Colombia – "Ciudad Don Bosco": Colombian youth towards a sustainable economy

16 June 2021

(ANS - Medellín) – Every year the Salesian "Ciudad Don Bosco" center in Medellín, Colombia, welcomes and accompanies hundreds of minors on an educational path for the whole person that is strongly oriented towards environmental sustainability and respect for the Common Home.

The Salesian community that runs the center concentrates its service in five sectors: school, first employment, the parish, a production company, and protection activities, especially towards street children.

The Salesian center is also involved in significant prevention work in the Medellín neighborhoods for the schooling of minors working in the mines in Amagá, south of the city, and in reintegration activities for former child soldiers recruited in the armed movements. The "Casa de protección especializada" program is aimed at them, involving a large group of professionals, more than half being former street children who now wish to help today's children to have better opportunities for their future.

At the end of their studies, Ciudad Don Bosco offers these young people reintegration paths in the world of work in the following sectors: mechanics, electrical installations, fashion, cooking, logistics, accounting, and marketing.

Two large companies, 55% supported by the Colombian government, are also part of the works managed by the Salesian community: one deals with lithography and graphic design, while the other involves metalworking.

The community that runs "Ciudad Don Bosco" has chosen to embrace the values ​​of care for the Common Home contained in Laudato Si'. "Thanks to the help of the government in the community land we have planted potatoes, tomatoes, beans and planted 6,500 trees, thanks to which we have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 25%. We have also activated projects aimed at improving the hydrographic basin and the micro-basins of water scattered over the mountains, installed a water treatment plant, and invested in sanitary fittings and other materials that allow us to save and reduce water consumption," explained Juan Pablo Sandoval, Ciudad Don Bosco Project and Institutional Development Coordinator.

Also, through a number of small gardens, the work provides the necessary food to be able to feed over 300 young people every day. And a project has also been developed for heating water using solar panels which allows for a substantial reduction in energy consumption.

“In Ciudad Don Bosco,” explains Robinson Àlvarez, Ciudad Don Bosco environmental management coordinator, “we have developed alliances with control bodies that help us to foster an ecological culture with our children and adolescents, oriented towards the care and protection of our environmental heritage. We have undertaken many concrete actions, campaigns for water care, the efficient use of natural resources, the protection of our fauna and flora, separate waste collection. In this way, we have set up a research center for the benefit of our young people and we have allowed the creation of an ecological nucleus.”

Cristiana Noaptes



ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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