La Red CATUL es galardonada con el premio internacional Ciudades Educadoras a Buenas Prácticas de Inclusión y Democratización de la Cultura 2020

The CATUL Network is awarded the international 2020 Educating Cities Award for Best Practices in the Inclusion and the Democratization of Culture

The Network of Culture Houses, Theaters, UVA and Sound Production Labs  (CATUL Network) of the Citizen Culture Secretariat of the Mayor’s Office of Medellín, in alliance with Comfenalco Antioquia, was chosen as one of the three winning projects for the 2020 Educating Cities Award for Best Practices in the Inclusion and the Democratization of Culture, by the Association for Educating Cities (IAEC), which Medellín has been part of since 2004.

Medellín is one of the three winning cities, along with Santos from Brazil and Torres Vedras in Portugal, within a group of 50 cities in 4 continents. The recognition is given by the International Association of Educating Cities (IAEC).

This recognition exalts good government practices in access and citizen participation, with greater relevance in vulnerable populations in the cultural scene, through inclusive, democratic and healthy coexistence processes, in addition to the promotion of cultural diversity as development axes.

The application, made by the Agency for Cooperation and Investment  of Medellín and the Metropolitan Area – ACI Medellín, and the Secretariat of Citizen Culture, achieved the recognition of the project Red CATUL by “giving value to the importance of a network of territorial articulation that achieves greater democratization of cultural facilities as learning spaces open to all citizens”.

In this sense, Eleonora Betancur González, executive director of ACI Medellín, says: “It fills us with joy to know that the International Association of Educating Cities – AICE, recognizes our city for its inclusion and democratization of culture. This allows us to visualize the path we’ve gone through, both in this international network and in our history where Red CATUL has played a relevant role in the social and community fabric; demonstrating how Medellín lives its culture”

The CATUL network, which is integrated by 14 physical equipment and 20 cultural processes throughout Medellín and its districts, impacts an average of 400,000 people each year, and weaves meaningful networks  between different local, inter-territorial and institutional actors, on the basis of the recognition of others as a space for training and the circulation of knowledge and experience, which energize cultural processes with a community basis, through strategic lines such as training, community cultural management, promotion of creation, memory and territory, exchange and dialogue, and communications.

The award ceremony will be held during the 16th IAEC International Congress in March 2021.

Álvaro Narváez, undersecretary of Art and Culture of Medellín, says that: “the CATUL Network is an example of how innovation allows cultural management processes to be developed through the understanding of each territory’s particularities, where formation in diverse knowledge, creation, memory, and dialogues, strengthen and build new imaginaries. This recognition for the project and for the city, fills us with much joy and invites us to continue to bet more and more on culture and education as transformative axes of our society”.

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Medellín and its artists were recognized in the Music Cities Awards thanks to the Medellin Me Cuida Route

Medellín received the Music Cities Awards international recognition for its support to local musicians and artists during the pandemic with the Medellín Me Cuida Route. The city stood out among 842 nominations and was on the shortlist with two other American initiatives: Black Fret and Music Export Memphis.

The city was exalted by the Medellín Me Cuida Route, in the third category: Best city initiative to directly support musicians.

This award highlights an initiative that brought hope, art and culture to the neighborhoods and hamlets of Medellín during the confinement, as a contribution to economic, social and cultural dynamization. A distinction that exalts the implementation of direct support policies to musicians.

In this way, Medellín establishes itself as a musical city by being part of the UNESCO Network of Creative Music Cities.

The Medellín Me Cuida Route was an itinerant stage designed to economically reactivate the artistic and cultural sector of the city, and whose protagonists were the winners of the Call for Art and Culture Incentives in the line of the Cultural Agenda.

There were 16 tours, 80 neighborhoods and hamlets receiving art and culture, 16 musical groups benefited, 109 artists, more than 150 kilometers traveled. It also highlights the ethnic, cultural and gender diversity of these routes, since out of the 16 groups, six were Afro-Colombian, four were led by women and eight groups were winners for the first time in the Call for Art and Culture Incentives of the Cultural Agenda.

“We are happy and thankful towards all those who have made it possible for Medellín to obtain this honor, this distinction. We are sure that our caravans will continue to reach the whole city, every commune and every hamlet, and we will continue to work to not stop and continue  supporting all those who are part of the arts and culture sector”, said the Secretary of Citizen Culture, Lina Gaviria.

The award was presented by Music Cities Events during a live ceremony. In addition to the statuette, five free tickets were received for a future event of choice and three years of free subscription to the Community of Musical Cities.

The application was supported by the Agency for Cooperation and Investment of Medellín and the Metropolitan Area – ACI Medellín.

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Resilient Cities Network focuses its new city-led entity on strengthening cities capacity to recover from COVID-19 and build a safe and equitable world

(Singapore, September 23, 2020) – As continued resilient recovery remains a priority in cities around the world, the global community represented by Resilient Cities Network came together virtually. The organization introduced the new members of its Board of Directors and Global Steering Committee. With cities still battling the unprecedented global pandemic and the compound risks of climate change and social inequity the agenda discussed by the core executive team as well as the Network alumni community was particularly relevant, reviewing and discussing the strategic direction of the Network for 2021-2023.

During the meeting, Lauren Sorkin, Executive Director of the Network, presented Daniel Stander, Private Sector Representative to the United Nations, Naina Batra, Chairwoman and CEO, Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN), Sylvester Turner, Mayor of Houston, and Sameh Wahba, Global Director of Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience, and Land Global Practice, World Bank as new appointees for the Board of Directors. Also, the network’s Global Steering Committee was confirmed. It will be headed by co-chairs Belfast, represented by Grainia Long, Commissioner for Resilience, and Christchurch, represented by Mike Gillooly, Chief Resilience Officer, and comprised of Buenos Aires, Salvador, Pune, Cape Town, Kigali, Rotterdam, San Francisco, and Houston.

“The reach, achievements, and vision of the Resilient Cities Network are impressive. Speaking on behalf of the Board of Directors, I can say that we feel deeply inspired by the commitment of the organization to support the critical needs of vulnerable communities by implementing projects that address multiple shocks and stresses and are improving the lives of people.” Sylvester Turner, Chair of the Board of Directors and Mayor of Houston.

Resilient Cities Network co-creates urban solutions to address complex and interrelated urban challenges, so that cities and communities thrive. The Network will focus on three priorities to be delivered through programs of collective action with member cities during the next two years through a holistic resilience approach. It continues to pursue a resilient recovery to reinforce equity, to promote private-public partnerships, and foster stronger local economies. Also, cities need to be prepared to further build climate resilience, not only to protect citizens from water-related challenges but also to strengthen the capacity of communities to cope with the effects of climate change. The third priority is the promotion of circular economies through indigenous and technological solutions to rapidly and sensibly enhance waste management and food systems.

“Now more than ever building city resilience makes sense. Working with cities to create prosperous, equitable, and safe urban environments while prioritizing access to healthcare for vulnerable populations is a key driver for us. We are committed to growing the practice of urban resilience across the globe in a way that it accrues social, economic, and political capital, making our cities thrive. At this point, we feel proud of the refreshed visual identity and of our new website and logo, which better represent the values and commitment of the Network.” Grainia Long, co-chair of the Global Steering Committee, Commissioner for Resilience, Belfast.

Empowered by the knowledge and expertise of resilience practitioners and governments, the Network is activating projects to deliver local benefits and collective impact that benefit over 220 million citizens around the globe, 50 million of them living under vulnerable conditions.

As a city-led Network, the organization works together with Chief Resilience Officers, mobilizing communities, city governments, urban practitioners, and partners in the pursuit of safe and equitable urban societies. “We are grateful to both the Board of Directors and the Global Steering Committee for their active engagement, advice, and commitment. Working with them, we feel empowered to build on the valuable legacy from which Resilient Cities Network emerges. We have in our hands a promising opportunity to enhance the quality of life, improve access to infrastructure, and build a healthier and more sustainable future for all.” said Lauren N. Sorkin, Executive Director.

About Resilient Cities Network

Resilient Cities Network is a global city-led nonprofit organization that brings together knowledge, practice, partnerships, and funding to empower cities to help them build a safe, equitable and sustainable future for all. The Network integrates the combined effort of urban practitioners, city governments, and communities in a collective, comprehensive, and well-coordinated call-to-action to deliver urban impact-driven resilience solutions. For more information visit,

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Medellín acepta invitación de Naciones Unidas a ser parte de la iniciativa “Ciudades Verdes”

Medellín accepts UN invitation to be part of “Green Cities” initiative

Medellín joins the invitation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to launch the “Green Cities” initiative that will seek to integrate agriculture, forestry, fisheries and sustainable food systems in urban and peri-urban contexts.

This initiative is led by FAO, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Medellín joins the invitation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to launch the “Green Cities” initiative that will seek to integrate agriculture, forestry, fisheries and sustainable food systems in urban and peri-urban contexts.

