Berracas de la 13
Berracas de la 13 was created by a small network of women with a goal of empowering women and youth in their community who have experienced violence and various injustices. The women created their own small business selling handicrafts and souvenirs in order to generate income to support their community. In 2016, they opened a restaurant called Berracas Restaurant in order to generate even more revenue and more opportunities for their community. Planeterra’s partnership has allowed them to improve their business, increase revenue, and invest back into their community.
At the end of the 20th century, Medellin struggled with violence, crime, drugs and political unrest. The area was one of the main cities under the control of groups loyal to Pablo Escobar, as it is along a main highway which made it easy for the transportation of drugs, traffickers, and gangs. Comuna 13, an area within Medellin, was known as one of the most dangerous communities in the country, and one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Many people were impacted by the violence and the injustices within the community.
Today, Medellin is regarded by some as one of the most innovative cities in the world, impacting much of Colombia’s economy. It has also become known as a popular tourist destination and has had a significant decrease in crime. Comuna 13, in particular, has also focused on transformation and is emerging onto the tourism scene. However, the Comuna women still face barriers to accessing the formal job market, and youth have limited access to education and job opportunities because of poverty in the area.
Despite their progress, Berracas de la 13 had been unable to access the international tourism market and were unable to secure funding to get the equipment necessary to comply with government regulations for a restaurant.
Planeterra supported Berracas de la 13 through a grant that was used to improve the Berracas Restaurant facilities and equipment, and access training in hospitality, allowing them to comply with government regulations and run a professional business.
With the support of Planeterra, they have been able to develop a new Comuna tour and meal service, benefitting women and youth from the community.
Travellers will have the opportunity to learn from local guides, visit local shops, try local food and purchase unique handicrafts.