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Exito Verde

The culture of Colombia in one neighborhood

About Exito Verde

Ciudad Bolivar
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Exito Verde is a foundation that works with children, adolescents, and older adults in Ciudad Bolivar, a Colombian city south of Bogotá that has faced social challenges. It gives young people of the area a safe place to learn, as well as an economic alternative to delinquency. Exito Verde is also attentive to including girls and young women in their activities. What’s unique about this project is its focus on the environment, with emphasis on recycling and promoting a circular economy at the same time as respecting the rights of the community. With the help of the foundation, the people of Ciudad Bolivar learn how to care for and protect the environment they live in.

Our main involvement with this project is connecting travelers with the foundation. Visitors benefit by getting a look at an area of Colombia not seen by most tourists (that also happens to have one of the best views of the city!). They get to learn about the history of the neighborhood, interact with the resilient people who live there, and eat an authentic meal.

Interesting facts about Exito Verde

Diana is a young woman from the neighborhood Manitas, south of Bogota. For many years, it was a neighborhood taken over by people who had been displaced by the violence and overpopulation in Bogota. They faced stigmatization and neglect from the rest of the country. Yet a spirit of resistance has grown through collective, community work, and people like Diana, who characterizes the strength that can come from adversity.

Diana’s family arrived to the neighborhood in 2005. At that time, they had two rooms for nine people: her parents, Diana, and her six siblings. When it would rain, the water would get in and flood the house. Through involvement with Exito Verde, as well as a positive attitude and perseverance, Diana was able to help improve her family’s situation. She helped in the foundation as well as the recycling school, at the same time as taking care of her siblings while her parents were working. The family found support through tourists who visited with Viventura and VSocial, and a direct donation allowed them to finish their house so they had a decent place to live.

A couple of years ago, Diana enrolled in a bakery academy, graduating first as a bakery technician and later as a food processing technologist. She now works as a production manager in a small food company. Diana continues to support Exito Verde, believing it allows other young people like her to fulfill their dreams. She considers herself a "warrior woman" who does not let negativity hold her back, and believes that if she sets goals and is diligent, they will be realized. She still has many dreams to make come true!

The Manitas neighborhood has continued to change, and Diana feels that it has been in a positive way. Many young people who were part of gangs have approached the foundation, looking for a safe and peaceful place to take refuge. It is a place where youths can feel listened to and a little less lonely. And, like Diana, discover that nothing is impossible with hard work and community.

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Sustainability in Exito Verde

VSocial Foundation joins forces with the project to strengthen the tourist product and link it to a proposal to defend the human rights of the inhabitants of the area. It also recovers the historical memory of the place in order to give it an important place to the social processes that have taken place in the past and through which they formed the place where they live: their neighborhood.

Features of Exito Verde

Developing youth training
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Directly impacted families

Food & Drinks in Exito Verde

The direct impact of VSocial’s support is 20 people who are beneficiaries of the community tourism project, however, the indirect beneficiaries are many more taking into account that the children are still in the environmental school in which they are also linking each of their families so that through recycling they can improve the conditions of their neighborhood generating well-being.

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