My Story (and I’m sticking to it)
I emigrated to the United States with my mother and sister at the age of six but left my soul roaming the streets of my native Manizales, dreaming of its beautiful people, its fabulously lush mountains and the multiple ranges of snow clad peaks that envelop it. I never remember not drawing but am told I started seriously drawing before I was three and at the age eleven started writing short poems which grew in complexity and scope as the sails of my life unfurled.
I spent my youth exploring the myriad attractions and challenges of Miami, Charlotte and New York City, never spending much more than one year in any single place until I became a boarding student at Eastern Military Academy and finally found stability. Even as a sophomore there my philosophical and social consciousness was awake and my mind was busy questioning why in an abundant world so many people suffered on so many levels, questions yet to be answered. My quest led me to study political science and history during the turbulent 1960’s at the Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, a unique place where opposing philosophies clashed and melded in an environment that stressed duty, honor and truth.
After graduation from college (and a brief adventure trying to find myself and get to know my long lost father in Venezuela) I returned to Eastern Military Academy where I eventually headed the Departments of Foreign Languages and Social Studies and for a brief time served as president of its International Division. While at Eastern, I attended St. John’s University, School of Law, where I earned the degree of juris doctor and then attended the graduate division of the New York University, School of Law, where I earned a post-doctoral degree (LL.M.) in international legal studies.
I then practiced law for a decade or so, serving in public and corporate positions as well as in private practice, but eventually became a strategic planning consultant. During that time I experienced the greatest boon a man can have becoming father to three amazing sons, Billy, Alex and Edward.
I eventually returned to academia earning a graduate certificate in translation studies (Spanish to English) from the Latin American Studies Center at the University of Florida and then, in a paradigm shift, returned to my academic roots joining the faculty of the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales where I currently serve as chair of the Political Science and the Government and International Relations Programs and have been involved as a lecturer in linguistics, political science and as a special counselor with respect to issues involving internationalization.
I am extremely interested in sustainable regional development activities in the Eje Cafetero region of Colombia and in the evolution of a Latin American nation-state modeled loosely on the European Union (I feel copying institutions would be a mistake but learning from them is wise). I am also passionately interested in furthering my artistic career as a poet, writer and literary translator and reigniting my long dormant love of drawing and painting.
My life has seen great successes and abysmal failures but I believe I’ve remained true to my ideals and have somehow found the courage to fight for them despite the cost. All in all, I have to admit that I’ve learned more from my failures and mistakes than from my successes and that they’ve made me a better person.
I enjoy traveling, especially as a cultural adventurer rather than as a tour group member and love natural spots: beaches and mountains, rivers and lakes, but I also enjoy large cities full of cultural events (e.g., museums, seminars and concerts), especially their harder to find, more secret places, those that only local people really know. I love music, dancing (although Latin dancing intimidates me, too many moving parts and way too many rules), swimming and reading.
I love books that combine comedy, philosophy, history and spirituality. My favorite authors are currently Mark Twain, Tom Robbins (no more to read though), Andrei Codrescu, Tim Dorsey, Christopher Moore, J.R.R. Tolkien, Frank Herbert, Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein.
I’ve been active in libertarian political matters and have a passion for comparative philosophy, anthropology, comparative religions, world affairs and history. I’m drawn to the beauty, simplicity and justice of the Wiccan Reede and am enthralled by ancient Sumerian culture, especially Inanna, but my spiritual beliefs center on a broad, panentheistic sense of the divine (now, ironically, impacted by the possibilities presented in Richard Dawkins’ meme theory). I’ve sought spiritual enlightenment all my life but have yet to find definitive answers; I have, however, found an ever increasing and worthwhile, series of questions to speculate on.
Obviously Eastern Military Academy’s motto “what you are to be you are now becoming” is still an ongoing process; one for which I’m very grateful.
 © Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2007 – 2010; all rights reserved