With the purpose in mind of closing the inequality gap, strengthening the proper use of free time and preventing social problems a high-impact action will be carried out by more than 150 volunteers who will participate in this initiative and who, thanks to LATAM Airlines, will mobilize from the entire region to finalize the construction of the recreational space.

After two months of construction and more than a year of arrangements and behind-the-scenes efforts, the initiative led by the Santa Marta-born artist Carlos Vives and the paid TV operator DIRECTV, will inaugurate, this week, the first construction phase of the social plan, which has been developed to impulse transformation and restoration in the neighborhood of Pescaíto in Santa Marta.

“The Casa de los Pescaítos is the first stone of our dream of revitalizing Pescaíto. It will be the place where the dreams of the little ones will be cultivated and where the whole community would be able to find an open space to enjoy and believe again in the possibilities of the neighborhood, ” said Carlos Vives.

For her part, Claudia Elena Vásquez, Executive Director of Tras La Perla, highlighted the process that has allowed this work to be finalized and the determining role of the allies: “For a long time, we have been developing the entire neighborhood transformation plan and it was supremely important to take the first step with such a significant work for the community. It is something that is now possible thanks to the participation of such a key ally as is DIRECTV, who with its volunteering has maintained its firm commitment to contribute to Pescaíto. We also hope to have the support of the Mayor's Office of Santa Marta to develop multiple activities after the inauguration, and thus turn this scenario into a true community epicenter. ”

The alliance between Tras La Perla  and  DIRECTV is part of the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Piedra, Papel y Tijera corporate volunteer program, thanks to which the entertainment company carries out simple but high-impact actions that transform the quality of life of communities in situations of vulnerability.  Direct TV had already joined Carlos Vives prior initiative renovating the Almirante Padilla school in the area of San Martín.  On this occasion, the initiative also counts with the collaborative efforts of LATAM Airlines which coordinated the transfer of volunteers from different countries into the region.

“At DIRECTV, we address social responsibility using as part of our DNA, using our technology, services and resources to generate positive and sustainable change. With the conviction that a difference can be achieved with our own hands, we carried out the Piedra, Papel y Tijera corporate volunteer program, which invites our employees to participate in simple but high-impact actions that transform the quality of life of communities in situations of vulnerability as it is this case in the Pescaíto neighborhood,” said Enzo Dotto, Regional Manager of Content and CSR Partnerships at DIRECTV Latin America. "Since the creation of the program in 2009, we have carried out more than 266 initiatives in countries throughout the region, with the participation of 14,095 volunteers and 121,655 hours of work," he added.

Santiago Álvarez, Executive Director of LATAM Airlines Colombia, said: “Within our sustainability strategy and strengthening our corporate citizenship pillar, with which we seek the socio-economic and environmental development of the regions, we saw in this alliance a great opportunity to contribute from our business to the construction of the new game center in the Pescaíto neighborhood in Santa Marta, one of the main destinations of our operation. Today we work hard to continue being one of the 3 most sustainable airlines in the world and, whenever we are presented with opportunities to contribute to environmental or community development, we will be willing to collaborate. ”

The work also counts with the participation of the Fundación Colombianitos and of ACDI / VOCA, which have joined the initiative through important contributions to the logistics of these volunteering efforts.

What is new at the game center?

In its entirety, the project spans 2 months of construction and 4 days of participation of 70 international volunteers and 80 national and community volunteers resulting in a real and tangible benefit for 1,200 children and adolescents who currently live there.

The pedagogy of the new game center is framed in the NAVES Methodology (children learning, living, experimenting and socializing), a learning proposal based essentially on the conviction that playing is a central element in the life of a human being and a fundamental right that must be guaranteed at the same level as all human rights. The game center will also have a technology area, where children will have access to computers to play with specialized children's educational software and also will have free Internet access thanks to the fact that DIRECTV made a donation for 2 years.

 In addition, this game center will be equipped with the installation of a ESCUELA+ type classroom, the educational television program that DIRECTV develops together with its partners: National Geographic, Discovery at School, Tournament Foundation, Takeoff Media and Disney with the objective of contributing to shorten the social and technological gap, supplementing the curricular content to which the children would have access in the classroom.