Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Success Story of the #Crisalidas Program in #Medellin #Colombia; from Victim to Entrepreneur

A Success Story of the #Crisalidas Program in #Medellin #Colombia; from Victim to Entrepreneur

Medellin, Colombia, Vancouver BC-, a global news source covering leading sectors including Latin America reports on its recent trip to Medellin Colombia. Staff reporter, Madelyn Forsyth met with some of the local entrepreneurs of the Crisalidas program in Medellin. It was created to strengthen and promote the marketing of different products and services developed by the victim population as part of the process of care and support.  A shining example of the program, Adriana Restrepo, tells her story of transformation.


*       Adriana Restrepo in front of her items for sale

There are many ways to recycle unwanted materials. Typically it gets sorted into the correct bins and away it goes.

Adriana Restrepo saw it a little differently. In 2012 she began to manufacture her own notebooks, coasters, key chains and more. All of these out of different material that would have otherwise been disposed of.

Restrepo obtained the help of a program called Crisalidas ( The program was established to help those who have been displaced from their communities. They are there for people who have either witnessed or experienced the unimaginable and help them adjust to different ways of life.

Some people in the program had had their cities attacked by gorilla forces making their homes unsafe while others had witnessed violent acts. All of them are able to come and use the program to help them get back on their feet.

Restrepo witnessed one of the most terrible acts imaginable. While she was pregnant with her son, her husband was murdered in front of her. It’s hard to imagine waking up the next day after such an ordeal, let alone pioneering a business solely based on saving the earth and giving back.

The passion she has behind her product is what helps her business thrive. While visiting the Crisalidas program she apologized for not being able to show the international media many of her products. An apology unnecessary since the reason behind her not having product to show was because she had sold out of every item she had in stock. So she made do with showing us the purse she uses herself as well as her product notebook, both bound by recycled car tires.

So far her business is still gaining traction. She takes part in trade shows in different areas and also teaches some classes to those wanting to create something with their own hands.

Giving back. When the world wanted to take so much from her, Adriana Restrepo saw a way to benefit herself and the world.

Madelyn Forsyth for

In 2001, the Council of Medellín, through agreement No.73, authorized the mayor to create an institution to seek international cooperation. Hence, in June 19, 2002, in accordance with Article 95 of Law 489 of 1998, was constituted the International Cooperation Agency of Medellín (ACI) as a result of a partnership between public entities: Medellin Mayor’s office, Empresas públicas de Medellín, Metropolitan Area of the Aburrá Valley and Empresas varias de Medellin.
ACI Medellín @acimedellin

ProColombia, the Colombian Government Trade Bureau PROCOLOMBIA  @PROCOLOMBIACO

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