Colombia: “As purchasing manager, I deliver meals to migrants on the road”

Tania Rodríguez, a Colombian repatriate, is head of the service point in Curití, in Santander, the main road between Bucaramanga and Bogotá and practically the only support point for “caminantes” arriving from Venezuela.

Tania Rodríguez Corzo purchasing manager in Fe y Progreso service point

© Première Urgence Internationale – 2020.

The Fe y Progreso service point is located in the village of Palmira in the municipality of Curití, in the department of Santander. It is the main road between Bucaramanga and Bogota and practically the only point of support for the « Caminantes ». Until October of last year, the place functioned as a shelter, but due to incidents with some people, the Church that administers it (Iglesia Asamblea Evangélica Luz y Verdad) and the Swiss-German foundation that provides the farm (Fundación Ayuda Internacional de Alemania y Suiza para el Campesinado Colombiano) have decided to close the accommodation and continue to function only as a dining room.

My name is Tania Rodríguez Corzo, I am Colombian. I had the chance to live in Venezuela for 13 years with my family. We worked for 6 years in a center, which is responsible for rescuing children living in the streets. Then we lived in the east of the country, where I studied and worked and we enjoyed this wonderful country. Due to the situation in the country, I returned to Colombia.

In January we moved to live in the countryside and due to the pandemic, the migrant shelter outside our home had to close. We started to give cookies, water and we cooked a little bit more to be able to share with those who need it. But we didn’t have the resources to do it.

Pastor Alirio, in charge of the shelter, began to help us buy food for everyone who passed by. Later,  friends from other countries joined us, helped us and donated to cover expenses. We are also very grateful to Première Urgence Internationale and Solidarités International, that help reduce the urgent risks faced by Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Colombia. With everything they gave us, we were able to continue to help and not have any problems with the authorities. We are currently working with the pastor, his wife and my parents.

Today I am responsible of purchases and 4 days a week I deliver meals to migrants on the road. When I get out of work at night, I deliver meals on the San Gil promenade.

deliver meals to refugees and migrants in Colombia© Première Urgence Internationale – 2020.

It’s a chance to be able to help so many people and to be useful. It’s also a way of saying « thank you » to Venezuela for helping me, to thank a country that I loved very much and where I was happy. It has taught me to be more grateful for everything that I have.

The activities are implemented by Première Urgence Internationale and Solidarités International, in collaboration with the municipality of Bucaramanga and their local partner Fundación Entre Dos Tierras.

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