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.