Coffee, democracy and education
In the 1990s, during the most difficult period of violence in Cundinamarca, Angelica Benavides’ family was displaced by guerrillas. They had to abandon their land and their coffee plantations and move to Bogotá, where Angelica was born.
Life was hard for the Benavides family. Having moved from their home in Anatolí to Bogotá to escape the uncertainty in rural regions, Angelica’s parents were unemployed and educational conditions were very difficult. The city was dangerous - their neighbourhood had the highest homicide rates in Bogotá.
When security in rural areas of Colombia improved after the year 2,000, many displaced communities returned to their lands. Angelica´s family originally did not want to return because there were no schools in Anatolí. Thankfully, because of the investment in a new school by the Costa Foundation, in 2012 they came back to the land and took up coffee growing activities.
Angelica explains, “Thanks to this new school and to the improvement of security conditions in the area, we came back to Anatolí. Here I have the opportunity to represent students and to learn about politics and the democratic process, which are very interesting to me. At school we have the opportunity to learn every day about open participation, representation and human rights. I consider this to be a great opportunity to get to know the democratic and open participation process at a local level so that in my adult life I can be part of the national political process and create a country that integrates the opinion of different people. After completing my studies, I would love to be a leader in the Coffee Growing community and make our voices heard in national politics.”
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After completing my studies, I would love to be a leader in the Coffee Growing community and make our voices heard in national politics.