The virtual event was attended by the Mayor of Medellín, Daniel Quintero, who along with Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, Giuseppe Sala of Milan, Wen Guohui of Guangzhou, Lucsonne Janvier of Port-au-Prince, among others, discussed the importance of improving people’s well-being by increasing the availability and access to products and services provided by green spaces and sustainable food systems.

The focus of action is on integrating agriculture, forestry, fisheries and sustainable food systems in urban and peri-urban contexts.

In his speech, Mayor Quintero stressed the importance of building a better, more sustainable, resilient, green and just society, seeing technology as a catalyst for change. Additional, he mentioned that Medellín is becoming an ecocity “with more and better green spaces, with safe and friendly housing, with efficient waste management systems, with agricultural models that improve the productivity of hamlets, and with smart urban equipment, capable of regulating energy costs and water, and their emissions of polluting gases”.

This plan will improve the livelihoods and well-being of urban and peri-urban populations in at least 100 cities around the world over the next three years, although 1,000 cities are expected to join by 2030.

Para Eleonora Betancur, directora ejecutiva de la ACI Medellín, “la invitación que nos hace las Naciones Unidas a través de

For Eleonora Betancur, Executive Director of ACI Medellín, “the invitation that the United Nations makes through the FAO to participate in this initiative, shows the importance that the city has in the eyes of the world in issues of sustainability and green cities. At ACI Medellín we continue to believe that much of the development of the city is thanks to cooperative actions with agencies that allow promoting projects and attracting international resources to improve the quality of life of citizens”.

Informative Context

The world is becoming an increasingly urbanized place. Currently, 55% of the world’s population resides in urban areas and by 2050 the urban population is expected to increase to 68%, mainly in low-income countries. Cities already consume almost 80% of the total energy produced in the world and consume up to 70% of the food supply. To address these challenges, cities are called upon to play a more active role in contributing to the efforts of national governments to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

For this reason, it is necessary to rethink how to plan urban and peri-urban areas so that cities become greener, more resilient and regenerative. In response to this need, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) launches the “Green Cities” initiative, which builds on the Organization’s experience in integrating agriculture, forestry, fisheries and sustainable food systems in urban and peri-urban contexts.

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Medellín recibió $100 mil dólares del BID para prevenir y atender violencias basadas en género durante la pandemia

Medellín receives $100,000 from the IDB to prevent and address gender-based violence during the pandemic

Thanks to international cooperation resources, the Mayor’s Office of Medellín increases its institutional capacity to address and prevent violence against women, in order to reduce the impact of confinement due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This will strengthen the Women’s Agency (Agencia Mujer) and build a model for psycho-legal care.

“These resources, achieved through international cooperation with the IDB, will allow us to strengthen institutional response capacity towards violence against women and its increase during the pandemic, in addition towards actions to prevent such violence and promote shared, non-violent masculinities”,  explained the Women’s Secretary, Juliana Martínez Londoño.

Technical cooperation resources will be implemented in four consultancies with recognized civil society organizations, which will focus on strengthening the Women’s Agency to decongest attention, given the increase in violence during the pandemic, the standardization of the psycho-legal care mechanism model, the promotion of shared and non-violent masculinities through the implementation of a strategy for community education of shared masculinities and in the construction of a pedagogical proposal on masculinities for gender equity, addressed to servitors of the Mayor’s Office of Medellín.

Promotion of non-violent masculinities will be made, due to the increase of cases of violence against women during the pandemic.

Between March 20th and July 19th, 2,138 incidents of violence against women were recorded, mainly physical, with 1,183 complaints, followed by psychological violence with 291, sexual violence with 105, socio-political violence with 78 cases and economic violence with one case.

Women are mostly targeted by their partners with 782 cases, followed by ex-partners with 379. In this order, it is followed by other relatives with 169 records, children with 101records, strangers with 55, neighbors with 70 and parents (father or mother) with 40. The contingency generates specific impacts in the lives of women, which increases inequalities and violence against them. For this reason, a gender approach is fundamental in the prevention and comprehensive care of violence.

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Respiradores mecánicos #InnspiraMED reciben el aval del Invima para pruebas clínicas en humanos

Mechanical respirators #InnspiraMED receive Invima’s endorsement for clinical trials in humans

The three mechanical ventilators developed by the InnspiraMED initiative, intended for the care of critical patients affected by Covid-19, received the authorization of the National Institute of Drug and Food Surveillance (Invima) to conduct clinical trials on 15 patients in three hospitals and clinics in Medellín.

Following evaluations by Invima, the three prototype mechanical ventilators that are part of the InnspiraMED initiative were authorized to start clinical trials in humans.

“Invima, keeping in mind that this is an issue of national interest and of health public policy, as a Regulatory Agency, welcomes these national initiatives, and continues to be attentive to prioritise and contribute to the evolution of the procedures, while maintaining sanitary rigour, and safeguarding the individual and collective health of Colombians”, said the control entity in a statement this Thursday, July 16, in which they issued the following concept:

After analyzing and evaluating the related information, through the cases 20201120008 dated June 30, 2020 and 20201120029 dated July 13, 2020, the Specialized Room of Medical Devices and In Vitro Diagnostic Reagents, the development of Phase I of the protocol is approved “Performance evaluation of a standard mechanical ventilator model to meet ventilatory assistance needs during the health crisis due to infection with SARS-COV-2 COVID-19” of the INNSPIRAMED innitiative.

Respiradores mecánicos #InnspiraMED reciben el aval del Invima para pruebas clínicas en humanos

InnspiraMED is an initiative that carries out interdisciplinary and collaborative work coordinated by the Mayor’s Office of Medellín, through Ruta N and that has the funding of Postobón with a contribution of $ 9,000 million pesos and the IBD Lab. The ventilators were produced by three research and development teams (Universidad de Antioquia, Industrias Médicas Sampedro and EIA University ), each consisting of engineers, intensivists and pulmonologists, among others. Likewise, HACEB and Auteco Mobility lead the production of the devices.

An initiative articulated by the City of Medellín, through Ruta N, which has funding from Postobón and IBD Lab.

“We are going to give everything that is in our hands  to fight until the last moment so that no Colombian lacks a ventilator, a specialist and an intensive care bed, if so needed. I want to thank the whole team that has been fighting this battle and continues to do so,” said Medellín Mayor, Daniel Quintero.

According to Invima, clinical trials will be conducted in two phases in order to confirm safe and reliable ventilation in patients. The first phase will be carried out with a small group of patients and, after an evaluation by the regulatory entity, the second phase will be entered with a larger group of patients.

Once these two evaluation stages  are completed, they will be distributed to different regions of the country; this has been drawn up with the support of the National Government. It should be noted that the devices are in the process of industrialization while these tests are provided.

“Today, the InnspiraMED initiative takes a step forward in its purpose of providing the country with mechanical ventilators, needed for the care of the health emergency caused by the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Since the beginning, we have focused on maintaining scientific rigor so that the three equiptments we have designed are safe and very reliable, while we advance in their production and distribution, so that they can be used at the right time”, explained the manager of the InnspiraMED initiative, Gabriel Sanchez.

The institutions in which human trials will take place are the San Vicente Hospital Foundation, the Las Americas Clinic and the UPB University Clinic.

We must note that the initiative trained, under the clinical simulation model, more than 350 health professionals from the Aburrá Valley and other regions of the country in the management of the equipment, the correct use of personal protection elements, technical skills for advanced airway management in patients with respiratory distress caused by Covid-19 and the use of ventilators, among other topics. In addition, engineers who accompany and support the technical support of the intensive care units of health institutions were trained.

Respiradores mecánicos #InnspiraMED reciben el aval del Invima para pruebas clínicas en humanos

“InnspiraMED seeks to protect the lives of Colombians, through the articulation between Universities, Enterprises and the State. We are certainly very pleased to see how innovation becomes a key factor in addressing this emergency. This initiative involves more than 100 people from different disciplines who have demonstrated an incredible commitment, based on that purpose we set out to save lives,” said the executive director of Ruta N, Juan Andrés Vásquez.

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Medellín and 10 cities around the world launch an ambitious plan for the post COVID-19 recovery

Medellín and 10 cities around the world launch an ambitious plan for the post COVID-19 recovery

The mayor of Medellín, Daniel Quintero Calle, participated in the press conference for the launch of the Agenda for a green and just recovery, promoted by the prestigious city network C40. This document outlines bold steps to achieve an equitable and sustainable recovery subsequent to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The agenda includes specific measures that are already being taken in many cities around the world and should become the “new normal”, for the cities that wish to contain and be better prepared for future pandemics, resolve systematic injustice and maintain global warming under the 1,5 °C goal set by the Paris Agreement.

