Young People Committed with the Environment

By Paula Vizcaya,

In the Montebello neighborhood, near the Pies Descalzos School in Quibdó, an environmental problem has been demonstrated with the mismanagement of solid waste. That is why, a group of graduated students, took the initiative to form a youth group, in order to sensitize the community about the importance of keeping the neighborhood clean, as well as how to contribute to environmental care from simple actions such as not throwing away the trash on the floor.

Next, Fayeison Mosquera Guerrero, who is currently in ninth grade; chosen as the group’s president, tells why they decided to bet on the promotion of environmental care, the activities they want to carry out and the challenges that await them:

“We are 11 young people, former students of the Pies Descalzos Foundation and residents of the Montebello neighborhood. We have realized that the foundation has contributed many positive things in the neighborhood and that in the evenings they lend us the space to play football. But we realized that many times when we finished we left dirty the space, the watchman reproached us and many of us got angry. One day we said that it was not necessary for him to tell us all the time that we cleaned the school, but that we ourselves had to worry about the space remaining clean. From there we decided that we would form a youth group that would focus on bringing a message to the inhabitants of the neighborhood about the importance of not throwing the garbage on the floor, or the streams. We want to teach people from the example that our neighborhood should stay clean, that we have cleaning rules, which we must comply with just like any visitor”.

The idea of our group is self – sustaining, therefore, all the material we collect is recyclable, and we will sell it to buy the implements we need every time we do the cleaning days. For a greater organization, in our group, we have a vice president, secretary, and treasurer.

“We want to work hand in hand with the foundation, receive their support and for us to collaborate in all kinds of activities that the foundation requires, so that together we face the challenges that arise, among these, to be able to change the thoughts of other people so that they do not throw trash on the floor or the streams.”

Love for the Letters

By Paula Vizcaya,

We recognize reading spaces as a fundamental part of the development of quality education. Therefore, within the implementation of the Pileo Project (reading, writing, and orality), a day of sensitization and promotion of reading was carried out. Thanks to the support of the Language Area of ​​the Pies Descalzos Institution – Cartagena and the Biblioparque de San Francisco, the students were encouraged to practice reading, which aims love for literature and writing.

The activity consisted of a guided visit to the library, of all grades: from kinder garden to eleventh grade. The purpose of this tour was for the students to know the functions, uses and resources of the library. In order to familiarize the student population with the spaces, in addition to strengthening reading habits, which are projected to writing.

Within the Library several spaces were proposed, among them: recommended books as a loan; the mural of the “piropos” where the oral tradition was promoted, and the meaning that this oral resource has as a strategy to praise the virtues of a man or a woman. In addition, a room called “el toldo literario” (the literary awning) was presented on the premises; in this one, they were cradle stories, night songs and night poems. Finally, the children studied were in the room “pint your story”, where a story was read and the boys let their imagination fly through the process of drawing.

In the Pies Descalzos Educational Institution, we will continue adding efforts to promote the habit of reading in students; as a tool that allows developing creative, critical and reflective thinking.

Dances and “Comparsas”

By Paula Vizcaya,

After months of preparation, more than 300 students, 30 parents, academic coordinators, dozens of teachers and eager to remember what it means to be Barranquilla and be part of Pies Descalzos; This is how the beginning of the Carnival was lived in the Pies Descalzos Barranquilla school.

In a tour full of music, dance, and colors, the students filled the community with joy. Pie Latino Senior and Junior were the sensation: Juanita returned, Tamarindo Seco, La Guacherna, among other representative songs, cheered the journey made by the educational community through the streets of La Playa, sector that inhabits the Pies Descalzos school.

The rector, the academic coordinators, the teachers and parents were completely involved in the activity. Not only did they dedicate a large part of their time and energy to taking care of the children, but they also participated in the carnival. The joy and cornstarch flew everywhere as well as the photographs that now witness the colors and smiles that adorned the streets of this village that were dressed as a carnival.

The Pies Descalzos School was a success at Carnivalito 2019 and even though the raid on carnival has not yet finished this year, mothers, teachers, and students are rethinking the course for 2020

Improve Yourself

By Paula Vizcaya,

With the aim of promoting discipline and teamwork, workshops were held at the Martial Arts School at the Pies Descalzos Educational Institution of Cartagena. These trainings are considered essential for the development of abilities necessary to face life and more than that, so that our students can make positive impact and change in their community.

