WOMEN OF TRIANA II
These biographies and interviews are part of the project «Ellas nos cuentan» , that our colleague Isabel Mª González Muñoz started last academic year. With them, we are going to get to know the lives and opinions of some «trianeras».
LOURDES Mª VARELA PÉREZ
Lourdes Varela was born in Seville and grew up in the Triana neighbourhood, specifically in Calle Pureza. Although she no longer lives there, she still considers it her neighbourhood. Since she was a child, she has always been attracted to science, and today she has become a brave scientist and mother of two children.
She graduated in Pharmacy in 2007 and PhD in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Seville in 2012. She began her career as a researcher in 2006. From that year until 2012, she participated in two lines of research carried out at the University of Seville (US) and the Instituto de la Grasa (CSIC, Seville): one related to endothelial dysfunction and metabolic syndrome and the other related to postprandial metabolism of dietary fats and atherogenesis.
During her PhD thesis (2008-2012), she spent time in Houston (USA) and Germany. After finishing it, she received an extraordinary award from the US (2014). Immediately after, she moved to Paris to study the composition and function of HDL isolated from patients who had suffered a stroke and to evaluate its association with intraplaque haemorrhage. Subsequently, she returned to Spain to work as a postdoctoral researcher at the Instituto Catalán de Ciencias Cardiovasculares (Barcelona) and, since 2015, she has settled in Seville, where she has carried out numerous studies in different important centres in the city (CABIMER, IBIS…).
In addition, she has participated in 15 competitive projects as a researcher and has published several books and journals. She has collaborated in many conferences and dissemination events such as the Day of Women in Science. Since 2018, she has become a member of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Stroke Council.
Lourdes Varela is an example of a modern woman who has managed to combine family life with her love of science, despite how hard it can be.
ROSA AGUDELO ROSADO
Rosa Agudelo Rosado was born in 1990, in Triana, Seville. When she was a child, she grew up in Santa Ana. Triana was a slum, however, when the number of tourists started to increase, the economy of the neighborhood also increased. Rosa remembers when she played in an old park where today there is the skyscraper called “torre pelli”. Her family has always lived in Triana, and she studied there doing primary and secondary school, then she decided to do the Bachillerato. After Rosa ended her studies, she didn’t know what she wanted to do, so she started a course of lab technician. When she did the course she wanted to start learning nursing at a nursing career in Cadiz during 4 years. However, she didn’t stop yet, Rosa began another course of hospital emergency, and she started working in the ambulance.
While she was studying the course of hospital emergency, she noticed that she was interested in teaching other people, and she discovered her passion for humanitarian assistance and international aid but in the end she couldn’t do it because it required a lot of availability. She worked in a private school in Seville teaching sanitaries. In 2020, during the confinement, she traveled to Madrid in order to help in the nursing homes with the UME professionals teaching them how to prevent the virus Covid-19. This is considered her humanitarian assistance.
Currently she works as a nurse and she’s a teacher of vocational training.
María Toro Aguilar is a 35-year-old woman from Triana. She was born on March 19, 1988 in Seville. Her father is from Tardón and her mother moved to Triana when she was 7 years old. Maria has three siblings and is the youngest in her family.
She studied elementary school at the Protectorado de la Infancia school, then she studied 1st and 2nd ESO in Rosario and from 3rd ESO she entered the IES Vicente Aleixandre. She was very clear since she was little that she wanted to dedicate herself to teaching and be a teacher, so after repeating the selectivity the following year because in September she did not get the grade, she moved to Huelva to study early childhood education.
She finished her degree and moved to Ireland as an au-pair to continue her education and live one of the most beautiful experiences of her life. After a year she returned to Seville. When she returned, she worked for 4 years in a bilingual nursery school and realized that if she wanted to get into public school, she had to apply for English. María continued studying and took the C1 in English until she was called from the stock market to work as a teacher for the first time.
Her first course for her was in the Polígono Sur, the three thousand houses and she found it a bit terrifying. South polygon. People were surprised at how she could work there but her prejudices quickly passed and she realized that people there were not as they said. Despite how complicated her first course there was for her, she decided that she wanted to repeat and continue teaching there. As a curiosity, she tells us that the day she said goodbye to her classmates at her first school, she found a cat on the street and decided to rescue it and take it home, María decided to name him after one of her most difficult students because although the road was exhausting, she will always remember her fondly.