Mayor Quintero’s intervention was oriented towards the current strategy of Medellín for the creation of Jobs in industries associated with the digital revolution and businesses that promote environmental sustainability. Moreover, he highlighted the strategy to train people in science, technology and innovation with an emphasis in women, youth and senior citizens, to guarantee equity in the access to the labor market.

“Among the main challenges that the pandemic leaves us is to strengthen our voices and make it clear that our ambition is not to return to “normality”, but to build a better, more sustainable, more resilient and just society from the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis” the mayor told reporters and world leaders at the press conference.

The C40 mayors, all in all, request governments and leaders of the world “to guarantee that all the funds for economic recovery and stimulus packages promote a just and sustainable transition”. In their call to end all public investment in fossil fuels, C40 mayors are unequivocal: “Countries must seize this moment to decisively abandon investments in high-carbon, fossil-fuel-intensive industries and increase their investments in a low-carbon future”.

Informative context:

This document is led by 11 mayors from around the world that form the Global Mayors COVID-19 Recovery Task Force: Freetown, Hong Kong, Lisbon, Melbourne, Milan, Montreal, New Orleans, Rotterdam, Seattle, Seoul and Medellín. Additionally, it counts with the support of entrepreneurs, young environmental activists and unions. This Agenda includes both specific actions, which are already being carried out in many cities around the world, as well as strong calls to national governments, central banks and international financial institutions to carry out a just and ecological recovery.

Download the full document in English.

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El informe sobre los objetivos de desarrollo sostenible 2020

The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2020

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was launched in 2015 to end poverty and set the world on a path of peace, prosperity and opportunity for all on a healthy planet. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) demand nothing short of a transformation of the financial, economic and political systems that govern our societies today to guarantee the human rights of all.

They require immense political will and ambitious action by all stakeholders. But, as Member States recognized at the SDGs Summit held last September, global efforts to date have been insufficient to deliver the change we need, jeopardizing the Agenda’s promise to current and future generations.

The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2020 brings together the latest data to show us that, before the COVID-19 pandemic, progress remained uneven and we were not on track to meet the Goals by 2030. Some gains were visible: the share of children and youth out of school had fallen; the incidence of many communicable diseases was in decline; access to safely managed drinking water had improved; and women’s representation in leadership roles was increasing. At the same time, the number of people suffering from food insecurity was on the rise, the natural environment continued to deteriorate at an alarming rate, and dramatic levels of inequality persisted in all regions. Change was still not happening at the speed or scale required.

Now, due to COVID-19, an unprecedented health, economic and social crisis is threatening lives and livelihoods, making the achievement of Goals even more challenging. As of the beginning of June, the death toll had surpassed 400,000 and was continuing to climb, with almost no country spared. Health systems in many countries have been driven to the brink of collapse. The livelihood of half the global workforce has been severely affected. More than 1.6 billion students are out of school and tens of millions of people are being pushed back into extreme poverty and hunger, erasing the modest progress made in recent years.

Although the Novel Coronavirus affects every person and community, it does not do so equally. Instead, it has exposed and exacerbated existing inequalities and injustices. In advanced economies, fatality rates have been highest among marginalized groups. In developing countries, the most vulnerable – including those employed in the informal economy, older people, children, persons with disabilities, indigenous people, migrants and refugees – risk being hit even harder. Across the globe, young people are being disproportionately affected, particularly in the world of work. Women and girls are facing new barriers and new threats, ranging from a shadow pandemic of violence to additional burdens of unpaid care work.

Far from undermining the case for the SDGs, the root causes and uneven impacts of COVID-19 demonstrate precisely why we need the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and underscore the urgency of their implementation. I have therefore consistently called for a coordinated and comprehensive international response and recovery effort, based on sound data and science and guided by the Sustainable Development Goals.

Health systems must be urgently strengthened in countries that are at greatest risk, with increased capacity for testing, tracing and treatment. Universal access to treatments and vaccines, when they become available, is essential. A large-scale multilateral response is needed to ensure that developing countries have the resources they need to protect households and businesses. Recovery packages must facilitate the shift to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy and support universal access to quality public services. And leadership and support are needed to ensure statistical organizations have the tools and resources to facilitate timely and smart decision-making. To guide and support these actions, the United Nations system has mobilized at all levels, leveraging the recent reforms of the United Nations development system.

At the start of this Decade of Action to deliver the SDGs, I call for renewed ambition, mobilization, leadership and collective action, not just to beat COVID-19 but to recover better, together – winning the race against climate change, decisively tackling poverty and inequality, truly empowering all women and girls and creating more inclusive and equitable societies everywhere.

Download the full report [ here ]

António GuterresSecretary-General, United Nations
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Educación en Medellín

Education, the Path to Transformation

In Medellín, we believe that education is the avenue to overcome the inequality gaps, the engine for social transformation and territorial development. Betting on education is the opportunity to move forward as a society and build a better city. Facing this challenge, the city’s educational system has been strengthened by reinforcing the achievements we have had, reaffirming the commitment to ensure quality and educational relevance, and promoting learning opportunities.

Postsecondary education is one of the main focuses of the Medellín Mayor’s Office in its strategy to close gaps and create economic and social development, as well as to have solid foundations for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

As a result, the current administration has placed a special emphasis on postsecondary education as a generator of economic and social development, based on the training of citizens who are able to face the global challenges and those of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Educación en Medellín

This is achieved with the conviction of overcoming social gaps and driving young people away from violence and poverty. These figures are evident, when analyzing the results of access to higher education. The city average in 2016 was 43.6%, and the goal for the end of 2019 is to be able to achieve 52.7%.

When analyzing the Multidimensional Quality of Life Index, figures show that in those neighborhoods with the lowest rate of access to higher education, the most complex situations such as insecurity, informality, difficulty in entering the labor market, income generation and family violence, also converge.

The bet on strengthening postsecondary education is the challenge to achieve integral security, so the most vulnerable people have the possibility of improving their living conditions and those of their families. This is done by generating income, accessing decent jobs with qualified profiles, contributing to social mobilization and reducing inequality in the city.

Every young person who has access to education is acquiring skills to have a positive impact on their environment. We are taking away space from illegality as an alternative, and promoting tools that will allow them to overcome poverty.

Educación en Medellín - Mujeres
52% of scholarship and grant beneficiaries are women.

Scholarships for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The Project of Scholarships for Technologies of the Medellín Mayor’s Office has the objective of increasing coverage and access to higher education by offering relevant technological programs, in the “comunas,” where the access rate is below average.

During this four-year term, we have delivered 36,793 opportunities for access to education, in scholarships and grants, with an investment of COP 536,000 million. The Instituto Tecnológico Metropolitano (ITM), Pascual Bravo, the Colegio Mayor de Antioquia, the Tecnológico de Antioquia and the Politécnico Jaime Isaza Cadavid, are institutions of the Municipality of Medellín. They all joined forces and have offered 41 programs to support the project.

Medellín Bilingüe

One of the great challenges of our citizens is learning and mastering a second language, preferably English. The objective is achieving a better job placement and being suitable for work in national and multinational companies.

In view of this need, the Medellín Mayor’s Office implemented the “Medellín Bilingüe” (Bilingual Medellín) strategy. This is a foreign language training program that seeks to teach a second language in an joyful and interactive way.

To optimize and innovate the teaching and learning processes of English, Medellín Bilingüe has developed projects and programs with the necessary components for children, youth and adults, to expand their knowledge as part of a global society.

One of these initiatives is the “Territorio Bilingüe” (Bilingual Territory), a strategy of the Secretariat of Education. This project seeks to train citizens of the “comunas” and townships of Medellín, with the purpose of improving their profile. At the same time, it will allow for citizens to be inserted in the communication processes of a city as Medellín, known today in the world as the cradle of international events and host of the first Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Latin America. The program is an opportunity for the working population whose courses are taught in the Social Development Centers (CDS for its acronym in Spanish) and in the Medellín Public Library Network.

Beyond job training

Being able to successfully pursue a technical or professional career is what was required for many years to obtain a degree. Today there are other fundamental skills in the workplace. These requirements are the so-called soft skills, associated with the personality and nature of the individual. These soft skills include among others leadership, adaptability and attitude towards life.

Soft skills teaching with experimental creative workshops, socio-affective skills and vocational guidance has been achieved as part of the training programs for work and life projects taught to young people during the last years of high school. As a result, it has given them more complete training related to their personal and professional development.

Medellín, a Learning City
by Unesco

In February 2019, Medellín reported the lowest dropout rate in the last 14 years: the city went from 3.4% to 2.9% in three years (2016-2018). This is the result of the implementation of programs such as:

  • “Buen Comienzo” (Good Start), in which the city benefited 82,650 children with actions to improve their integral development and quality of life. An achievement for their future, of their families and the entire city.
  • “En el colegio contamos con vos” (In School, We Count on You), a strategy that managed to get 7,648 students to return to school. “This was one of the hardest hits we gave to criminal structures,” says the Medellín Mayor, Federico Gutiérrez.
  • “Escuelas Entorno Protector” (Protective School Environment), in which we delivered tools to 229 educational institutions to promote good living, the construction of citizenry and the exercise of human, sexual and reproductive rights among 291,000 students.

