José lives in the department of Atlántico, as a Community Economic Development volunteer.
I feel fortunate that I’m part of the pilot group for CED. All sites are unique; I think what makes mine special is that my youth are so well organized and motivated, which makes my job so much easier. Just today I was at the alcaldia’s office where two members of the youth associations presented a proposal for the mayor’s office to cover half of transportation costs for the local youth that travel daily to the universities in Barranquilla. This initiative was completely the youth’s idea and it’s being presented by them, I’m just there to help support them and share my thoughts.
Now that SENA has started and once Carnaval season ends, my “normal” day will consist of me working with one of the four programs I have for Articulación con la Media from 7-11am, then I will have lunch at home, and work in the afternoons with any of the 10 youth associations and all of their initiatives, the start-up private school that I’m helping structure their finances, a big peace project that my youth are creating, or working with any of the businesses that are working with SENA Emprende Rural. Thankfully I have a lot of variety and things going on in my town to keep me busy. I work on a first come, first serve manner, so I am always following my calendar. It sounds hectic, but we all know how the coastal culture looks like on the ground so it’s really not that bad. It’s definitely doable. I still have time to work out almost daily.
Some days I work with the youth association leaders at the university in Barranquilla because that is where they all are during the day, so I go to them and we work during their down time. Other days I have special events for the different projects I’m involved in, either in Polonuevo or in its veredas, and other days I come and work at the office in Santo Tomás because it’s super close and it gives me space to focus on documents that I need to work on.
Currently everything is super slow, so I’m enjoying Carnaval season and trying to get to know the coastal region and culture more, which makes me fall more and more in love with Colombia.