The Faces of Fruandes.
Fruandes was founded in a time when Colombia was experiencing serious upheaval with many internal refugees moving to large cities in hopes for safety from armed conflict in the rural areas. Embedded in the heart of Fruandes was a commitment to employ women who had been displaced by violence in their rural homes and had come to Bogotá to start a new life.
Fruandes now employs 45 women and has carried on in its strength in providing community for the families of their employees.
Fruandes is now looking ahead and building a new facility in Ibague. This will mean moving the whole operation hours away from the city of Bogota. In their usual style, the leaders of Fruandes put together a multi-day trip for the whole company to go by bus and explore the new town. Finding housing, checking out schools and sports teams for their children, envisioning a new life in a new place together. The collective sense is that the new town will provide an incredible lift in quality of life - less time commuting, more affordable housing and more time with family.
Tatiana's mother worked at Fruandes during Tatiana's growing up years. In 2008 Tatiana became the 2nd generation in her family to join Fruandes. She started in production and now works in the office as the administrative assistant.
The story of Luz is the story for many Colombians. She is an internal refugee who fled from her native costal town of Tumaco to the capital city of Bogotá. Luz is a single mother to six grown children, only the two youngest live with her. She must begin her day at 4am because her commute time to Fruandes is nearly two hours! Meaningful work, however, is worth it for Luz. She is thankful to have a stable job, and to work in a place where people truly care for each other.
MEET DON ISRAEL.
(note - his first name is Israel, not Don. Don is a term of respect, similar to saying "Mr." in Spanish).
Don Israel grows organic mangoes in Vereda Guacaná, Colombia. He started farming in 2005. With his raised awareness of environmental care and sustainability issues, he converted to fully organic practices within three years!
On his eight hectares of land, he employs two farming families year round, plus eight additional families during mango harvest.
He sells his harvest to Fruandes, Level Ground’s trading partner, and receives a fair price for his crops.