As a result of the implementation of these good practices, Medellín was selected as one of the 10 Learning Cities in the world by Unesco, during 2019. Also, in 2017, the city was chosen as the first Learning City in Colombia. This recognition is also aimed at the great commitment of the municipal administration, which currently allocates between 35% and 37% of its resources to education.

Therefore, and to reaffirm Medellín’s commitment to the development of education, during October 1 to 3, 2019, the IV International Conference on Learning Cities was held in Medellín. In this event, government officials, city representatives and education experts gathered to identify, exchange and discuss effective lifelong learning policies and practices that lead to the achievement of inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities.

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The leading technology academy, Acamica, arrives in Medellín

With an initial investment of more than $ 300,000,000, Acámica consolidates its educational offer in Colombia with agile and highly certified innovative methodologies.

“We chose Medellín because we consider it a central hub of innovation and technology in Latin America. The industries and talent of the future are being developed here, and that is why it is essential to deepen in the training in software development, artificial intelligence and data science” Tomás Escobar, CEO and co-founder of Acámica said.

Acamica will open spaces for more than 1,000 students in Medellín between 2019 and 2020.

Under the collaborative economy model, which at the same time proposes an immersive learning experience in real workspaces, the first in-person courses in Full Stack Web Development, UXU I Design and Data Science will take place in the facilities of leading IT companies such as Globant.


It is a short-careers academy focused on training digital talent with an innovative methodology enhanced with its tools and a key differentiator: the association with leading companies such as Globant, IBM, Aerolab and Mercado Libre to create and certify the programs.

The Argentinian technology academy is one of the most important in Latin America and it will offer its online classes since the beginning of 2019 in Medellín. Their arrival in the city is part of a global expansion plan, which aims to train 10,000 professionals in technology in Latin America by the year 2020.

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The Medellín Manifesto to promote inclusion in education

After a busy day filled with exchanges and the participation of 650 attendees in the IV International Conference of Learning Cities UNESCO 2019, several challenges became evident in the implementation of practices that benefit the entire population, especially those at a disadvantage such as at-risk youth, immigrants, the elderly, the digitally excluded population and people with disabilities.

The Medellín Manifesto is a result of the IV International Conference on Learning Cities 2019 which seeks to promote inclusion as a primary principle of learning.

Therefore, the Medellín Manifesto was adopted to overcome these challenges and work for population inclusion, and a fund was created under the multi-donor financing modality to support lifelong learning programs in cities of all continents. This strategy will be applied from 2019 to 2021 to strengthen the Network, create knowledge, and develop learning policies and instruments which allow the creation of capacities that will reach the population effectively.

The biggest challenge of the cities around the world is to define how lifelong learning policies and practices should contribute to the inclusion of the most vulnerable populations


Medellín, a success story

During the event, 10 cities received the 2019 Learning City Award in recognition of their best practices for the quality of education and the creation of lifelong learning opportunities: Aswan (Egypt), Chengdu (People’s Republic of China), Heraklion (Greece), Ibadan (Nigeria), Medellín (Colombia), Melitopol (Ukraine), Petaling Jaya (Malaysia), Santiago (Mexico), Seodaemun-gu (Republic of Korea) and Sonderborg (Denmark).

The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) and the Medellín Mayor’s Office jointly organized the conference.

The UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities is a key instrument to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, especially SDG 4 and SDG 11.

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Premio Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards

Medellín’s Green Corridors received a Worldwide Recognition

Medellín is an international benchmark and its Green Corridors project earned it the C40 Bloomberg Philanthropies Award, an international award granted to seven cities for demonstrating its leadership in climate action.

This award was presented during the C40 Mayors World Summit held in Copenhagen (Denmark), between October 9 and 12.

“It is our pleasure to award these seven cities for their formidable work on reducing pollutant emissions, cleaning the air, and protecting people’s health. Their efforts will help drive more climate change actions around the world” said the Chairman of the C40 Board, special envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Climate Action and former mayor of New York, Michael R. Bloomberg.

The capital of Antioquia stood out of 26 finalists who presented impressive initiatives in the fight against climate change at the local level.

The C40 Bloomberg Philanthropies awarded the project in The Resilient Future We Want category.

 “Medellín is committed to this change, and we greatly value your vote of confidence. This recognition reaffirms our promise to move towards the construction of a sustainable, inclusive, equitable city with opportunities for everyone,” said the mayor of Medellín, Federico Gutiérrez Zuluaga.

C40 Cities connects 94 of the world’s largest cities to undertake bold climate action and leads the way towards a healthier and more sustainable future. It represents more than 700 million citizens and a quarter of the global economy.

The mayors of the C40 cities pledge to meet the most ambitious objectives of the Paris Agreement at the local level, as well as to clean the air. The current president is the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo. The three times mayor of New York, Michael R. Bloomberg, is the Chairman of the Board.

Bloomberg Philanthropies works in 480 cities in more than 120 countries around the world. The organization focuses on five key areas: arts, education, environment, government innovation, and public health.


About Green Corridors

The Green Corridors of Medellín is a project which includes the planting of trees, shrubs, palms, and covers in an environmental network that connects streams, hills, parks, and roads. It is part of the strategy A Greener Medellín for You, which consolidates an ecological system consisting of 18 road axes, 12 stream basins and the Nutibara, El Volador, and La Asomadera hills. This project estimates to reduce up to two degrees Celsius the ambient temperature, also to decrease the effect of heat islands, to capture particulate material and improve the air quality, among others.

This award contributes to the international positioning of Medellín and its best practices


The mayor of Medellín, Federico Gutiérrez, receiving the award.
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Cork -Ireland- and Medellín sign a Memorandum of Understanding

Cork and Medellín sign a MOU to strengthen the exchange of initiatives in education and improve cooperation on learning issues. Both cities belong to the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities

On October 2, the mayor of Medellín Federico Gutiérrez Zuluaga and the mayor of Cork Lord Mayor Councillor John Sheehan signed a memorandum of understanding to promote collaboration as members of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities to share best practices in lifelong education, adult education, continuing education, literacy, and non-basic education formal.

Both cities undertake to implement the policies of UNESCO’s Learning Cities set forth in the Beijin Declaration (2013) for the creation of Learning Cities and the promotion of inclusion, prosperity and sustainability; the Manifesto of Mexico City (2015) for the construction of Sustainable Learning Cities; and the Fundamental Characteristics of Learning Cities , which provide a complete list with the measures to improve and measure the progress of learning cities and recognize the progress made by member cities; and the Cork Call to Action (2017) to implement lifelong learning strategies in Learning Cities.

Cork has committed to an action plan to consolidate initiatives as a lifelong-learning city based on political leadership and recognition of the potential of urban and rural communities

Cork and Medellin commit to promoting inclusive learning from elementary to higher education, promote learning in families and communities, facilitate learning in the workplace, expand the use of new technologies, improve quality and excellence of learning, and fostering a lifelong learning culture.

Cork and Medellín are committed to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, SDG 4 and SDG 11, to promote equitable, inclusive, green and healthy living environments

This memorandum of understanding entered into force upon the signature of both leaders and will last for three years.

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Medellín, epicentro de la educación en Colombia

Medellín is an Epicenter for Education in Colombia

On February 20, the meeting of Learning Cities: Challenges and Opportunities for Colombia was held at 8:00 a.m. in the Teacher’s Innovation Center, MOVA.

The event was led by the mayor of Medellín, Federico Gutiérrez Zuluaga and Raúl Valdés Cotera, program manager of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning and coordinator of the Network of Learning Cities.

During the event, José Octavio Cardona, mayor of Manizales; Constance Alarcón, vice minister of Preschool, Primary and High School Education; and Rodrigo Pardo, editorial director of Semana magazine, held a dialogue on the country’s regional educational policies and its contribution to strengthening Learning Cities. 

The event is part of the activities prior to the meeting of UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities which will take place in Medellín from October 1 to 3.

The Medellín Mayor’s Office leads programs such as Buen Comienzo [Good Start], La inclusión es con vos [Inclusion is with you], Formando Talentos [Training Talents], Escuela Entorno Protector [Schools as Protective Environments], En el Colegio Contamos con vos [We Count on you at School], Teacher’s Innovation Center – MOVA – and Scholarships for access to higher education. They are at the service of citizens and ratify the administration’s commitment to providing enough tools for the formation of citizens throughout their lives.

