A women’s credit union in Barrancabermeja, and a land restitution project in San Carlos, won Colombia’s National Peace Prize 2011.
They beat 99 other nominees to win the award, which recognizes initiatives that promote peace and combat the impact of Colombia’s armed conflict.
Women in Barrancabermeja, Santander department, came together in 1992 when armed conflict dominated the region. Their project, “Merquemos Juntos,” saw each woman contribute 200 pesos ($.10) a day to a fund that was used to finance small food production activities. It now funds various small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as supporting low-income students.
The San Carlos municipality – where around 2,700 families have been displaced – received the prize for its work restoring land and rebuilding the city.