Send Baru Students to Training School for a year

by Fundacion Hernan Echavarria Olozaga
Send Baru Students to Training School for a year
Send Baru Students to Training School for a year
Send Baru Students to Training School for a year
Send Baru Students to Training School for a year
Mary Elena looking forward
Mary Elena looking forward

Mary Elena, with only 23 years old, is making a difference in her hometown, Baru.

When Mary begun her career of Table and Bar at the Technical and Entrepreneurship School of Baru, we did not know that when she was only 15 years old and in ninth grade, she got pregnant, dropping school.

Years later after giving birth to her daughter (she is 7 now), she decided to go back to school, repeat ninth grade and graduate.

After graduating, she heard about the Technical and Entrepreneurship School of Baru located in Santa Ana (a town distant from Baru about 1 hour by motorcycle) and decided to apply. Once she did it, she heard about the transportation aid, which she though was a relief for her family´s finances.

Mary lives with her partner and her daughter. After completing the initial 6 months of studies, she confessed she was not in a hurry to start the practical stage (6 more months). One day without expecting it, she received a call from a hotel in Cartagena. Her partner didn’t agree at the beginning but he decided to support her.

This is how Mary Elena started working. She had to go all the way to Cartagena (the city) every single day. Sometimes as she finished her shift late at night, she had to stay in Cartagena, because there wasn’t transportation at that time to Baru.

It was difficult for her to convince her partner of her desire to work and to become and feel useful.

She did her practices at the hotel for 6 months, during which she was able to put her knowledge into practice continue to learn new things. She got to know a whole new world of possibilities and also showed herself that she could be independent (during that time never had to ask her partner for money and this made her feel very satisfied).

Today Mary Elena wants to continue working, she wants to become a reference for other young people of the Island who, like her, had an early pregnancy, and to show them that life does not stop because of it, that they can keep going if they really want to, with a little effort.

Mary Elena's attitude
Mary Elena's attitude
Mary Elena
Mary Elena


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Roxana at work
Roxana at work


An appointment with Roxana was not easy for several reasons: first because of her work schedules and also because of the difficult access to Baru, where she resides. But, we finally did it, she completed her internship in the hotel and have more time.

Roxana went a Monday to the Foundation, sat down and started to move some papers she had on her hands, from side to side because of the heat. The temperature that day was quite high. We invited her to sit down and offered her water. Then, asked her about her mom, because we knew that earlier this year she had surgery. She replied that she was doing much better.

Roxana completed the academic stage of the technical career of Table & Bar in November 2016. A few months later, as her mother had surgery, she could not continue working. Roxana began to despair because they needed an additional income, so she decided to call several hotels to inquire about opportunities for her to do the practical stage of her career, which she needed to graduate. Mostly they responded that they preferred men for work, but she insisted until one of them, an internationally recognized hotel, called her for an interview.

Before we asked, she told us that she was never nervous. She passed the interview and a few days later, on June 2017, she began to work.

Of her experience at the hotel, she told us it was wonderful. She said all her teammates appreciated her very much and that they called her “la veleta” (the sail) because she could never stay sited. While working at the hotel, she recommended a friend in need of the practice stage, who was also selected. She told us the two of them encouraged each other, although she kept telling her friend they needed to show themselves because as they were not from town, the needed to work harder tan the others.

With enthusiasm, she told us that there are many possibilities to be called back at the hotel to work, but that despite this, she has not stopped sending resumes to databases and headhunters, especially because the high season is approaching.

We asked her what she wanted to do in the future and without hesitation told us she wanted to continue studying, because she wants to be a professional. Roxana doesn’t think of a family yet, she is clear that she must first study and keep working.

It started to get late and Roxana had to go, so we said goodbye while giving her the last transportation aid of the project and telling her that the Foundation’s doors would always be open for her and that we where anxious to hear about her success.

Roxana and mom
Roxana and mom
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Dear donors,

Milagros, one of the students you supported, wants to tell you in a short video about her personal experience in the project.

Please watch the following video (translation below):

Hi! I am Milagros and I am from Baru. I am 19 years old.

When I was a little girl, I enjoyed playing with toy cookware and studying.

In 2015, I graduated from school with an accommodation degree. Then I heard about the Technical and Entrepreneurship School of Santa Ana so I signed up.

Thanks to your support, I have finished the academic phase of my career. I am now going to start the practice phase in a hotel located in my community, because I am a single mother. I have a 4 months old son to whom I want to give a better life. He is my motivation!

On behalf of all the students you have supported and of the Hernan Echavarria Foundation team, we would like to thank you again for all you have donde to help our cause.

With gratitude,


Ana Milena Ordosgoitia


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Dear donors,

Juan Daniel, one of the students you supported, wants to thank you for your donations and to tell you how you helped him made his dream come true and how you helped him start working towards his new goal in life.

Please watch the following video (translation below):

"My name is Juan Daniel. I live in Baru Island. I went to school to Luis Felipe Cabrera institution.

When I was 17, I started studying at the Technical and Entrepreneurship School. I want to thank all the people who donated through Global Giving`s website because you made my dream come true, as I could get to school by this road which is really difficult to pass through and because you help me with the transportation fee which is really expensive.

Thank you donors for helping me with the transportation to get to school.

I now finished the practical stage of my career of Table & Bar in a private corporation called Matimba and they have hired me to keep working with them.

With this new income I will be able to study Tourism, which is my new goal.

Thank you again!"


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Roxana in her town's dock
Roxana in her town's dock

Dear Donors,

Thank you again for all your donations to support the Project “Send Baru students to training school for a year”.

We are glad to inform that al the 2016 students finished the academic face of their careers and are now applying so that they can complete the practice face and graduate.

In most cases, the internship programs are not paid so it is very important for them to continue to receive the transportation aid.

One of the 2016 students is Roxana. She is 18 years old and she is studying Table & Bar.

Roxana´s dream is to become an educator and have her own school in Baru so that she can help to preserve her community`s culture. She is worried that people in her town are loosing the friendship and collaboration sense they used to have.

Roxana decided to study Table & Bar so that she could learn a skill that help her get a job in order to pay for her professional career in Cartagena.

She remembers Orlando, her Table & Bar teacher, who always told his students to keep dreaming and working towards fulfilling their dreams because there is a whole world full of opportunities out there, out of the island.

As Roxana, 14 more Baru students can dream of a better future, thanks to your generosity and donations.

We will continue to post regular reports to keep you informed on the project progress.


With gratitude,



Ana Milena Ordosgoitia and the Hernan Echavarria foundation team

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Organization Information

Fundacion Hernan Echavarria Olozaga

Location: Bogota / Cartagena, Cundinamarca/Bolívar - Colombia
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Ana Milena Ordosgoitia
Cartagena, Bolivar Colombia
$16,924 raised of $20,000 goal
187 donations
$3,076 to go
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