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Igualdad de género y diversidad

Medellín, a territory for everyone, inclusive and friendly territory for the LGBTI population

Being part of the Rainbow Cities Latin American Network is a sign of the Antioquian capital’s interest and commitment to the elimination of discrimination and to achieving an inclusive and friendly territory for the LGBTI population, and safety for women and girls.

If there is something that Jhon Jairo Gómez feels for the Medellín Mayor’s office, it is gratitude. He, who his friends know as Jota, has been a beneficiary, for more than five years, of different programs that gave him psychological support and attention. This support has helped him to accept himself as he is and to rebuild his life, as he was the victim of intra-urban displacement and other scourges, such as abuse and sexual violence.

The Centro para la Diversidad Sexual e Identidades de Género – Center for Sexual Diversity and Gender Identities is like home for him, where he feels happy, welcomed and respected. “Here, they helped me find meaning in my life. I began to paint. I exhibited my works and I have grown a lot as a human being,” he says.

Medellín is the 22nd city in the world to enter the UN Women “Safe Cities” program. It is the third in Latin America and the first in Colombia..

Like him, other gay men, lesbians and transsexuals have received differential and integral attention in the Center. This space, open to all types of public, was created based on the LGBTI public policy that protects their rights and demonstrates Medellín’s commitment to combat discrimination, homophobia and psychological and physical violence.

To move forward in that sense, through the Agency for Cooperation and Investment of Medellín and the Metropolitan Area, the opportunity to build strategies with other cities around sexual diversity and gender identity was identified. It was then when, in 2016, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Rosario, Montevideo, São Paulo, Bogotá and Medellín created the Rainbow Cities Latin American Network.

“Being in the Network means being a city that is friendly with diversity and exchanging knowledge and experiences to enrich the programs and actions we have for this population,” explains Paulina Suárez, Secretary for Social Inclusion.

ACI Medellín has accompanied and managed the visits of UN Women to learn how the city advances in providing security for women and girls.

Achievements of an Inclusive Territory

Today, Medellín has a strategic plan for its LGTBI public policy, with a 10-year projection, which seeks to improve the living conditions of these populations with services such as psychosocial support, legal advice and labor intermediation, as well as promoting actions that transform the social imaginaries about them:

  • The city works with an intersectional approach, that is, recognizing differences to provide each person attention that fits their situation.
  • Sensitization actions in private companies to put aside prejudices and provide job opportunities to these people; health days, and academic and cultural agendas on topics of interest, both for them and for the rest of the population.
  • Coordinated initiatives with the Secretariats of Health, Culture, Women, Private Sector, Economic Development, Communications and other institutions such as Fauds (Family and Friends United for Sexual and Gender Diversity) and Egocity to achieve actions that guarantee inclusion and protection of rights for LGBTI people.


Since 2012, more than 500 people have received psychosocial and LGBTI legal advice at the Center for Sexual and Gender Identity Diversity.

51 processes for ID registry and change of name for the transsexual population and more than 60 training workshops.

More than 50,000 people of all genders and identities participated in the Marcha
del Amor -
March of Love, held on July 1, 2018.

Safe Spaces for Women and Girls

The compliments, lascivious glances, whistles and other sounds that women often receive in public spaces in Medellín generate  feelings in them, such as insecurity, fear, anger or displeasure, which makes them become more prepared and distrustful when they go on public transport, they walk down the street or when they visit spaces such as parks or outdoor gyms.

Aware of this situation, the Women’s Secretariat, with the accompaniment and management of ACI Medellín, managed to get the city into the Global Program of Safe Cities for Women and Girls of UN Women in 2015, an initiative to make visible and act in the face of harassment and sexual and gender violence in public spaces.

“Everything we did in Manrique was with the participation of women and girls. It was they who built the messages,” says Valeria Molina, Secretary for Women, who explains that they chose this Comuna to begin the program with, because it is the second with the largest number of men compared to the rest of the city. Also, of the 15 neighborhoods that make it up, 58% are considered vulnerables.

The implementation of the project has had these stages


Exploratory study on security and gender violence in Comuna 3, Manrique.


Construction of the logical framework on the perception of sexual harassment and violence against women and girls in public spaces.

2017 - 2018

Pilot test roll out with four components:

See: visualization of information through messages expressed in murals, bus stickers and educational material.

Understand: work with prioritized public members, women and girls, police, teachers, merchants and transporters.

Transform: field trips and conversations with citizens to generate awareness and changes facing this problem.

Manage: institutional articulation with other actors such as the secretariats of Security, Education
and Culture, Inder Medellín (Sports and Recreation),
the Metro and Corporación Con-Vivamos.

Secretaria de las Mujeres, Valeria Molina Gómez
Secretariat for Women, Valeria Molina Gómez.

“Everything we did in Manrique was with the participation of women and girls. It was they who built the messages,” says Valeria Molina, Secretary for Women, who explains that they chose this Comuna to begin the program with, because it is the second with the largest number of men compared to the rest of the city. Also, of the 15 neighborhoods that make it up, 58% are considered vulnerables.

After this experience, the Secretariat is working on the construction of a second baseline for three other comunas in the city, where it will identify aspects such as forms of sexual harassment, generated feelings and effects, frequency with which women suffer some form of harassment, places where there is more incidents and the general perception regarding violence and sexual harassment.

Medellín has been part of the UN’s Global Program of Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces for Women and Girls since 2015.

Medellín, with the guidelines of UN Women, has gone further. It has innovated and has become a benchmark in other parts of the world for its commitment and for being able to reach places such as public transport to build a safe territory for women and girls.

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Medellín, ciudad del aprendizaje

Medellín, A City for Learning

Visiting the Fiesta del Libro – Book Festival – and attending a talk by authors; enrolling a child in the program of comprehensive childhood care Buen Comienzo; taking advantage of the benefits of information and communications technologies in a public library; or attending concerts or film shows in the Unidades de Vida Articulada UVA – Articulated Life Units – are some of the advantages of Learning Cities, a distinction that UNESCO awarded to Medellín on 2017 for promoting and ensuring inclusive, equitable, and quality education, promoting long life learning opportunities.

Having the opportunity to learn in parks, educational centers, libraries, museums, government programs and cultural events is a benefit of living in a territory that vibrates with knowledge.

By fulfilling the commitment to provide equity in education, the city is implementing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 4 and 11, making it a great achievement to integrate a vision that transcends schools and includes other public spaces of the city, available for people to enjoy and take advantage of.

“What UNESCO does is to recognize these good practices,” says the Secretary of Education, Luis Guillermo Patiño, who testifies to the benefits of being a participant in this achievement. He says this while walking through yet another of the spaces generated for the enjoyment of city residents: The Feria del Libro y la Cultura (The Book and Culture Festival), an annual event that takes place in the Botanical Gardens and that gathers a wide cultural program in the northern area of the city.

“ACI Medellín has been very important for the city, because it has acted as an articulating ally between Medellín, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Presidency of Colombia and UNESCO. It has helped us to weave these relationships, to show these networks abroad and to showcase the city to the world as one having quality education.” Luis Guillermo Patiño, Secretary of Education of Medellín.

Beyond Classrooms

Education in Medellín includes more than 400,000 students from public and private institutions and connects inhabitants of all ages through programs created to provide coverage to the population of all conditions and possibilities.

Buen Comienzo, En el Colegio Contamos con Vos, Escuela Entorno Protector and Alianzas con Vos are a few of the most outstanding programs, in addition to other alternatives such as schools for inclusion, youth clubs and higher education scholarships, Sapiensa, which are articulated with other secretariats and public and private institutions in order to generate significant environments.

Being a member of the Global Network of Learning Cities of UNESCO-GNLC-, to which only 14 Latin American countries belong, assures Medellín has access to benefits such as the transfer of knowledge with other cities in the world, the promotion of public education policies and provision skills and instruments for the stimulation of education.

The commitment of the community to maintain its participation in this select group is also fundamental. Its purpose is to achieve the dream of improving the quality of life of the inhabitants through the enjoyment of learning.

An educational possibility for every moment of life

Good Start

Children from gestation to 5 years

Serves children from gestation to five years of age, as well as pregnant and lactating mothers in vulnerable conditions, in the 16 communes and 5 townships of Medellín. It benefited more than 89,000 people in 2017.

Inclusion is with you

Children with learning difficulties

Guarantees the right to education, which goes beyond the allocation of the school quota, to access to education, enrollment and adaptation to the educational institution.

Forming Talents

Youth population

Prepares young people to develop their talents through activities that allow them to deepen their passions. The Medellín Mayor’s Office, in conjunction with Comfama, are the leading entities. In 2018, more than 1,754 places have been opened for job training courses.

Alliances with You, School Protective, Complementary Education and At School we Count on You

Children and young people

Alliances with You: strategic alliances involving universities, businesses and private schools that are committed to improving the quality of education in Medellín.

