Pintando Caminos (Painting Pathways) is an amazing project in the outskirts of Bogota. In a settlement of rural migration, Ciudad Bolivar has more than a million people, a great number of them very poor. This area, called “Potosí”, is full of single parent families, grand-parents caring for kids, older siblings taking care of younger ones, kids alone with little or no attention who fall victim to crime, prostitution, and drugs.

Alexandra Tamara, founder of Pintando Caminos, fell in love with El Porvenir while helping her church with social work in the area. She dreamt of having a house where kids could stay while not in school, where she could offer love and affection, help with school work, and provide programs to give them an edge for survival. Working as a lawyer, she kept returning to El Porvenir. One day she made a choice. She rented a house with donations from friends and relatives. She started giving lunch to kids in the program. First there were 20, then 50, then 100. She had to stop accepting kids and face the sadness outside the door. She kept coming and going, crossing the city from north to south, accepting jobs to keep the project going.

The day came when she decided to live in Ciudad Bolivar’s Potosí and to truly become a part of the community. With the help of friends and colleagues, she was able to build a solid house, hire local teachers, and get permission to be a “comedor escolar” (school lunch program).  She immersed herself in her social work.

Ten years later,  Pintando Caminos has 130 kids enrolled. They are looking for funds to finish the house and complete the program they always dreamt of. MTMD visited Pintando Caminos and walked around El Porvenir. It would be difficult for anyone to hold back the tears as kids hugged us and told us to come back.  MTMD is committed to encourage the Money Transfer Industry to give even a little to ensure that Pintando Caminos can make a bigger difference in these kids’ lives.

We will be posting the MTMD-Pintando Caminos project description very soon. If you are interested in this project, contact us. You can visit Pintando Camino’s website.