School Cafeteria - RioBlanco, Columbia

For the past 33 years, I've worked as a missionary teacher and mentor to kids all over the world, much of which has taken place in Colombia, South America - a region affected by terrible violence. After the death of my wife in 2001, I decided to start a few schools that offer vocational training and programs to help better the lives of children and elderly in the region. Since then, I've become deeply involved in the lives of the community and overjoyed at the results of our efforts.

I was recently approached by a friend to help build a cafeteria for the Institucion Educativa Francisco Julian Olaya in the mountains of Rioblanco Tolima. The school serves up to 630 students from 5-18 years old. These students come from families earning an average of $105/month and seeking to improve their children's lives and community through education.

Due to the mountainous terrain and the remoteness of the region it serves, many of these children are walking up to 2.5 hours to get to the school and back. That's on top of the 8.5 hours they are attending class. However, they don't have the means to afford or carry lunch. This means these children are going up to 13.5 hours without food.

The government can provide snacks and lunch for the children 5 days a week during the school year, but without an adequate facility, the school is unable to take advantage of this program. This proposed cafeteria would enable the school to prepare, store and serve the students with the needed nutrition to get the most out of their education.

Budget, plans and schedule have been developed and are available upon request. I'm also working with the construction company I work for to help donate time for the build of the facility.

Any help you may be able to provide be it small or large is greatly appreciated. This new cafeteria wouldn't just give these students a place to eat lunch, but would mean putting food in the stomachs of 630 kids that go undernourished on a daily basis. 


Philip "Krusty" Gamez


Sierra Baumle
Louisville, KY

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