|Refreshed and republished on June 23th, 2022|
|This post was originally published on June 22th, 2020, and has been enhanced and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.|
In The Chocolate Dream we know that to fulfil a dream, we need the union of many. Also, we learned that art and culture are detonators of development. Chocolate and social impact are a reality.
This is the story of our first volunteering. We integrate art and teamwork to take the first step —of many we have given so far— to generate development in one of the cocoa regions where we work. We needed to impact society.
Our cocoa forest in Necoclí employs people from nearby towns. They are full of passion and eager to master the cultivation of cocoa. This is so they can provide for their families and lead the progress of their communities.
Among our cocoa farmers, we have 70 workers from Caribia, a small village that is part of the subregion of Urabá, Antioquia. For some time now, its inhabitants began to train as technicians in sustainable tourism. They also voiced their enthusiasm toward turning their village into a touristic destination. This by taking advantage of its historical wealth —it was the first settlement in the area and had a tremendous ethnic diversity—.
It was an excellent opportunity to support the Caribia community. This is by helping them spread to the world the energy and generosity their people carry in their hearts. Also, their relentless desire to move forward.
We were thrilled to display that inner beauty in the community. Transforming Caribia into a vibrant touristic destination. With this grand challenge on our hands, Luker Chocolate recruited happy volunteers to paint the Caribia dream in colors. This is how Pinta Caribia was born.
For us, Pinta Caribia is more than an initiative. It is the tangible metaphor and magical realism that exists around the cocoa pod. Something that not only nurtures the beans but also nurtures lives and builds dreams around it.
With our hearts filled with empathy, and lots of excitement, the sustainability team of The Chocolate Dream started to materialize the execution of Pinta Caribia.
This is how we got in touch with the Orbis-Pintuco Foundation. An organization with experience generating development through education and colour in vulnerable populations around Colombia. Together we saw the potential of doing an artistic day. A day in which volunteers from Luker Chocolate, and inhabitants of Caribia, would paint as a team until the last house of the village.
The Orbis-Pintuco Foundation helped us to create a program. An initiative in which 20 young people from Caribia applied to receive training as technicians in painting. Now we only needed the materials, because we had to collect 500 gallons of paint.
Between the Orbis Pintuco Foundation, Luker Chocolate, and its collaborators, we collected donations to reach the goal. Additionally, 30 of our collaborators, including the management committee, traveled as volunteers to take part in Pinta Caribia.
Chocolate production and social impact
And the big day finally arrived. On June 22nd of 2020, more than 30 volunteers and Caribans united their efforts around the dream of turning Caribia into the most colorful place in Necoclí. The palette was selected to represent the colors found in the cultivation of cocoa.
Colors that for the Caribia population have a deep meaning. Blue symbolizes tranquility. Green represents the peace found in the village. Yellow represents the prosperity achieved in the cocoa fields. And red for the love they have for their community and families.
Each volunteer helped two families to paint their houses while receiving help from the inhabitants who had been training with the Orbis-Pintuco Foundation. Also, the community was responsible for preparing breakfast, lunch, and food. Thus, concretizing great teamwork and strengthening the links between Luker Chocolate and the community.
PAINTING A DREAM
A chocolate business that builds communities
Shoulder to shoulder, despite the heat and exhaustion, we worked for a common goal, and this effort was reflected in the results. 100 houses were painted that day. From the primary school, community centre, and nursery to the playgrounds.
The Chocolate Dream colours covered more than 100 houses in the small town, and these colours tell the story of how dreaming together and working together can make dreams a beautiful reality
Today we want to thank the community of Caribia for allowing us to connect with their dreams. Open the doors of their homes and let us fill their lives with colour and chocolate. Without a doubt, they also painted our hearts.