School Protective: supports educational institutions in the prevention of situations, such as school harassment, teenage pregnancy, sexual abuse, suicidal behavior, consumption of psychoactive substances and the use of minors by criminal groups. This program benefited 291,444 students from public schools in 2017.

Complementary Education: spaces for students to make creative use of their free time in areas such as science and technology, culture, environment, sports, citizenship training and bilingualism.

At School we Count on You: entails travel through the communes of the city in search of out of school children to introduce families to the school offer in order for their children to study. In 2017, the program identified 1,919 students who had dropped out of school and reintegrated them into the education system.

Teacher Innovation Center -Mova-, Sapiencia

Young people and adults

Mova, Teacher Innovation Center: trains teachers in teaching and learning methodologies in their areas of knowledge.

Sapiencia: manages public resources for the comprehensive education of citizens in higher education. This agency awarded 10,000 scholarships for technological programs related to the cluster sector of the city.

Digital Education Course

Senior adults

Training process in basic skills to develop in the digital world, improve the quality of life and promote access to technology.

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Huertas urbanas y rurales

Urban and rural kitchen gardens are an alternative in Medellín to increase food security

Home grown crop

Every morning, Mr. Mario Pimienta finds motivation to get up early. He takes care of his cilantro, paprika, lettuce, chard and radish plants with the same devotion as he cares for his grandchildren or his family. It is a daily and patient ritual: planting, watering, scattering the soil and checking if his crops are ready to be shared at the table. He has reached sixty years of marriage, raised five children and is now retired from his work life. He makes his urban kitchen garden a reason to learn, eat healthy and enjoy a personal therapy to which he dedicates time and desire.

“It is a very pleasant experience, because I know I eat well, with vegetables without contaminants and with the joy of knowing that they are the result of my own effort,” explains Don Mario. Of all that he has sown in the twelve baskets of his backyard, he affirms, amid smiles, that he does not like radishes and that he would like to plant onions, his favorite.

Huertas con Vos also provides advice and technical support to crops that are the result of a personal or family effort. Thus, the Municipal Administration supplies the experience and the necessary human team to bring knowledge to the territories.

Huertas urbanas y sociales
Mario Pimienta and his urban garden in the Comuna 9
of Medellín, Buenos Aires.

This dream of having a piece of the farm within his house, in the east of Medellín, was born the day he heard from the voice of his neighbors that the Medellín Mayor’s Office had a program to grow vegetables at home for everyday consumption.

He was encouraged, attended the theoretical and practical workshops, and finally received the tool kit consisting of a rake, watering can, plastic bag, fertilizer and seeds.

This is how Huertas con Vos (Urban and Rural Kitchen Gardens with you) operates. It is a program of the Municipal Administration that guarantees the consumption of healthy, varied, sufficient and planned products. For the Secretary of Social Inclusion, Paulina Suárez Roldán, “this initiative improves food security conditions, achieves savings per family and per month close to COP$70,000, strengthens family relationships and builds a social fabric.”

These orchards, rather than generators of sufficient and healthy food, are infrastructure, economic development, agricultural support, education, health, social work and an incentive to explore new and diverse gastronomic preparations.

Sustainable and Productive Indoors

To be part of Huertas con Vos, you need the availability of at least 10 square meters of the terrace, patio or green area in the urban area and 100 square meters in the rural area. You must also fill out a document in current calls, attend workshops where participants learn everything from how to plant to how to enrich meals and accompany the process of growth, as well as, to harvest and care for plants with biocompounds and biopreparations.

Esteban Gallego Restrepo, director of Food Security of the Medellín Mayor’s Office, explains that “this project is sustainable, has indicators and provides people with skills so they can appropriate and continue with their gardens over time.”

When the family harvest is so productive that it exceeds 50 kilograms, generated surpluses can be used for marketing and sale. With this Alianza por el Buen Vivir (Alliance for Good Living), the two most vulnerable links in the production chain are supported: family farmers and the final consumer, by improving sales conditions, for the former, and offering the latter, a quality product at a very good price.

This local experience has been advised by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), so hat income is generated with agroproductive models and the results are visible to the world, in order to find the best international partners in its execution.

This is an associative, democratic and solidary model that makes it possible, for example, for family members to sell 14 tons of Creole potatoes every month to school restaurants in the city.

In this fashion, we work from Medellín, in conjunction with other programs, to meet the nutritional needs of the most vulnerable, eradicate extreme hunger and malnutrition, and facilitate access to nutritious and sufficient food throughout the year.

An urban kitchen garden:

  • Green curly lettuce
  • Purple cabbage
  • Tomato
  • Radish
  • Paprika
  • Chard Beet
  • Carrot

An rural kitchen garden:

  • Green curly lettuce
  • Purple curly lettuce
  • Green cabbage
  • Purple cabbage
  • Tomato
  • Carrot
  • Beet
  • Cucumber
  • Cilantro
  • Chard
  • Zucchini
  • Red onion
  • Radish
  • Red bean
  • Pea
  • Bean
  • Curuba
  • Lulo
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Mayor Federico Gutiérrez Zuluaga on Citizen Participation: WCS 2018 Interview

Mayor Federico Gutiérrez shares about the importance of citizen participation, the city’s social transformation and hosting the upcoming WCS Mayors Forum 2019 in Medellin.

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Medellín, Ciudad del aprendizaje

Medellín Reaffirms its Position as a Learning City

Medellín becomes a worldwide example of best practices on education issues with the lowest dropout rate in its history reaching 2.9%. This is a result of policies and programs which seek to train citizens throughout their life cycle.

This is the lowest dropout rate in Medellín’s history. Medellín, the first Colombian city to join the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities, will host the Network’s world meeting in 2019.

14 years ago, the capital of Antioquia started a transformation process in which education has been fundamental to achieve social changes. The work and the combination of efforts have reduced the school desertion, one of the biggest problems of the educative system, in 29% during this period. The greatest results were reached during the last two years through programs like: En el colegio contamos con vos, ¡y con tu voz! [We count on you and your voice at school!] which has brought back 5,165 children and young people to the classrooms.

These programs join other best practices such as Buen Comienzo, Sapiencia, the Software Nursery, and the recently inaugurated Teacher Innovation Center – MOVA -, among others. All of them have made Medellín a world leader in educational issues, thus guaranteeing its entry to the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities, and to be chosen to host the Network’s global meeting for the first time in South America in 2019.

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Summit Trampoline Park Medellín

Summit Opens its Second Indoor Trampoline Park in Colombia

In November, Medellín will have a new space for healthy indoor entertainment with 100 trampolines and a wide range of activities for children, young people, and adults. In a 2,900 mt2 area, the park has a capacity for more than 400 people per hour and will generate 35 direct jobs.

Under the concept of healthy entertainment for all ages, the first indoor trampoline park arrives in Medellín with an innovative and fun model seeking to differentiate itself from the available offer in the city.

This is the second opening in Colombia within the framework of a Regional expansion plan of the U.S. based company which includes cities such as Panama, Dominican Republic, Chile, and Uruguay. Their investment totaled 2 million dollars and will generate 35 direct jobs.

Summit Trampoline Park Medellín

“This park fits the strategic proposal of INDER which aims at promoting sports, recreation, and physical activities in different spaces. The Olympic trampolines will help future young promises of the Team Medellín to practice gymnastics” affirmed Andrés Felipe López Vergara, INDER’s chief city-events officer.

Thus far, the city has received a total amount of USD 249.9 million between new investments and reinvestments. 22 new companies have settled in Medellín and eight more have reinvested. Therefore, 2,945 jobs in the infrastructure, real estate, food and industry 4.0 sectors are estimated. ACI Medellín supported the opening and settling process of the Summit Trampoline Park in the city.

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Semilleros Infantiles de Participación Ciudadana reciben premio en Portugal

The Child Workshops for Citizen Participation Program was Awarded in Portugal

The XV Congress of Educating Cities: “The city belongs to the people,” was held in Portugal, from November 13 to 16. Medellín participated with the project Child Workshops for Citizen Participation of the Medellín Mayor’s Office and managed by the Secretariat of Citizen Participation.

It is the Educating Cities Award of the International Association of Educating Cities (IAEC).

  • The project Child Workshops for Citizen Participation is executed by the Secretariat of Citizen Participation of the Medellín Mayor’s Office.
  • The project received the award in the XV Congress of Educating Cities, Cascais 2018.
  • ACI Medellín managed and supported the application of this initiative.

Child Workshops for Citizen Participation is a proposal born in 2013. It aims to increase the participation levels among children and young people of Medellín through a training process in citizen and democratic capacities.

The Secretariats of Citizen Participation, Education, Youth, Inclusion and Environment and the Inclusion Unit of the LGBTI Population work together in this project.

The Agency for Cooperation and Investment of Medellín and the Metropolitan Area – ACI Medellín – led and supported the award application process in which 49 cities from 12 countries nominated.

