The foundation focuses its support in four specific lines of work:
Improving quality of education, preservation of historical sites, providing medical assistance, and appreciation of farming. All of these come together in an attempt to preserve rural communities and improvement of living standards. In addition, the hope is to elevate the status of farming within the eyes of the community members themselves.
How we Work
Our main goal is to establish a permanent and sustainable improvement in the communities we work with. We believe that to accomplish this goal we need to involve the entire community in our projects. Our first step is to identify and get to know the community leaders. Together with them we try to understand the challenges the community faces, so we can focus our projects on solving these issues. Our projects are always aimed at involving as many community members possible and providing them with tools to make a sustainable change in their community. In this way we try to create a self-sustaining model for the community and we prevent a situation of dependence on outside help.
Understanding that most of our communities live in a rural context and make their living from farming, part of our mission in these communities is to create consciousness about the impact farming practices can have on the environment. We advocate the preservation of more traditional farming techniques to reduce the negative impact farming can have on the soil and water. That is why we built vegetable gardens in the different schools, where we teach students to grow their own vegetables and learn more about different sustainable farming techniques, as well as learn how to reduce the use of chemicals to grow their food, and a better selection and disposal of their garbage to maintain their community clean and healthy.
Education and Science
We do several educational projects, all aimed at improving the level of education in the communities we work with and providing students with skills to pursue a study career that in the future could help the development of their own communities. We have an English program where we use international volunteers to teach English classes in the schools in the different communities. We also have a science program where we teach the students research skills by having them participate in local research projects where they find solutions to community’s problems and we provide full scholarships for talented students to follow their dreams and study at one of the many universities in Colombia. Next to that we also have a program which is aimed at providing the local teachers with new and improved teaching methods, so we can increase the level of education as a whole.
Art and Culture
One of our main goals is to provide the most vulnerable members of the communities; the children and teenagers, with healthy and enriching activities to occupy their free time and in this way help develop their artistic and cultural skills and divert them from negative influences that could diminish their chances of a better future. At the moment we support two marching bands that have participated in numerus events and championships, we sponsor a program aimed at creating an orchestral ensemble and we created an art and historical exhibition that has been displayed in different schools and galleries in the area we work in.
Most communities don’t have sufficient healthcare possibilities. That is why we organize medical brigades. At least twice a year we fly in doctors, dentists and barbers into the communities so people can get access to these basic forms of healthcare. We also try to preserve the local traditions by supporting artisans in setting up a local business where they can sell their handcrafted products.