Empowering Women & Youth in Medellin, Colombia

Why does Lotus Global Tours support Planeterra?

My name is Jodi. I am an Ambassador of Change for G Adventures and the owner of Lotus Global Tours. My purpose is to inspire compassion, healing, happiness and creativity. I am passionate about the traveler experiencing local culture and people, not just checking off the list of top tourist sites. I believe we can continue to make the world a better place. A world where more people can live without fear and continue to support their local communities, by giving back, showing compassion and learning from each other.

 

Why does Lotus Global Tours support Planeterra? Planeterra helps to start something. Once a social enterprise is up and running the impacts begin to multiply within the community. Planeterra believes that tourism can be the greatest method of wealth distribution in the world. See how the ripple effect works.

Berracas de la Trece

At the end of the 20th century, Medellin struggled with violence, crime and political unrest.  The area was one of the main cities under the control of groups loyal to Pablo Escobar, because it is along a main highway it was easy to transport drugs, traffickers, and gangs. Comuna 13, an area within Medellin was known as one of the most dangerous communities in the country, and Medellin was 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, barriers still exist.
Berracas de la Trece 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 between the state and illegal groups. 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. The Comuna women still face barriers accessing the formal job market. Additionally, youth have limited access to education as well as job opportunities because of poverty in the area.
Despite their progress, Berracas de la Trece has been unable to access the international tourism market and as a result of their lack of funding, they have not been able to comply with government regulations regarding their equipment and facilities, as many of their appliances and equipment have been donated. 
My passion is to help inspire mindful adventures whether they are across the globe or in your own backyard. I want to hear from you. Let's inspire each other! Visit my blog, thetravelinglotus.com and share what you have done in your local community or while on vacation to support or encourage another person.. 
Please help me to empower the women and youth of Medellin by donating today. 100% of your donation goes toward the project.

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