Sandra and Dora - Dagua, Valle del Cauca

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In the middle of the Farallones de Cali National Park, a paradise had been waiting to be revealed. The armed conflict brought much hardship to Dagua, one of the municipalities that make up the park. For many families in the region, growing coca became the only way to bring food to the table and survive amidst war. After the Peace Agreements, Dagua became a safer place where everyone could swim again in the crystal clear waters of its rivers without fear. Tourists soon began to arrive to discover this hidden paradise in the Anchicayá River basin. Preserving this area, while providing a legal livelihood to the locals who once grew coca, is the purpose of CORTUCÁN, an ecotourism cooperative of La Cascada village strengthened by PASO Colombia’s Contingency Plan To Support Ex-coca Grower Families.

In this episode of “Women Seeding Peace,” Sandra and Dora, members of CORTUCÁN, tell us how they are making ecotourism a sustainable livelihood for their families. At the same time,  they share how CORTUCÁN is preserving the biological wealth of this territory, which provides water to several surrounding municipalities, including the city of Santiago de Cali.

Like Sandra and Dora, women who have substituted coca crops across Colombia are creating a new life for themselves and their communities. The “Women Seeding Peace”web series collects the stories of participants of PASO Colombia’s Contingency Plan, which supports families registered in the National Comprehensive Program for the Substitution of Illicit Crops (PNIS) program. Today, these women are the driving forces of sustainable development in their territories.

The Contingency Plan to Support Ex-coca Grower Families is funded by the UN Multipartner Trust Fund for Sustaining Peace in Colombia, and implemented by PASO Colombia in coordination with the Presidential Office for Stabilization and Consolidation.

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