Costa Rican author speaks to students about womens’ rights

Marielle Arostegui, Staff Writer

Making the trip from Costa Rica, Ana Istarú visited Benilde-St. Margaret’s on La Dia de la Raza, a day of Latino pride. Istarú wrote well known poems such as, “La estación de fiebre” and won awards, including The María Teresa León Prize for Dramatists and the Machado Theater Prize. This celebrated writer came to BSM with a message about women’s rights that she believes should hold greater importance in everyone’s lives.

Istarú’s presentation covered a wide range of topics, from women’s opportunities and stereotypes, to even pregnancy. “It was important for Istarú to come because she speaks on the issue that no one wants to discuss; she challenges people’s thoughts and what they think of other cultures,” said Sra. Mary Murray, senior high Spanish teacher who serves on the board of American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, or AATSP.

At times, Istarú’s audience found her reading uncomfortable to listen to, as she spoke about giving birth to a child or the development of a woman, but she intended for that uneasy feeling.

“It was weird to hear her speak candidly about a personal topic, but her openness made me think about the stereotypes associated with women,” said junior Ava Azadegan.

Istarú explained that women have advanced greatly in our world today. They continue to gain the power to make their own decisions, and with that new power, women want to be treated as equals. “She is breaking stereotypes. She is a successful woman that continues to break ground,” said Sra. Murray.

Itsarú came to Minnesota by invitation of a professor from St. Olaf College, who also serves on the board of AATSP. When Sra. Murray heard about Istarú’s trip to Minnesota, she asked Itsarú to come to BSM. “[I look] for different events that can expand people’s knowledge of the Spanish community,” said Sra. Murray.