This was an initiative of the teacher Álvaro León Coral, who dedicates his free time to the Martial Arts project. Consequently, a group of students who showed enthusiasm and commitment to the activity was formed. This group seeks to be trained to participate in external leagues and games as a way to reinforce the process.

“Being part of the school has contributed to my discipline, fitness and mental well-being, which allows me to have the opportunity to belong to a project that is not offered in schools in the area”

Yesmith Posada Álvarez, grade 9

“Being part of the school is an opportunity that the institution gives us to improve our quality of life, which allows us to strengthen values ​​such as respect, humility and equity, in addition to opening many doors”

Oswaldo Pineda Martínez, grade 11

In Pies Descalzos we are fully convinced of continuing to support these processes, which enrich, strengthen and contribute significantly to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and, therefore, promote Quality Education to break the cycle of poverty in Colombia.

We Make Music

By Paula Vizcaya,

The Music Production Club is an initiative aimed at students who live in areas of difficult access to Information Technology tools. During three weeks, the students lived an experience in which, through the learning of simple techniques of musical production, they activate soft skills and mathematical thinking, allowing them to obtain abilities to solve daily and technological problems of the current world.

In Quibdó, in “Comuna Seis” (District Six) of the Montebello neighborhood, where the Pies Descalzos Foundation operates, a group of children took advantage of the company of Diego Romero, creator of the Musical Production Club Project. During the training process, the main protagonists were the students who created musical tracks and together wrote the lyrics of a song titled “Yo Quiero”. The lyrics of this song are the result of an exercise in which students had to think about the things that are most valuable to them, places where they feel comfortable and happy and finally a reflection on what they would do to take care of those things mentioned.

The music classes were a space in which the students learned to use technology as a creation tool and recognize that it can be used beyond the game and the consumption of videos.

We thank Diego Romero for bringing his musical project to the children of Pies Descalzos and for contributing with the process of a of obtaining a higher quality education for them.

Alejandra Moreno, a Devoted Teacher

By Paula Vizcaya,

Alejandra Moreno, a teacher at the Maria Berchmans School – Pies Descalzos Foundation, describes herself as a warrior, who strives to achieve the goals she sets, trying to do and give the best; She´s the mother of four children and oldest sister of six brothers.

The teacher Alejandra Moreno, tells that she has been at the Antonio Ricaurte Educational Institution for 12 years, and that in December of 2018 she was informed of her nomination to be part of the “Todos aprenden” program. Through her testimony we want to exalt her work and her motivations during her performance as a teacher.

“I decided to be a teacher because I liked to help my brothers when they were studying; I also helped my neighbors, my mother was a great motivation because she was illiterate, I did not want anyone else in my family to be left without learning, so I taught and they would call me the “boss”. My only fear to devote myself to teaching was mathematics, I remember sometimes saying that I would study something that had nothing to do with mathematics, but my desire to be a teacher was greater, so I made an effort in the area.

I started my teaching experience in “hogares bienestar” where my mother was a community mother and I was an auxiliary to her. There I understood that what I like the most about being a teacher is being able to contribute to the integral formation of boys and girls, essentially in their early childhood.

Last year I was notified of the nomination to be a tutor for the program “Todos aprenden”, all because my average performance evaluation according to the decree that welcomes me (278) has consecutively averaged 9 and that is a reason to be promoted to tutor. When I received the news I analyzed it, I reflected on it and then I called the principal of the head office and ratified my decision not to accept the nomination. This is because I really like what I do, I see the results in my students and in the recognition other people make about me.

Since I arrived in my classroom I feel full of confidence in myself, I am very aware of my students, and I also have a good relationship with their parents, because I believe that between them and I we must speak the same language to achieve good results in the education of children “.


Learning Environments

By Paula Vizcaya,

During the Institutional Week, the first meeting of the year took place among the group of teachers and academic directors of the Pies Descalzos Foundation Educational Institution – Barranquilla. The space helped the teachers go through different pedagogical, academic and didactic subjects, corresponding to the development of the activities of the school year.

The Pies Descalzos team led by the Industrial Designer and Pedagogue John Vela, the setting and contextualization of classrooms and educational spaces with the theme of “ambientes de aprendizaje” (learning environments). This time the teachers began to determine and reflect on their relationship with the space where they develop their teaching and learning process, discovering each of its characteristics: its colors; the intentionality of the furniture; the functionality; the use of natural resources such as solar light sources or air cabs, among others.

At the end of the activity, a reflection on education was carried out, and how it invites to think about the importation of the role of the teacher as a connoisseur of spaces and the use of them for exploration, research and the construction of knowledge in the schools.