Now, María takes three courses in another center, also in Polígono Sur. And although there are days that are very hard for her, students who come home with very difficult situations and with a great lack of social skills, every hour that she invests in creating improvements for the classroom is worth it when it starts working.
María Toro Aguilar, a working woman from Triana who educates and helps children from Polígono Sur.
María Toro is a 35-year-old woman who lives in Triana. She always wanted to work in public education and after great efforts she got her job at Polígono Sur. Although it was difficult for her at first, she never gave up despite the criticism and the problems that some children brought. To this day she continues to fight for a better education.
Now, we are going to do a short interview with María Toro:
Question: What is your professional activity?
Answer: I am an English teacher and 4th grade tutor at a public school in Polígono Sur. Among the characteristics that stand out in the environment are broken families, drugs, high level of illiteracy, absenteeism in classrooms, underground economy, poor management in conflict resolution, etc. Dealing with these situations on a daily basis is not easy, but with constant teamwork, great things can be achieved. I would like to highlight the importance of being surrounded by a good group of people who understand the circumstances in which the students find themselves and that they all work together in the same direction.
One of the most notable activities that we do at the center are the assemblies, where every day in each classroom, we talk about how we feel, our worries or our emotions. It is very important to give students space so that they feel in a safe and trusting environment where they can express themselves, and the teachers help us to get to know the students better and offer our help when necessary.
Question: What is your connection with the Triana neighborhood?
Answer: I have always lived in Triana since I was born. We moved when I was 3 years old because we needed a bigger apartment, but it was only a couple of streets. Currently, I live with my partner and my two cats in the apartment where I lived those first years of my life.
Question: What influence do you think Triana has had on your professional life?
Answer: I have always felt very proud to belong to a neighborhood as special as Triana. My parents grew up in Triana in a very humble way, and that humility was transmitted to both me and my brothers.
Question: What can you tell us about the Triana neighborhood and its people?
Answer: Whenever they ask me about one of the things I like the most about Triana, I answer the same thing: greengrocers, which are so abundant in this neighborhood. It is the best example that the small business works in a neighborhood, that it is close, that they care about you and are happy to see you. For me, that is the essence of a real neighborhood. Meet the greengrocer, your neighbors, the candy store, etc.
Question: How has Triana changed over the years?
Answer: The truth is that this issue makes me a bit sad, since due to tourism, the increase in rents due to tourism, it is very difficult to find a decent apartment in the neighborhood that is not too expensive.
It is very sad to see how your lifelong friends have to move to other places because they cannot pay what is asked of them for a rental in Triana.
From my point of view, this has been a clearly negative change since that essence of the neighborhood that is always presumed is becoming increasingly difficult to find.
Question: How do you see the neighborhood in the future?
Answer: As I am a positive person, I would like to think that things can change for the better, that the people who have always lived here will not have to abandon their street, their neighbors, their trusted greengrocer…
Question: How do you remember the neighborhood in your childhood? (Or when you arrived if you grew up elsewhere)
Answer: I remember when I would go down to the street to play ball, tennis or skate and how my mother would call me through the window to come up to eat. I also remember calling the neighbor to come with me to buy cakes for a snack in Filella, sitting at the little star bar while my father gave me a plate of paella, the Triana candle and the cucaña and finally, the parade of the kings of Triana when it left in the morning.
Question: What aspects do you think could be improved in Triana?
Answer: There are many things that could be improved, such as the issue of floors and the lack of parking. Tourist rentals and the rental of both flats and premises should be controlled more, to continue helping small businesses, which is what makes a neighborhood more special. More trees and flowering plants should also be planted, because although maintenance is expensive, the thermal sensation in summer is better and the streets with flowers look more cheerful and beautiful.
As a final conclusion, we have realized the daily work that some people do to help others and the importance of education. of María toro, we can highlight her empathy for helping children in unfavorable situations and for her effort to achieve everything she sets out to do.