SPREADING LOVE IN THE OTHER CARTAGENA

T ears have heard about the iconic Cartagena, walled ancient streets full of tourists, boutiques and restaurants city. But very few times we have seen other realities that are hidden between its seas and walls. As part of the mission of the Fruto Bendito Foundation is to recognize those populations that are in oblivion in order to provide them with tools to get out of that condition of inequality. 

One of the best ways to achieve this is from our plans (Wellness Plan and Safe Environments Plan), programs (1000 days and Alliances for well-being) and projects: (Blessed Plan, Seal with Love and Cribs with Love). Cunas Con Amor is one of our insignia as a foundation. This project fills us with pride, because they allow us to break down barriers and stigmas, in terms of cardboard, helping to create cradles of this material, becoming useful and practical tools that fight sudden death and that become a symbol of struggle in search for that social justice. 

A fundamental part for the growth of this movement are those people who have influence on public opinion, because without them, the delivery of Cribs With Love would not be possible. When these ecological mothers who are also influencers or public figures, agree to receive our cribs, in this way it helps us to break the cardboard paradigm, thus allowing us to reach ecological families who buy our cribs for $ 95,000 pesos where under the model 1 for 1 receive their crib and allow us to deliver an identical one to a vulnerable population. This is how we managed to reach the corners of Cartagena and its surroundings. 

This goal of achieving a delivery of cribs in La Heroica by August 2021, begins in 2020 when we found out that the Colombian presenter, Valentina Lizcano was going to be a mother. We knew it was important to contact her to tell her what we do, and thus be able to send her one of our cribs, eliminating those stigmas in front of her material. Therefore, we were persistent, we wrote to her through all her networks, to her phone, until we sent her a photo of a baby using a Crib With Love and it was there, where Valentina fell in love with our cause, something that filled us with joy. 

The case of Valentina goes hand in hand with another fundamental character who helped us achieve this dream, the renowned actress and future mother, Natalia Reyes, whom we also contacted with great persistence. At the beginning it was not easy, because the actress did not know about our foundation Fruto Bendito. However, in the end, Natalia also became aware of our mission and decided to help us. This being the case, we already had to pay for 2 cribs for vulnerable mothers; One thanks to the sponsorship of Natalia and the other used by Valentina and we achieved a third, through our donors. 

The trip to deliver cribs coincided with a family event. In order for our cribs to arrive in perfect condition, we decided to send them to Cartagena days before. Finally, the day came to fly from the city of Bogotá to the fantastic capital of Bolívar. 

The first stop we made in relation to the foundation was to go to Valentina Lizcano’s apartment, we picked up the crib, we took some photos, we talked with her, we taught her everything about the project, she was very generous: she opened her doors to us, she listened to us and he understood what motivated us. We saw in her a woman very conscious of her body and her life. Who, in addition, shows a responsibility and commitment when it comes to carrying a message of unity, love and equality. That filled our hearts, because knowing that we have that possibility of connecting with others and impacting through our cribs is gratifying, because this allows us to grow and we become creators of opportunities for those who need them most. 

After a long planning, the day came to meet our beneficiary mothers and deliver our cribs, which also came along with diapers, clothes, wet wipes and other necessary items for babies. Previously, Natalia Reyes, had put us in contact with the social leader, Yossie. A charming woman who was going to take us to know the island community, in Tierra Bomba, where we were going to make the delivery. The only way to get to the place is by boat, it is a 10-minute journey from Cartagena. The day was rainy, but that did not matter, we wanted to arrive to make those mothers happy, thank goodness our cribs were wrapped in vinyl paper, so we made sure of their care. 

First, we arrived at Fénix beach, where Natalia and her husband Juan Pedro’s hotel is located, there they welcomed us with a lot of love, they showed us the place and they let us into their house, they met our family, even Gabriel, our son and Product Manager, stayed playing in the pool with Natalia’s husband, who very kindly accompanied him while we did our work. After that wonderful meeting, we left to deliver our cribs. This is where the fruit of our mission is most importantly seen. We met two moms to whom we gave the whole Blessed Plan, we spoke heart to heart and the most wonderful thing is that we connected with them. During those moments, the leader was with us, her happiness showed on her face. We continued our journey and went to the home of a mother who was going to receive a crib. This is shocking, always arriving at the home of the beneficiaries is to know the reality and understand from the empathy how that baby is going to arrive or how it arrived in the world. The floor of the house was made of cement, the crib became something necessary, the baby would sleep in the same bed as her parents because there was no other, she had no where. 

For all those mothers, our visit changed the day, the month, the year and even their lives, they just received the cribs with those gifts, along with those indications of love and with those words where we emphasized that we were there for them, our messages became an encouragement to continue fighting to raise their children ahead. We know that we leave a mark in the lives of all these women. Something that filled us with happiness was that to the mother we visited in her home, she sent us the photos of the happy baby in the crib and that is one of the greatest gifts for us, that is the proof that that commitment that we have with the communities it is worth it, all our struggles become an intangible gift that fills us with happiness. That joy is transmitted and ends up being mutual.  

“The truth was something very significant both for me and for the mothers, since being a vulnerable population, the mothers have to do things. And seeing that Camila brought those little beds, those little beds, it was something wonderful, now the mothers can take care of their children wherever they are ”- assured, the social leader, Yossie, with deep gratitude.  

The story does not end there, unfortunately for these mothers life has not been easy at all and there are still many mothers to help, so I decided to speak with Yossie, who told me more about this population. In the first place, from their perspective, that delivery of cribs was something very important, because for these working mothers, it was very difficult to transport their babies with them while they were doing their work, now thanks to the cribs, they can carry them conveniently and carry them. this tool to work, knowing that your children can sleep and rest in a safe and comfortable place. Secondly, for her the delivery of cribs helps to make visible the problems faced by those who live in this territory. Well, they are people who do not have drinking water, nor a hospital, therefore, 

Based on this experience and the situations that Yossie tells us about, we realize that in Cartagena and its surroundings there is much to do. That becomes our topic of conversation and the morning after the delivery of the cribs, we spoke with Dainer González, a friend of ours with whom we have had contact since the delivery of markets in Cartagena during the pandemic. Dainer is a social leader from the Nelson Mandela neighborhood, located in the El Progreso sector, in the southwest of La Heroica, a place with about 45,000 inhabitants, where 80% are displaced by violence, this marginal area is hit by problems such as the violence, drugs and prostitution, where there is also a high rate of teenage pregnancies. For Dainer these situations are the ones that soften his soul and heart, 

Thus, the trip became a roller coaster of emotions, the deliveries captivated our soul and filled us with motivation to continue with this path, which we have traveled since 2016 with the dream of changing the lives of those who need it most, achieving May we all be #EqualWithAmor someday.  

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