Opportunity’s Impact in Colombia
Seeing the Real Colombia
Colombia is a land of great beauty: its snow-covered volcanoes, tropical beaches, deserts and grasslands make it one of the most geographically diverse countries in Latin America. As descendants of indigenous groups, Africans and European settlers, Colombians themselves are just as diverse, with a unique history and rich cultural heritage.
For over 40 years, the Colombian economy has suffered due to political conflict and violence. Despite progress being made to rebuild the economy, more than one-third of Colombians are still living in poverty. Poverty is particularly hard-hitting in rural areas where access to schools, social services and job opportunities are significantly limited.
Adventure with Opportunity Colombia to witness how we work with our clients to break the cycle of poverty and fuel their desire to build better futures for themselves and their children. See firsthand how our work with Trust Groups, local churches and the Youth Entrepreneurship Program empowers families to take hold of their dreams.
Seeing poverty stirs something within you much more than any textbook picture can give you. Its dynamics are so much more than desperation and hunger, but the light of hope as well.”Charlie Devries
The Opportunity Experience
At Opportunity International, we are passionate about transforming lives around the globe. We host Insight Trips so we can share with you, our supporters, the hope, gratitude and excitement we experience every time we are in the field with clients working hard to achieve their goals.
Insight Trips are safe, eye-opening and unforgettable adventures that are authentic to each host country. You’ll spend time with experts in the field and local hosts who know the culture inside and out—their personal perspective will give you an intimate understanding of the culture and how we work alongside our clients to make significant and lasting changes. You’ll witness how our clients are rising out of poverty and transforming their lives.
So come journey with us. We take care of all the details to ensure you travel in good company to authentic and exquisite sights. It will be an adventure unlike any other—one that will change you forever.
Arrive in Bogotá, Colombia, where local Opportunity staff will meet you upon arrival, take you to your hotel and host a welcome dinner and orientation.
Spend the morning with Opportunity Colombia leadership and learn how we became a financial institution that is reaching the working poor. Spend the afternoon with clients in their places of business. Travel to Cartagena via a one hour flight.
Visit clients in their homes and businesses. Witness how their hard work is changing the lives of their families and their communities.
Tour an Opportunity branch and meet more inspiring clients.
Spend the morning with clients at a Trust Group meeting and in their places of business. Learn about our clients who have benefitted from our roof and floor project. Watch as they demonstrate their work and share incredible stories of personal transformation.
Optional Excursion / Day Six - Day Eight
Escape by boat to Islas del Rosario (Rosario Islands) an hour from Cartagena. Islas del Rosario also known as Coral Islands of Rosario. Great for sun bathing as well as water activities like swimming and snorkeling. Islas del Rosario do offer the stereotypical pearl white sand and crystalline turquoise waters. Lots of unique corals and sea life in the waters around the islands. Spend time observing the flora and fauna of the water.
Luz Maria's Story
Luz Maria Atencia is passionate about building a better life with her husband and five children. Forced to flee her home in Bolivar, she recalls, “It was not just a home and cows that we lost. We ran for our lives, leaving behind my brother and cousin, killed by guerillas who stalked house to house, murdering senselessly.” Her family escaped to the slums of Cartagena, where she and her husband found odd jobs. Though they were able to build a modest shelter, the future looked bleak. Then, Luz heard about Opportunity Colombia. Today, Luz operates a bustling business, selling fried foods and homemade juices from her kitchen. Her business Sabrosura, which translates to delicious, has become a favorite spot for local residents. She used Opportunity loans to start the business, purchase a refrigerator, improve the kitchen and add a toilet. She is currently investing her fourth Opportunity loan to purchase a new fryer. “When I first met my Opportunity loan officer, I literally had nothing. Now, our income has grown to almost $40 a day. I have truly become a provider,” she says. Luz has not only worked her way out of a dire situation, she has also perpetuated the momentum by creating jobs for three people in her community.