Thanks to John Vela and the entire teaching team for putting their creativity and knowledge at the service of the education and growth of the Pies Descalzos’ children.

The Start of Two New Dreams!

By Fundación Pies Descalzos,

In November 2018, the first phase of the Nuevo Bosque and Villas de Aranjuez projects began. These two new educational institutions will be located in Barranquilla and Cartagena respectively. We thank The Ministry of National Education and its Fund for Financing Educational Infrastructure, the Mayor’s Office of Barranquilla, the Mayor’s Office of Cartagena, the FC Barcelona Foundation, the Banca La Caixa Foundation, the Costa Crucero Company, the Mario Santo Domingo Foundation, the LCI Educational Foundation and the Swiss Embassy in Colombia. Without their participation it would have been impossible to start these new projects that symbolize the dream of educating and caring for our children in order to cement the path of peace.

The Projects:

In Barranquilla, this project will become a reality in one of the most vulnerable areas, the Nuevo Bosque neighborhood. Inhabitants here have been victims of crime and inequality. This institution will be built in an area of 6,000 m² thanks to the investment of more than $14,000 million pesos.

Construction of another new educational institution is underway in the neighborhood Villas de Aranjuez, located in the City of Bicentennia. With an approximate budget of $14,000 million pesos, this institution will be built in a 14,500 m² area and will bring quality education and community development to the residents.

Today, thanks to an alliance of private and governmental entities, our dream of developing high quality education programs for children living in communities immersed in poverty is growing and becoming a reality.

At Pies Descalzos we know that quality education is the way to build peace in Colombia. As of today, more than 30,000 meters have been built, thanks to more than 500 donors and 300 partners. It is because of them that it is possible to see a significant change in these communities.

Pies Descalzos At The International Book Fair Of Barranquilla

By Fundación Pies Descalzos,

Last month, the International Book Fair of Barranquilla (LIBRAQ) took place at the Puerta de Oro Events Center and the Great Malecon. The development of this type of space is fundamental for the culture of the Barranquilleros to meet their objective of being the best educated city in Colombia.

The Pies Descalzos Foundation, with its commitment to Quality Education, adds to the development of these literary and cultural goals. Thus, with the aim of reinforcing the learning that takes place in the classroom within projects such as Storytellers and Reading Clubs, the children of the Educational Institution participated in the activities and experiences proposed within the framework of the LIBRAQ.

Our Allies

The House of Culture of the Governorate of the Atlantic, Comfamiliar, and the team of the International Book Fair of Barranquilla opened spaces for meaningful learning for the boys and girls. Exploring literary figures, storytelling spaces, dance and music presentations, participating in forums and talks, and book presentations by their authors were some of the teaching moments that the Foundation’s children could experience.

At the end of the day the students said goodbye to the fair full of knowledge, motivation and a great deal of new information provided by the different components of LIBRAQ. This is how an extracurricular activity opened the possibility of interacting with different academic aspects in a spontaneous, fun way with a sense of exploration.

We thank the directors of the educational institution Pies Descalzos Foundation for accompanying this space, our educational manager and the Comfamiliar employees for believing together with us that with quality education we can all better ourselves.

My Life Project at The Santa Clara Hotel

By Fundación Pies Descalzos,

The Pies Descalzos Foundation developed the My Life Project, aimed at helping students develop life skills that will allow them to make conscious decisions that will guide their future and their role in different environments. With the support of the My Life Project, students identify the qualities and abilities needed to pursue their preferred vocation within higher education.

In the development of the project, contact was made with both academic and business entities so that the students can have direct experiences with fields they could study at a university. By participating in these events, students gain a better understanding of their professional preferences.

My Life Project Partners

The Santa Clara Hotel, an ally of the Pies Descalzos Foundation, has opened its doors for students to interact directly with the service areas offered in the tourism sector such as reception, table and bar, chambermaid, kitchen, pastry, bakery, and maintenance, among others.

The students learned about the different spaces of the hotel: restaurants, guest rooms, spa, gym, swimming pool, electrical and technical repair rooms and had the opportunity to encounter the historical wealth found in every corner of the hotel. The employees in each of the departments shared their experience and their work, helping the students decide which career would be most in line with their interests and skills.

This meeting was very significant for the students, who showed increased interest in certain careers after learning more about the options open to them in the different sectors of the hotel. We thank Hotel Santa Clara for opening their doors for the benefit of quality education.