Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | December 27, 2011

Beautiful butterflies where once there were paramilitaries

Alas de Colombia is a Cali-based butterfly exporter that employs 25 disadvantaged women in a region once terrorized by paramilitaries. The women, often single mothers, nurture the butterflies to chrysalis stage when Alas de Colombia buys them for $1 each. There is then a window of 10 to 20 days to ship the butterflies to its destination while they emerge from their cocoons.

The company ships up to 8,000 butterflies a month to be released at weddings, birthdays, and other celebrations.

Alas de Colombia was founded by Vanessa and Patricia Restrepo. The business grew from a senior thesis that Vanessa wrote at Cali’s Javeriana University. Vanessa’s mother, Patricia, a former corporate lawyer, came on board and helped with export permits.

Alas de Colombia has won grants from the World Bank and from a U.S.-financed fund that supports green, sustainable products and companies with a social conscience.

Thumbs up to this. May 2012 bring Colombia more of these kinds of projects.

Happy New Year.

Butterflies are considered a gesture of best wishes for the future.

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Responses

  1. […] Talking about Colombia has this sweet, odd commodities story. Alas de Colombia is a Cali-based butterfly exporter that employs 25 disadvantaged women in a region once terrorized by paramilitaries. The women, often single mothers, nurture the butterflies to chrysalis stage when Alas de Colombia buys them for $1 each. There is then a window of 10 to 20 days to ship the butterflies to its destination while they emerge from their cocoons. […]


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