TLDR? Mariana Pajón is one of the many Medellin women who is transforming the City of Eternal Spring.
Paisa women are more than models and pretty faces.
Medellín women’s contributions to the city aren’t as known as they should be. Paisa city is known for its different artists, especially men, but women stand out in this scenario for their talent and political activism.
If you’re interested in knowing a little more about them, here’s a list of some of the most influential women in the city!
Pajón is one of the most famous athletes in Colombia. She’s recognized worldwide for being a two-time BMX champion.
“Pedaleando por un sueño” is the name of the social contribution that Mariana makes to the Paisa community and her country.
For almost ten years, through her foundation, she’s promoted Colombian sports by giving children and young people the opportunity to dedicate themselves professionally to BMX one day.
In addition, the foundation helps other communities going through a rough time and improves their state of crisis.
Mariana is currently 30 years old and active in the world of sports. She continues to be the inspiration of many athletes nationally and worldwide.
Alicia is one of the biggest fashion influences in Medellin and for all of Colombia.
She’s the founder of Colombiamoda and Colombiatex, the most significant fashion event in the country. Thousands of people seek to promote their brands and find suppliers through fashion shows and exhibitions each year.
This woman contributed to the generation of more jobs by promoting young paisa talents internationally.
Her support for the region’s artisans and this economic sector has been tremendous since she was the one who managed to bring the Expoartesano to the streets of Milan.
Maria Emma Mejia
Maria Emma has shown throughout her career that women can hold important positions and different ranks, making a real difference through politics.
She has fought for gender equality and contributed to society as a mediator with armed groups and Colombian ambassador to the UN.
Campuzano is a businesswoman that generates more than a thousand indirect jobs throughout the country, contributing to the economy and the well-being of many families.
She’s an inspiration and role model for many entrepreneurs.
Campuzano currently has one of the most recognized fashion brands in the country. She sold her shoe designs while in college and built up her career.
Everyone knows Karol G. She’s one of the most influential reggaeton artists today, not only in Colombia but in different parts of the world.
I bet you’ve danced to many of her songs, like Don’t be shy, but maybe you didn’t know that a large part of her fortune goes to foundations in Medellin.
In addition, Karol G usually visits hospital patients as a surprise and contributes to foundations created by other artists that support second chances for women in Colombia.
During the Covid-19 stage, Karol made hundreds of donations with medicines, financial aid, and food for affected families in Medellín. She said, “you have to help as much as you can“.
Karol G is also one of the singers who try to empower women through her music.
This woman was initially known as the protagonist in a film that showed the sad reality of many people who live on the streets, La Vendedora de Rosas.
Due to legal problems, she was in jail for more than 20 years. She’s now considered an inspiration for the resilience with which she has managed to move forward.
Other Female Characters
Famous women may contribute to improving Medellín, but the real heroines are the silent women who contribute to the community from within. Be it through ventures that help women to obtain profits or social services to improve general life quality.
Here are a couple of women who’ve helped many in the city.
Born in Medellín, Mrs. Adriana is a designer of unique and handmade garments who teaches other women to get ahead.
She has taught women victims of human trafficking and helped them sell the garments they’d designed.
In addition, Hidalgo promotes recycling. She’s worked with peasant women on recycled paper for the design of jewelry as well as fique (natural fiber) for market bags.
She currently sells her clothes at the Mercado de San Alejo in Medellín, an artisan market from where she continues her work with the women of Medellín.
Mrs. Rosario has contributed to Medellín’s feminine society with her dolls and puppets.
Doña Rosario decided years ago to share her knowledge and what has helped her progress as a single mother and give study to her daughters.
She conducts her workshops, teaching women and girls how to make dolls, considering that women can support each other.
Las Berracas de la 13
Perhaps you haven’t heard the word Berraca. A possible translation would be empowered or resilient.
Las Berracas de las 13 is a group of women victimized by the armed conflict in Medellín and other parts of Colombia. It’s existed for over fifteen years.
They help more than 200 women with their projects and campaigns, including motivating young women to work and older women to continue their studies.
They’re also in charge of serving tourists who are going to tour the street art of Comuna 13. Over the years, they’ve established a tour service telling the history of the communes with a solidarity shop, women weavers, and even a restaurant service.
In addition, they received the help of foreigners who contributed to the commune with cooking and language classes. There’s even an eco-garden made by a Frenchman! The commune’s inhabitants harvest and consume its products.
Other Contributions to Medellin Women
Like many places in the world, Medellín continues to fight against the macho legacy and for gender equality.
That’s why it has maintained different projects that allow women in the city and its surroundings to protect themselves, educate themselves, undertake, and even be awarded. Some of those projects are:
Mujeres que crean: Through this project, they help women learn about the different types of violence that exist and their right to equality.
Leadership Award Medal: This space aims to reward women who have contributed to the fight for social gender equality.
Mujeres de comunas: This is a support program aimed at women who are single mothers and located in the communes and corregimientos of the city.
Secretaria de las Mujeres: This project helps women not abandon their rights, such as education, regardless of age. In addition, it promotes the mitigation of violence against women by leading activities with male participation in the city’s neighborhoods.
In addition to these feminist projects, Medellín is one of the main cities where the Pride Festival is celebrated, being one of the largest and most supported events for the respect and equality of all genders.
Institutions That Also Help the City Today
Several Medellín-based institutions contribute to the city’s well-being and impact women’s leadership today. Here are some of them.
For over three years, Juanfe has helped people, especially pregnant women, children, and youths.
With their work, they help teenage mothers to receive education and find formal employment.
The positioning of this foundation in Medellín was motivated by the percentages of poverty registered in previous years and the high birth rate, including minors and victims of abuse.
The foundation isn’t only located in Cartagena: it has international headquarters in places like the United States, Panamá, Chile, and Spain, which has earned it different national and international awards for its contribution to social welfare.
With its motto “Inequality generates violence”, this foundation is dedicated to helping families from the northeast of Medellín living in poverty or victimized by armed conflict and fighting for their right to a dignified life.
They seek to make a social change from within, training young people to be leaders.
This foundation motivates people to be part of it by volunteering and being part of social change. You can also donate.
With more than 40 years of experience helping the community, this foundation helps pregnant mothers, children, and adolescents, as well as reincorporated women, refugees, displaced persons, and indigenous communities.
The foundation generates employment for the women of commune 8 in a clothing factory. It has a clothing store whose objective is to raise funds.