Bananeras de Urabá - Mi Tierra, Madrigal, Tagua, Cantares...
My name is Karen Andrea Garcia Higuita. I am 21 years old and belong to a working class family in the village of New Cologne, Colombia. My father's name is Donisel Garcia. He works in a banana plantation called Solomon which is part of Bananeras de Urabá. Through the Rosalba Cardona Zapata Corporation, I had access to one of my biggest dreams – a scholarship to pursue my university studies. In 2008, I began to study at the Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia in Apartado, in the Public Accounting program. The company paid each semester as I completed them, ultimately investing a great deal of money in my education. This assistance has been invaluable and I am very grateful for the support. I hope I can give back to the community and the company with the knowledge I have gained. The company has been incredibly helpful in my professional development. ”
Karen Andrea Garcia Higuita, Scholarship Recipient
On March 19, 2010, we saw the result of a joint effort between Bananeras de Urabá and banana workers at the Fair Trade Banana Company. The delivery of the first stage of the Rosalba Zapata Cardona Housing Development Project presented a new home for my family and I. This has been the best thing that has happened to me – owning a home really improves my family’s quality of life. Thank you to Bananeras de Urabá and Fair Trade for giving us the possibility of having a decent home. It gives us great satisfaction to know other banana workers will also have this opportunity." ”
Hector Oviedo, Madrigal Farm Worker
On behalf of myself and my family, I’d like to thank Fair Trade and Bananeras de Urabá for changing our way of life. Thanks to Fair Trade I have overcome many difficulties. Fair Trade has given me the joy of going to college and participating in a diploma program which led to my promotion into our management team. I started as an entry level worker and eventually moved to the quality inspection department. Recently, I was given the opportunity to become coordinator of the packing plant at the Mi Tierra Farm, one of the largest in the company. My family and I now have a beautiful home and many amenities. Through Bananeras de Urabá and Fair Trade our dreams have become a reality. ”
Hugo Herrera Fernel, Packing Supervisor
The organization donated musical instruments to the “Sounds of Peace” youth community program. So far, workers claim the group’s music has reached the ears of 25,000 people through concerts and other activities. They hope to promote community, peace and harmony through music.
Skill Development for Women
In collaboration with SENA, Bananeras de Urabá is training women in an urban development program. Women have learned how to bake bread and cakes in addition to selling fried “empanadas” as a means to generate additional income. The results of this program have led the organization to invest in more training sessions teaching women how to form their own businesses.