Armed conflict in Colombia has left hundreds of thousands of victims. Among them are the displaced that had to abandon their lands and their homes to save their lives.
However, in the Magdalena Medio region, in the East of the country, a small group of farmers stayed in their land, thanks to the project “Peace and Development” lead by the Development and Peace Corporation of Magdalena Medio (Corporación Desarrollo y Paz del Magdalena Medio).
The project, supported by the World Bank and other institutions, helped the farmers so that they could organize themselves as a network and withstand the conflict.
“I am happy here where I am, because I know how to handle the fields,” explains Ismael Caro Acuña, member of the producer association Asopalmar, sitting in front of his oil palm crop. Vegetable oil and fat is extracted from the palms, commercialized by the same association.
With the support of the project, the farmers not only could stay in their lands, but also have been able to improve their production methods. Also, they strengthened the enjoyment of their human rights, such as to decide where to live and to be able to work in a freely chosen activity with a fair income.
Working peacefully, surrounded by family
Another example can be seen in the North of Santander department, where the Peace and Development project, lead by the Development and Peace Corporation of the North of Santander, helped a group of displaced women that had arrived in popular neighborhoods of Cúcuta to learn dressmaking.
Now they have their own workshops. Ana Lida Gamboa, participant of the project, explains that she can work without neglecting her family. “I spend time with my daughter, with my mother, with my uncles…I live surrounded by my family, I am with them almost all day, because I work right there in the neighborhood with them,” she says.