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In Colombia, Peso 'Banknote Trees' Ripe For Harvesting

'Arbol de billetes', or 'banknote tree' in Cali, Colombia
"Arbol de billetes", or "banknote tree" in Cali, Colombia

BOGOTA — Maybe money does grow on trees. This week, in the Ciudad del Río sector of Medellín, Colombia's second largest city, passersby were surprised to see a tree "flowering" with banknotes. Fastened to the tree's branches (with laundry clips) were real peso bills.

Too good to be true? Some people seemed to think so and chose to just observe. But others took the liberty of "harvesting" the money, helping themselves to a banknote or two. Looking on, according to witnesses, were eight coordinators to keep things from getting too rowdy.

A similar scene unfolded near the Museo de la Tertulia, in Cali. And in Bogota, the capital, a tree in the El Virrey park was adorned with money the previous day, April 2.

The big question, of course, is where the money came from.

Alberto Meneses, an events organizer in Medellín, was one of many caught off guard by the sight in Ciudad del Río. "I asked what was happening and nobody said anything. But people began arriving and taking 20,000 and 50,000-peso bills (worth $7 and $18 respectively), so I decided to grab one," he told the Spanish news agency EFE. "It was exciting to see so much money in one place. Everyone was happy."

The big question, of course, is where the money came from. Who put it there and why? One theory is that it the trees were decorated as part of a sociology study. A bank employee said he saw a cameraman by one of the trees filming people's behavior. Others claim it was a publicity stunt by the online film company Netflix, though in a Twitter post, Netflix Latin America denied any involvement. Still others think it was organized by an artist collective.

Either way, the stunt seemed to produce a fairly universal reaction: pure delight! For a few minutes, anyway, the money trees brightened up Colombia's largest cities with some unusually giddy smiles.

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Is Disney's "Wish" Spreading A Subtle Anti-Christian Message To Kids?

Disney's new movie "Wish" is being touted as a new children's blockbuster to celebrate the company's 100th anniversary. But some Christians may see the portrayal of the villain as God-like and turning wishes into prayers as the ultimate denial of the true message of Christmas.

photo of a kid running out of a church

For the Christmas holiday season?

Joseph Holmes

Christians have always had a love-hate relationship with Disney since I can remember. Growing up in the Christian culture of the 1990s and early 2000s, all the Christian parents I knew loved watching Disney movies with their kids – but have always had an uncomfortable relationship with some of its messages. It was due to the constant Disney tropes of “follow your heart philosophy” and “junior knows best” disdain for authority figures like parents that angered so many. Even so, most Christians felt the benefits had outweighed the costs.

That all seems to have changed as of late, with Disney being hit more and more by claims from conservatives (including Christian conservatives) that Disney is pushing more and more radical progressive social agendas, This has coincided with a steep drop at the box office for Disney.

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