Aug 16, 2021

Prepping for a brighter future!

Anxious to start a fruit tasting on the rooftop!
Anxious to start a fruit tasting on the rooftop!

Hola!

As I mentioned in my last report, we received a donation from our friend Toni in Canada, and in the photos you can see that we were able to put that together with some other donations to purchase and install two washing stations in the project space's entrance! One works with a pedal so that guests can wash their hands without needing to touch the sink, and the other will also serve the future low income entrepreneurs selling food to the public in the space, where they'll be able to wash dishes etc during their time here without having to run inside.

During July's GlobalGiving fundraising campaign for larger donations, we also received a healthy amount that will allow us to do a bunch more work and community activities for our next report! :D

This past month I decided to accept my first tourism group reservation in almost a year and a half, and we had a blast. I really am looking forward to things normalizing soon, it was nice to share our project's passion with new people and have some conversation at a distance too!

And to top things off, we're also a finalist in the 2021 GlobalGiving Photo contest! You can vote via the following link, and please share it as the $1000 USD prize winner is based on the image with the most votes!

https://www.globalgiving.org/poll/vote/?pollOptionId=1596

I hope you are well and enjoying the summer as much as possible!

Brian

Washing sink with pedal
Washing sink with pedal
Dish washing sink
Dish washing sink

Links:

Apr 12, 2021

A quiet start to a hectic year

Looking forward to future days like this!
Looking forward to future days like this!

Hola! With yet another pandemic wave hitting worse than the previous ones and lockdowns implemented again, we have had a very quiet quarter. We did receive another generous donation from our friend Toni in Canada, which should be arriving in the next few weeks. So look out for more finishing touches to the training centre spaces in our next report!

As you can imagine, it is very hard to forecast when we'll be able to start up our community based activities again with so much uncertainty, regardless of vaccine rollouts. I can tell you that our project participants are writing regularly to ask how we are doing, and hoping that we can provide them with an escape from the confines of their homes very soon with new classes. It's heartwarming to receive their messages, and to know that our work is both missed and appreciated as much as we miss and appreciate the people who come here to learn healthier ways of eating and starting small businesses!

Hopefully I'll have more to write soon, stay safe and find the positive in this additional time spent with your closest ones!

Brian

Dec 28, 2020

Wishing you a happier New Year!

Christmas giveaway with Help Colombia
Christmas giveaway with Help Colombia

Hola! As is the case in most parts of the world, a new wave of COVID has Medellin and Colombia on lockdown once again. Despite the challenges, we have continued to partner with additional local organizations to assist the most vulnerable in these trying times, and bring a smile to people's faces during the holiday season!

We finished off our activites sponsored by Francis' fundraiser in Canada by supporting our friend/volunteer Mar's Proyecto Florecer initiative: realizing that there was a real need for basic support like a healthy meal, the organization opened a community kitchen in a neighourhood in Belen, where they work mostly with Venezuelan women to serve 100+ free meals to people in need. We were able to purchase them the ingredients for two 100 person meals, in addition to buying a couple large pots and pans to make things easier during prep and service. They were extremely appreciative, and in the future when we can open the kitchen and training centre again, we will look for more collaboration activities, hopefully providing small business and culinary training to some of the Proyecto Florecer participants who want to start their own business!

We also continue to work with Help Colombia, who distributed over 600 meals and gifts in low income neighbourhoods of Belen and Moravia, including 100 Christmas packages during tough times.

And we have finally advanced a bit further with the funds raised by Catherine Ford earlier this year, to finish more work in the rooftop kitchen, and thanks to a donation from Toni in Canada which was used to purchase materials for outstanding metalwork, Catherine's friends' funds paid for the labour, and we now have our welding done!

And another bit of good news: we were recognized in Airbnb's year end celebration as the best Experiences host in Colombia for 2020! Let's hope that can create some momentum for us once things open up again to tourism, so that we can move closer to a self sustainable project in the long term! We continue to do our best to maximize the impact of any resources received, while pushing forward with our own spaces so that when this pandemic finally ends, we can be ready to help as many people as possible recover economically with their own small business plans and support in the kitchen! You can also find a link to a new video I was asked to make for a tourism fair in Europe promoting Colombia.

Happy holidays and New Year!

Brian

Help Colombian Christmas gifts and smiles
Help Colombian Christmas gifts and smiles
Community kitchen food prep with Proyecto Florecer
Community kitchen food prep with Proyecto Florecer
Some of the inspiring women in Proyecto Florecer
Some of the inspiring women in Proyecto Florecer
Welding work to create safe, secure project spaces
Welding work to create safe, secure project spaces

Links:

 
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