, they do not believe in churches of any kind either, because they´re convinced that there is no god, that he does not exist. An institution to helps in salvation is not necessary.

Do atheist have values?

This is one of the most recurring doubts. Generally, people focus their interests in life’s concepts: god, love, friendship, family, humanity, money, greed, etc. There is no need for a god or a religion to have values. In fact, 33% of humanity lacks any kind of deity, they are atheist or do not follow any religion. Atheist countries (Nordic by example) are generally peaceful, have great scientific advances, have low crime and high quality of life. But I do not mean with it that countries with believers are not.

Do atheist have emotions?

As every human being, they are hurt by aggressions, they hate lies, they cry out of courage, and so on. They should not be different from each other.

Do they intend to convince me of their atheism?

Like believers, there are people who travel door to door calling others to “conversion” following their god or prophet. In the same manner, some atheist are ready to convince more people to their ideologies. But not all believers are looking for converts, nor all the atheist are founding “atheist religions”.

Do they believe in Jesus Christ?

This is another question that bothers believers that I´ve found. Of course not. Atheist does not believe in Jesus of Nazareth as a son of God because they don´t believe in any god. In any case, some consider him as a leader of his time.

But most of them, not even believe in his historic life, he didn´t exist; histories about a messiah comes from cultures before Jesus, a long time before. Three thousand and two hundred years b.C., in Egypt, people revered Horus, God of Sun, born on December 25th, from a virgin woman, fertilized by god, and her husband had to accept. Three magicians visited Horus when he was born and suffered persecution, he escaped to the temple at the age of 12 to give religious instruction, nobody knows about his life from 12 to 30 years old, when he began his public life and performed miracles. He died in a cross and he resurrected three days later.

Hypatia in the movie Agora

The same story is relative similar in other cultures after Horus and before Jesus of Nazareth. It means that, according to atheist, Jesus´ history is, actually, a plagiarism, stolen history from a egyptian mithology and the origin of scam or deception comes from the second century after our era (after Chirst). Maybe you want to know more about this subject. If so, watch the movie about Hypatia, called Agora here.

Can I pray for them?

No atheist wants you to pray for them, but if that makes you happy, I don´t see why not. Anyway, if thanks to your prayers the atheist gets mercy from your divinity, may be someday, beyond this life he will thank you. However, they don´t usually thank you in this life; contrary, they feel uncomfortable knowing it, because it means you don´t understand at all their thinking, that you don´t listen nor you do understand they deny god and this type of culture or ideas. If you are going to pray for him or her, do not let them know.

Are there atheist priests?

Yes, there are, even historicaly. Look at this articles: “Vatican punish a athiest and rocker priest” and “A catholic priest is the atheism father”. As you can see, reality overcomes fiction. According with a renowned protestant pastor, 33% of catholic priests are atheist. If someday you read my novel, besides my gratitude, I want to listen your comments. That novel can help you to understand believers and atheist half-timbered world, without causing you a faith conflict.

Do they believe in the Bible / Qur’an / others?

They consider the Hebrew bible as literature, it´s characters are fictional creations as the rest of literature and therefore they do not consider those characters as real people. They don´t believe it´s the word of god, because they don´t believe in it. Human words is the only thing they found in it. The same happens with any other non-scientific document. Virtues are not exclusively for believers, and it can be seen around the world in millions of non-believers.


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Go ahead, Trump, build your wall…


Spanish version here. Build that wall as high and as impenetrable as you want. Imagine Mexico does not exist. Take away once and for all the oil companies that steal the natural resources of our country. Let the multinationals pack their things and go fatten your population, exploit your workers. Leave our land in peace, let us be two strangers who ignore each other. Once you are in it, plant the drugs you consume in your own fields, and take all the deaths due to the war against drug lords. Let them pollute your politics with the corruption of the criminals that buy our political establishment with meager gifts.

English translation by Jesús García Barcala

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