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Red de Escuelas de Música de Medellín

The Music Schools Network of Medellín will tour in the United States

A delegation of 80 students from Medellín will travel to the United States on the tour called Medellín Canción Viva to interpret the repertoire with the same name. They will visit Boston, Baltimore, New York and Washington and, in the latter, they will be part of the commemoration of the Veterans Day at the Crossing Historic Park.

Between November 6 to 16, the Music Schools Network of Medellín will visit several cities in the United States playing its repertoire: Medellín Canción Viva.”

These young people who make up the orchestra, belong to the Medellín Music Schools Network. They went through several auditions organized by public call, so they could join the select group. They will perform compositions wrote by them and their teachers in the Laboratory of Musical Creation with cross-cultural aim and in the Laboratory of Musical Creation with Alternative Media for Sound Production.

The musical repertoire is the city itself, told through the sensitivity, talent and creativity of children and young people inspired by tango, salsa, rock, Colombian music and symphonic music with some touches of urban and modern rhythms.

They will also have an exchange with Berklee College of Music, considered one of the best and most important schools in the world.

For Lina Botero Secretary of Citizen Culture, the tour means “to transcend the concerts and generate scenarios for knowledge exchange, strengthening the experience of the Network so that students become multipliers within the program and in their family and community environments.”

For most of the young people of the Music School, it is the first time they will perform outside the country. It will be an encounter with another culture and sounds, an opportunity to explore, fulfill dreams and strengthen their careers.

The Music Schools Network of Medellín,

The Network was created in 1996, with the aim of reaching vulnerable children and young people in the city and offer them a life project which help them to get away from violence. Nowadays, the network has 27 schools located in 14 Communes and 3 Townships of Medellín; 11 Integrated Groups, with a coverage of 4,600 students aged between 7 and 24 years. The Program has been strengthened by developing skills around musical performance, generating pedagogical strategies to complement the interpretative exercise with reflection and creation.


For more information contact:

Website  | Facebook | Instagram

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Conferencia Internacional de Ciudades del Aprendizaje de la Unesco

Medellín will host the IV UNESCO International Conference on Learning Cities in 2019

Medellín was selected by UNESCO to host the International Conference on Learning Cities in 2019. In addition to this recognition, the World Cities Summit 2019 will be held in the city as a result of the Lee Kuan Yew Award received in 2016 for the efforts of Medellín in addressing urban challenges.

The capital of Antioquia was the first city in Colombia to be a member of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities.

Education has become a milestone of transformation in Medellín. This has led the city to generate a model of social integration through the development of lifelong-learning programs. Articulating them, not only strengthen and create knowledge, but allow to consolidate a global and sustainable community. These programs are: Buen Comienzo, Protective Environment School, Territory STEM + H, Sapiencia, the Center of Innovation for Teachers- MOVA, the Quality Schools and the future construction of the Western University Citadel.A process that the capital of Antioquia continues to build as one of the learning cities in the world.

This International Biennial Conference to be held in 2019 will allow Medellín to meet with government delegates and education experts from all continents and socialize the city’s best educational practices. Those which have allowed it to promote local development to build more inclusive and sustainable societies in the pursuit of compliance of SDG’s objective 4 ” Quality Education”

Thus, Medellín continues to project itself as a laboratory of best practices for the establishment of networks and alliances which generate the development of public policies to strengthen education throughout the life of citizens.

Las anteriores ediciones de la Conferencia Internacional se llevaron a cabo en Beijing, China; Ciudad de México y Cork, Irlanda.

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Inclusión social

More than 50 mayors from 17 countries met in Medellín to discuss social inclusion

Medellin, Colombia. More than 50 mayors from 17 different countries from Latin America, the Caribbean and Spain met in Medellin, Colombia to exchange experiences and knowledge around social inclusion. This annual meeting is part of the Network of Cities promoted by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to enhance the work of subnational governments in the region.

At the opening event of the Annual Meeting and Seminar “Inclusive Cities: Learning from Medellín” Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the IDB; Federico Gutiérrez, mayor of Medellín and Juan Luis Mejía Arango, president of EAFIT University, had a space to talk about the context and the expected results of the meeting. After the opening, the Mayor of Medellin made his presentation “Transformation of Medellin: progress and challenges of the city towards inclusion”, followed by a conversation with representatives of the University-Private Sector- State Committee (CUEE in Spanish) of Medellín.

“The Mayors’ Forum in Medellín is the ideal scenario to exchange experiences and knowledge among cities and discuss topics which are relevant to all mayors and the IDB. As Mayor of Medellín, I would like to express our interest and enthusiasm in participating in this important decision-making space which allows us to advance towards the objectives we share with other territories. We believe that we are able to connect with cities that face challenges similar to ours, in order to create sustainable changes in local environments,” Gutierrez said.

On the other hand, EAFIT’s President said: “EAFIT University is honored to be the center of such important meeting on inclusive cities as well as IDB’s Annual Meeting of Mayors. We consider it to be an opportunity, not just to offer our customary hospitality, but to show how this city has evolved and how EAFIT has contributed to its transformation and change. The creation of our Center for Urban and Environmental Studies and the generation of studies which positively impact and generate well-being in society confirms this effort. It is a way to highlight how a university can be linked to the transformation of a city. So, we are very happy to host this event. We hope the meeting will be a success and that attendees will keep an indelible memory of Medellín and EAFIT. ”

From September 17 to 19, the event will feature presentations and discussions of mayors, technical officers, experts and directors of the IDB on urban security, social inclusion in neighborhoods, sustainable mobility, and effective and efficient fiscal management. The seminars were organized in collaboration with the Santander City Council, the University of Cantabria and the Menéndez Pelayo International University, both universities are Spanish.

“The Mayors’ meeting is one of IDB’s initiatives which represents our commitment to advancing towards a sustainable development agenda for the region. This is a way to support our countries and their local governments in the efforts to improve the quality of life of its citizens through the acceleration of economic growth and the reduction of poverty and inequality, ” said Juan Pablo Bonilla, Manager of the Climate Change and Sustainable Development Sector of IDB.

The issues to be addressed in the Meeting were identified in line with the main demands that mayors face in their cities. For instance, from 2005 to 2015, the region doubled its total vehicle fleet, adding 100 million vehicles to its roads, increasing the demand for transportation services and the problems of pollution and traffic congestion.

One out every five people living in urban areas live in informal settlements, without property title and minimal access to basic services, exacerbating inequality. On the other hand, insecurity is one of the main concerns of the citizens of the region and one of the greatest challenges for the competitiveness of companies. According to an IDB study, crime costs 3.5% of the region’s GDP. The levels of violence are higher in poor urban neighborhoods and in peripheral areas of the city.

Despite the above, there are many positive and innovative experiences on how local governments are overcoming these challenges. This is why, IDB promotes the Network of Cities – in which 150 cities participate – as a mean to facilitate exchange spaces between cities and to have a platform to share knowledge and best practices on issues related to improving the quality of life, always focused in achieving sustainable and more inclusive cities.

About IDB

The mission of the Inter-American Development Bank is to improve lives. Founded in 1959, IDB is one of the main sources of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. It also conducts cutting-edge research projects and offers policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private clients throughout the region.

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Feria del Libro de Medellín

Mexico is the guest country for the Book and Culture Festival in Medellín

Medellín is getting ready for the opening of the 12th Book and Culture Festival to be held between September 6 and 17 in Carabobo Norte. It is one of the five most important literary events in Latin America. This year’s guest country will be Mexico, which will cover all the venues of the Festival with its colors and flavors.

More than 50 Mexican guests among writers, artists and chefs, are expected in the twelfth version of the Book Festival. More than 400,000 visitors are expected.

The central theme of the event will be the forms of memory, a reflection on what we remember and forget taking into account the similarities or differences of what we live as a citizen collective in Medellín and Colombia, and how we process it through literary, visual, musical and plastic.

This event brings together prominent writers, photographers, artists and scientists from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Spain, the United States, Ireland, the Netherlands, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. They will exchange knowledge and thoughts about memory, literary creation, reality and fiction in different talks and events.

Juan Villoro, María Baranda and Francisco Hinojosa, Mexican writers with a vast experience, will share with the attendees in different spaces and conversations. We invite you to check the schedule at [ Click here ]

Colombia-Mexico Year

Both countries celebrate 187 years of their diplomatic relations with a series of activities that have been extended throughout 2017 and 2018. Culture, mobility for students, commercial exchange and sports are some of the axis in which both countries have focused on, seeking to strengthen the ties of friendship between them. Mexico, as a special guest at the Book and Culture Festival of Medellín, is an opportunity for knowledge and integration of Mexican and Colombian cultural wealth.

