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Women from Alto San Jorge: Inclusion and Participation at Cerro Matoso

14 JULY 2017

Women from Alto San Jorge: Inclusion and Participation at Cerro Matoso

Meet some of our hard-working women from Colombia's Alto San Jorge region, enthusiastically taking on roles traditionally seen as exclusive to men at Cerro Matoso.

Dina Carvajal raises scaffold structure pipes as if they were a bundle of cassava, climbs up and continues with her demanding task. When asked, "Why did you choose to be a scaffold assistant?" Dina smiles and answers: "I’m not afraid of heights."

This courageous mother of four children, used to hard work, belongs to the community of Pueblo Flecha. At work, Dina acknowledges the support she has received from her workmates.

"They value my work. We respect each other, and they provide me with new knowledge, contributing to my professional growth."

At first sight, when you see Yorlis Campos wearing her hard hat, goggles, gloves and other personal protective equipment, you will not notice that she is a very young and joyful woman. She walks slowly, holding a huge wrench that she uses to loosen screws and place welding points. After taking off her face shield, she says, "We are placing some plates inside the dryer of line 2. I have always liked technical work. I feel good, and I really love and enjoy what I do."

Yorlis, born locally in Montelíbano, has been working as a welder for four years. In her spare time, she contributes to her family’s business.  

"As with all jobs, there are risks, but what is important is that here we work safely and we take care of each other," said Yorlis.

Diana Lucía Hoyos, also a welder, loves her work too.  Born in San José de Uré, belonging to the community of Puerto Colombia, she says she doesn’t have any difficulty doing her job and, with a smile, she spreads happiness among her workmates. 

"I completed my training practice in Cerro Matoso, and have continued gaining experience. Now, I work to support my family", she says with a grin.

Dina Carvajal, Yorlis Campos and Diana Hoyos are heroic women from communities neighbouring Cerro Matoso, who have proven their skills in performing roles traditionally viewed as exclusive to men.

For them, working at Cerro Matoso has been a great opportunity for their professional development, and they are happy to have become role models for girls and youth, showing them that anything is possible. 

"Dreams can be achieved and we can do anything we plan. Women are not limited to housework – we can do anything as long as we do it professionally and with enthusiasm.

Dina, Yorlis and Diana belong to the group of 23 neighbouring community members who have been given the chance to work in the preventative maintenance programme organised by Cerro Matoso, and we’re thrilled to see more women taking up these opportunities every day.