It's easy to fall in love with Colombia's Sierra Nevada.
When I first visited Minca in 2010, I discovered a land of beautiful waterfalls, enormous jungle trees, snow-capped peaks and mountainside farms. More than nature, it was the warmth of the people here that drew me in. My understanding of the issues they faced was what led me to stay.
Through educative programs and animal clinics, we started by providing care for our community's pet population. Next, we focused on education as the foundation for a better future. Quickly, we understood that tourism was growing and we turned our attention there to reduce the negative effects created by this industry.
The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta has great potential but faces many challenges. It is a region with very low standards of education for children, insufficient opportunities, and high poverty rates.
We are working to fix these issues, one social or environmental project at a time. Yet what drives us most are not the challenges we face but the change we see around us.
We see it in the smiles of children now inspired to care about the environment. We see it on the faces of the volunteers we host and the people they help. Diana Benincore Reyes, Director, Misión Gaia
Find out how you can help too.