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Red de Escuelas de Música de Medellín

The Music Schools Network of Medellín, a study case for Harvard

A group of MSc students from the John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University recently visited Medellín to learn about the government’s management of the city and its examples of cultural re-engineering, social inclusion and overcoming violence. This visit was set after the invitation of one of its members of Colombian origin, Colombia’s former Secretary of Transparency, Camilo Encizo.

The delegation, made up of 22 students from different nationalities, exchanged knowledge with the members and directors of the Music Schools Network of Medellín.They even had the opportunity to listen to the Music Schools Network play a Colombian musical repertoire and in retribution, one of the students of the Masters, the Chinese pianist Jie Chen , played a couple of songs for them.

“Being part of the Music Schools Network and receiving a visit from Harvard students, shows that Medellín has more to offer to the world. Peace instead of violence, ” said Emmanuel Moreno, mandolin player and one of the beneficiaries of the Network.

The Music Schools Network of Medellín plans to make a tour in United States on November, so this scenario was a prelude to what they will present in the North American country.

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National and international journalists learned about Medellín’s recreation and sports strategy

A large representation of national and international journalists arrived in Medellín to cover Colombiamoda 2018. On their first day, they had the opportunity to know the work of INDER Medellín, the characteristics of the sports program of the city, the scope of the recreation and sports projects and the progress of the “Football in Peace” program.

The tour began in the Sports Unit La Floresta. There, they learned about the facilities and sports practices of this sports complex. Later, they arrived at the Marco Fidel Suarez School and together with its students, attended the interventions of the FIFA referee from Antioquia, Wilmar Roldán, and the former presidents of Atlético Nacional, Juan Carlos de la Cuesta, and Deportivo Independiente Medellín, Eduardo Silva Meluk, about the process of implementing the “Football in Peace” program. A very exciting moment given the past and meaning of both football fan groups.

Finally, the group was taken to the Atanasio Girardot Sports Unit, where they walked around the facilities of basketball, high performance gym complex, exercises for the disabled, and the Atanasio Girardot football stadium where practices such as parkour, disc dog and CrossFit were given recognition. The tour ended with a press conference with INDER Manager, Daniel Palacios; the Secretary of Economic Development, María Fernanda Galliano and the Director of Inexmoda, Carlos Eduardo Botero.

It was a day to see Medellín from the angle of recreation and sports and its impact on the social development.

“For us, it is essential to show Medellín from different angles, since the transformation of the city has been a comprehensive strategy. The urban, mobility, security, education, recreation and sports interventions have impacted decisively the life of the citizens and therefore our development and projection towards the world,” said Catalina Restrepo Carvajal, ACI Medellín Executive Director.

“Showing INDER’s work to international journalists is extremely important. Multiple activities related to recreation, sports and healthy lifestyles are carried out every day in the city. We have 886 recreational – sporting scenarios and 7 sports units with multidisciplinary equipment which impact their lives and health” said Daniel Palacios, Director of INDER Medellín.

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Spanish Laundry Company Ilunion will generate 150 jobs in Medellín

The Spanish industrial laundry company, Ilunion, recently opened its new facility in La Estrella, south of the Aburrá Valley. It is the first establishment of the organization in Latin America and the first step in an expansion process towards other regions in Colombia and the continent.

The company washes 200 million kilos of clothes per year. About 40% of Ilunion’s global workforce of employees are people with some type of disability.

Ilunion is known around the world for its inclusive social and economic model, which professional integration to the population in a situation of disability. For many of their employees, this is their first job opportunity, despite being in advanced ages.

The new 2,800 square meters facility can process 1,500 kilos per hour, including bedding, tablecloths, towels, etc.

The Medellín Mayor’s Office and its School for Inclusion have been one of Ilunion’s main allies. The people with disabilities or with different skills have received training from this governmental entity to successfully integrate them in the professional market.

This model has allowed the organization to earn various recognitions throughout its history. In 2016, the Government of Spain granted them the Grand Cross of the Civil Order of Social Solidarity and; the Medellín Mayor’s Office has named it a “company which transforms lives of people in vulnerable condition through labor inclusion.” 

Lavandería española Ilunion generará en Medellín 150 puestos de trabajo

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Iberacademy echoes with melodies through Medellín

Founded by Alejandro Posada, Colombian orchestra conductor and his wife María Helena Tamayo, the Ibero-American Philharmonic Academy – Iberacademy – is committed to support the talent of young people from Medellín and Colombia and to a comprehensive development of musicians, especially those from vulnerable social situations who are extremely talented.

The HILTI Foundation, committed to efficient and sustainable training in Latin America, allowed the creation of the academy. Iberacademy has granted scholarships in musical training programs to young people and teachers from various regions of Colombia and the continent.

Iberacademy seeks to strengthen musical education in the continent through the execution of pedagogical models which allow the transmission of knowledge through Latin America.

Likewise, this Philharmonic Academy together with the EAFIT University and the New World Symphony Orchestra of Miami, the Mozarteum Foundation of Salzburg, the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, among other actors, offers scholarships in various parts of the world for their training program in orchestral and chamber internships. This has allowed young musicians and teachers to learn and at the same time show the world their talent.

A milestone in Colombian culture

Last March, a group of 50 young people between 14 and 25 years old, from different parts of the country and part of the Network of Music Schools of the Ministry of Culture of Medellín, toured on Europe performing at the festivals of Lucerne and Salzburg as the first Colombian symphonic group invited to these meetings.

Besides their presentation at the festivals, other concerts were held in Vienna, Austria; Winterthur, Switzerland and Vaduz, capital of the Principality of Liechtenstein.

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The commitments of a city open to the world

The economic dynamics of a city like Medellín stimulate the opening of new markets and the strengthening of relations with international actors. To do so, not only technological or legal tools are needed, also human talent capable of communicating in different languages, especially in English since it is the universal language of business and communications.

This need of bilingual professionals ​​led to the enactment of Law 1651 in 2013. It modifies articles of Law 115 of 1994 seeking to develop communication skills of Colombian students in a language foreign

However, despite the different programs developed throughout the country, the Ministry of National Education estimates that by 2018, only 8% of high school students in the country would reach a B1 level in English as a foreign language.

This figure is added to the recent study of the English Proficiency Index (EF EPI), which evaluated the skills of more than 1 million people in 80 countries, among which Colombia ranked 51 with 49.97 points. The country also was ranked 11 among the 15 Latin American nations which struggle the most with bilingualism.

Although these figures can be daunting, they are an invitation to redesign the strategies for the adequate acquisition of English as a foreign language, as in the case of Medellín Bilingüe. It is a strategy of the Mayor’s Office to improve the learning of languages in the city in which several secretariats get involve through programs such as Semilla Bilingüe, Medellín City Camps, Medellín School Camps, Teacher Training, Con vos; Inglés al barrio (English to the neighborhood), The best T, Boarding Pass to Canada and Cine Club Film Control.

According to Lorena Cañaveral, coordinator and leader of Medellín Bilingüe, “Sometimes the language is the most important item in a resume and it is time to give the opportunity not only to people who have studied abroad or with a complete immersion in English from a private school, but to all citizens who need this tool to communicate in the academic and work environment. Likewise, labor relations are not the only field in which a language can be useful. Another advantage of being bilingual is that social relationships increase as new languages ​​are learned. ”

In the same way, the Cañaveral assures that to learn to fall in love with another language, we must leave behind a traditional model and understand that through film, music, comics, jokes and even memes, we can practice a foreign language. This is a process in which the teaching work is fundamental to break stereotypes in the teaching-learning process.

Therefore, professional skills of local human talent can be strengthened through these actions, positively impacting the increase in employment rates with foreign companies that impact the quality of life of families in the value chain.


Technological innovation, a road to development

In addition to strengthening skills in a foreign language, organizations seek to access to creative human talent that can perform innovative technological developments and which respond appropriately to the needs of each of them.

Although Medellín has an excellent university education level, the arrival of companies dedicated to the provision of services and IT development has increased the need for people with specific training in those areas .According to Adriana Pérez, Organizational Innovation Professional at Ruta N, “the city is currently undertaking a digital transformation process of the economy, therefore all the institutions of the CT + i ecosystem are facing the global challenge of the shortage of IT talent. Ruta N is working on an “IT Talent Fund” along with Sura Asset Management to close gaps while strengthening the attraction of the Landing process. ”

Under the same perspective, John Jairo González, systems engineer graduated from the University of San Buenaventura says, “the city is experiencing an absence of systems engineers because students rather to migrate to other professions. They believe the time they invest in study is not reflected in the salary they receive. Although talent and academy do exist, many companies hire technicians and technologists due to salary and operational reason. They are able to carry out actions corresponding to certain needs, but, for a greater innovative development, university professionals are required for their academic training and work experience.”

Responding to this reality, the faculties of Systems Engineering the city has (around 15), continue to adapt their curricula to improve training and research system, overcoming the gap of the city in specific issues and creatively cover the needs of companies with international projection.

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